Championship
WatfordWatford2WycombeWycombe Wanderers0

Watford 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers: Andre Gray's first brace in four years seals Hornets' win

Andre Gray celebrates his second goal
Andre Gray celebrated scoring more than once in a game for the first time in 124 matches

Andre Gray's first brace in almost four years helped Watford beat Wycombe Wanderers in the Championship and go level on points with second-placed Brentford.

Gray swept in Kiko Femenia's teasing cross from close range as the Hornets got an early opener.

Wycombe thought they had equalised two minutes after half-time, but David Wheeler's close-range effort was deemed offside.

Gray put the game beyond Wycombe's reach when he found space in the box and neatly finished Philip Zinckernagel's neat pass.

Wycombe remain bottom of the second tier and are 12 points from safety with 13 games to play, while only goal difference keeps Watford out of the automatic promotion places after Brentford lost at leaders Norwich earlier in the evening.

With Watford playing four teams in the bottom 10 in their next five games - including the three sides immediately above Wycombe - Xisco Munoz's side will fancy their chances of overtaking Brentford as they aim for an instant return to the Premier League.

Gray, in for the suspended Joao Pedro, scored for just the second time in 34 matches as the Hornets made a great start, with Tom Cleverley and Ismaila Sarr also having chances and Sarr seeing a penalty appeal turned down.

Watford, who had more than 70% possession in the first half, continued to batter away at the Chairboys as Sarr curled an effort wide and forced David Stockdale to tip away a 36th-minute shot before doing well to block Ken Sema's follow-up effort.

Wycombe's coaches were convinced Wheeler was onside when he put the ball in the net, but Gareth Ainsworth's side were out of it 10 minutes later when Gray registered a double for the first time since he got two goals for Burnley in a 3-2 Premier League loss at Swansea almost four years ago.

The hosts almost got a third with 13 minutes left when Stockdale saved Zinckernagel's shot and Sarr blazed wide after Gray's effort on the rebound, while Wycombe felt they should have had a penalty in the final moments after Scott Kashket went down under a challenge from Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.

Watford head coach Xisco Munoz told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"We are thinking that today was a good performance.

"Every day we try to give better things for tactics, I think we are fitter and every day we are improving.

"The important players arrive when we need and Gray was that tonight. It's also important for him for his confidence because he's worked very hard in the past weeks.

"We have a very good squad and the most important thing is whoever stays in the first team gives the maximum for the team."

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"It was a tough game. We didn't give a great account of ourselves if I'm being honest.

"We've done a lot better in games recently, even Sunday I thought we were outstanding against Norwich, and maybe there's a fallout from that and the efforts we put in there.

"If you're not on it against one of the top teams in the league away at Vicarage Road you get punished."

Line-ups

Watford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Bachmann
  • 21FemeníaSubstituted forNgakiaat 75'minutes
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 31Sierralta
  • 11Masina
  • 19Hughes
  • 8CleverleySubstituted forWilmotat 86'minutes
  • 7Zinckernagel
  • 23Sarr
  • 18GraySubstituted forPericaat 84'minutes
  • 12SemaSubstituted forHungboat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Ngakia
  • 6Wilmot
  • 15Cathcart
  • 22Success
  • 25Perica
  • 33Elliot
  • 38Pochettino
  • 41Barrett
  • 44Hungbo

Wycombe

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Stockdale
  • 2Grimmer
  • 6Tafazolli
  • 5Stewart
  • 3Jacobson
  • 12KnightSubstituted forOfoborhat 68'minutes
  • 4GapeSubstituted forThompsonat 67'minutes
  • 7Wheeler
  • 17HorganSubstituted forKashketat 80'minutes
  • 23OnyedinmaSubstituted forMcClearyat 68'minutes
  • 9IkpeazuSubstituted forAkinfenwaat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Allsop
  • 11Kashket
  • 15Muskwe
  • 18Thompson
  • 19McCleary
  • 20Akinfenwa
  • 26McCarthy
  • 28Ofoborh
  • 33Mehmeti
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamWycombe
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home11
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away0
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home15
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 2, Wycombe Wanderers 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 2, Wycombe Wanderers 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Wycombe Wanderers. Adebayo Akinfenwa tries a through ball, but Scott Kashket is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ben Wilmot (Watford).

  5. Post update

    Scott Kashket (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Anthony Stewart (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Philip Zinckernagel (Watford).

  8. Post update

    Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Ben Wilmot replaces Tom Cleverley because of an injury.

  10. Post update

    Ismaila Sarr (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adebayo Akinfenwa (Wycombe Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Curtis Thompson with a cross.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Stipe Perica replaces Andre Gray.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Joseph Hungbo replaces Ken Sema.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ismaila Sarr (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Andre Gray.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Philip Zinckernagel (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Adebayo Akinfenwa replaces Uche Ikpeazu.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Scott Kashket replaces Daryl Horgan.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ismaila Sarr (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Philip Zinckernagel.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Tafazolli.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich34227548252373
2Brentford34189761362563
3Watford34189745242163
4Swansea32188641231862
5Reading34176114637957
6Bournemouth341510949331655
7Barnsley33166114137454
8Cardiff341581153351853
9Middlesbrough34148124036450
10Millwall34101683431346
11Stoke341112113939045
12Bristol City34143173646-1045
13Luton33128132837-944
14Preston34134173844-643
15Blackburn33117154639740
16Nottm Forest341010142833-540
17QPR321010123239-740
18Derby33108152537-1238
19Huddersfield34107173951-1237
20Coventry34811153146-1535
21Birmingham34811152642-1635
22Rotherham3295183543-832
23Sheff Wed3397172440-1628
24Wycombe3358202355-3223
View full Championship table

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