Premier League
WatfordWatford0NorwichNorwich City3

Watford 0-3 Norwich City: Josh Sargent double helps Canaries to huge win at relegation rivals

By Emma SandersBBC Sport
Sargent improvisation was superb - Smith

Josh Sargent's first Premier League goals capped a "crazy couple of weeks" as the new father helped Norwich City to a crucial victory over 10-man Watford which moved them out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.

The 21-year-old American became a dad for the first time this month, while Norwich have enjoyed back-to-back wins and are now two points above the bottom three.

"It's been a kind of blur. To get your first goal and then your second after was pretty crazy," said Sargent. "It was a big game for us so a great night overall.

"Obviously being in the relegation zone means every game is big for us, but to get a win against the team right in front of us is huge."

Sargent had endured a frustrating season in front of goal, failing to find the net in 18 league games, but acrobatically hooked Teemu Pukki's cross from behind him and saw it bounce in off the underside of the crossbar for Norwich's opener.

His thumping header made it 2-0 after a lengthy stoppage in play because of a floodlight fault and he celebrated wildly, before paying tribute to his newborn child.

"After the first one I didn't celebrate for my newborn baby so I knew the wife would be on my case. I thought I need to do it now!" he added.

"It's been a crazy couple of weeks obviously but I'm very happy. It's been amazing."

Norwich rubbed salt in Watford's wounds with a third goal late on - substitute Juraj Kucka poking past his own goalkeeper at the near post.

Watford were further hampered by Emmanuel Dennis' sending off - the forward shown a second yellow card by referee Mike Dean for a rash challenge on Max Aarons.

Shortly before Kucka poked in Adam Idah's pull-back, Watford had a goal disallowed when Moussa Sissoko thumped in a stunning volley from an offside position, and Cucho Hernandez later hit the crossbar.

Claudio Ranieri's side still have two games in hand but it was an 11th defeat in 13 games during his Watford tenure, while Dennis' sending-off means he will miss another crucial relegation battle with bottom side Burnley on 5 February.

Pressure mounts on relegation rivals

Norwich played as a team, Watford were individuals - Ranieri

Sargent's exuberant celebrations, echoed by the visiting Norwich supporters, showed how important this victory was to Dean Smith's side.

It is the first time this season Norwich have moved out of the bottom three, while defeat for Watford piles more pressure on manager Ranieri.

Norwich were most people's favourites to go down at Christmas but back-to-back wins over Everton and Watford have seen them shoot up the table from bottom to 17th in just over a week.

The relegation battle promises to continue as Burnley, now propping up the table, have five games in hand on Norwich, having had numerous games postponed because of Covid-19 cases and injuries.

Watford and Newcastle United also have games in hand, but with no side in the current bottom six winning more than five games this season, Norwich will be heavily boosted by their recent victories.

The Canaries face a tough February including games against Manchester City and Liverpool, but Watford are under pressure to bounce back against Burnley in their next match having already dropped points to relegation rivals Norwich and Newcastle in recent games.

Player of the match

SargentJoshua Sargent

with an average of 8.74

Watford

  1. Squad number10Player nameJoão Pedro
    Average rating

    4.78

  2. Squad number21Player nameKiko Femenía
    Average rating

    4.73

  3. Squad number19Player nameSissoko
    Average rating

    4.68

  4. Squad number29Player nameCucho Hernández
    Average rating

    4.62

  5. Squad number22Player nameSamir
    Average rating

    4.48

  6. Squad number14Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    4.41

  7. Squad number39Player nameKayembe
    Average rating

    4.41

  8. Squad number27Player nameKabasele
    Average rating

    4.25

  9. Squad number7Player nameKing
    Average rating

    4.20

  10. Squad number26Player nameBachmann
    Average rating

    4.20

  11. Squad number25Player nameDennis
    Average rating

    4.06

  12. Squad number8Player nameCleverley
    Average rating

    3.98

  13. Squad number12Player nameSema
    Average rating

    3.92

  14. Squad number33Player nameKucka
    Average rating

    3.70

Norwich City

  1. Squad number24Player nameSargent
    Average rating

    8.74

  2. Squad number35Player nameIdah
    Average rating

    8.10

  3. Squad number5Player nameHanley
    Average rating

    8.02

  4. Squad number17Player nameRashica
    Average rating

    7.94

  5. Squad number21Player nameWilliams
    Average rating

    7.71

  6. Squad number28Player nameGunn
    Average rating

    7.70

  7. Squad number22Player namePukki
    Average rating

    7.69

  8. Squad number4Player nameGibson
    Average rating

    7.66

  9. Squad number2Player nameAarons
    Average rating

    7.59

  10. Squad number20Player nameLees-Melou
    Average rating

    7.54

  11. Squad number19Player nameSørensen
    Average rating

    7.43

  12. Squad number23Player nameMcLean
    Average rating

    7.25

  13. Squad number3Player nameByram
    Average rating

    7.01

  14. Squad number11Player namePlacheta
    Average rating

    6.75

Line-ups

Watford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Bachmann
  • 21FemeníaSubstituted forKuckaat 89'minutes
  • 27Kabasele
  • 22Samir
  • 14KamaraSubstituted forSemaat 84'minutes
  • 8CleverleySubstituted forHernándezat 59'minutes
  • 39Kayembe
  • 19Sissoko
  • 25DennisBooked at 78mins
  • 7King
  • 10João Pedro

Substitutes

  • 2Ngakia
  • 12Sema
  • 17Fletcher
  • 18Tufan
  • 29Hernández
  • 31Sierralta
  • 33Kucka
  • 35Elliot
  • 42Morris

Norwich

Formation 4-4-2

  • 28Gunn
  • 2Aarons
  • 5Hanley
  • 4Gibson
  • 21Williams
  • 24Sargent
  • 20Lees-Melou
  • 19SørensenSubstituted forMcLeanat 21'minutesBooked at 38mins
  • 17RashicaSubstituted forPlachetaat 90+6'minutes
  • 35Idah
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forByramat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Byram
  • 10Dowell
  • 11Placheta
  • 15Kabak
  • 18Tzolis
  • 23McLean
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 33McGovern
  • 46Rowe
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
20,782

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home15
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away1
Fouls
Home16
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 0, Norwich City 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 0, Norwich City 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Watford).

  4. Post update

    Brandon Williams (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Moussa Sissoko (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Sam Byram (Norwich City).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Max Aarons.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. João Pedro (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Cucho Hernández (Watford) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joshua King (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Przemyslaw Placheta replaces Milot Rashica.

  12. Goal!

    Own Goal by Juraj Kucka, Watford. Watford 0, Norwich City 3.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Watford. João Pedro tries a through ball, but Moussa Sissoko is caught offside.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Juraj Kucka replaces Kiko Femenía.

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Foul by Adam Idah (Norwich City).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Sam Byram replaces Teemu Pukki.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. João Pedro (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Ken Sema replaces Hassane Kamara.

  20. Post update

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

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