Watford 4 - 0 Blackburn Match Report.
Watford thrashed Blackburn Rovers 4-0 on saturday at Vicarage Road and moved to within 4 points of second place Hull. The win sealed a play off place for the Hornets who got back to winning ways thanks to goals from Troy Deeney (X2), Almen Abdi and Matthew Briggs. Blackburn saw striker Leon Best sent off by referee Nigel Miller in the final minute but this had no effect on the result whatsoever. The first half was very even with neither team getting a grip on the game. But after half time the Hornets improved and Blackburn became weak and Watford found it easy to pick or pass or a through ball. Blackburn never really troubled the hornets defence and hornets goalkeeper Manuel Almunia did not make a save all game. Gianfranco Zola made four changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Millwall in midweek. Matthew Briggs, Mark Yeates, Cristian Battochio and Matej Vydra dropped to the bench with Marco Cassetti, Almen Abdi, Jonathan Hogg and Fernando Forestieri taking their places in the side. Gary Bowyer made once change for Blackburn which saw David Dunn replace Jason Lowe. The opening 10 minutes of the game was even with neither team having any shots on goal with the game mainly being controlled in midfield. The only thing of note was that Almen Abdi had to recieve treatment for a blooded nose but resumed to the pitch once the medical team had seen to him. Blackburn had their first shot of the afternoon on 12 minutes which saw David Dunn shoot wide. Watford had their first shot of the match in the 18th minute. A brilliant cross field ball from Nathaniel Chalobah found Almen Abdi out wide who cut in a rolled the ball to Forestieri who saw his placed first time effort easily saved by Sandomeirski in the Blackburn goal. Their was a bit of controversy a few minutes later. Josh King was meant to roll the ball back to Manuel Almunia in the Watford goal but he took so long about it that Lloyd Doyley ended up doing it for him. Things should ahve been easy from their. However, Almunia picked up the ball and referee Nigel Miller rightly deemed it as a back pass therefore meaning that Blackburn had a free kick deep inside the penalty area. After an age, Blackburn finally took it, with Scott Dann blasting well over. In the 27th minute Blackburn goalkeeper Sandomierski made a brilliant save to keep the scores level. After some good play down the left flank, Daniel Pudil played a delightful cross into the box which was met by the on rushing Deeney who beat Anya in the air, and saw his header brilliantly saved from Sandomierski who then had to save again after his initial save hit Scott Dann and was heading in. Fernando Forestieri then showed some quick feet and determination in the 38th minute. Forestieri picked up the ball nerar the half way line and just ran with it after the Blackburn players kept backing off. Then he easily jinked past a rovers defender and saw his placed effort go inches wide. That was to be the final shot of the half. Both sides were fairly even and the match saw few chances in the first half.
Half Time - 0- 0
The Hornets came out second half and delivered a brilliant performance. Joel Ekstrand was booked 2 minutes afte the restart after pulling back Jordan Rhodes. But in the 51st minute, the Hornets took the lead. Fernando Forestieri should recieve a lot of credit after he picked up the ball 25 yards and beat Todd Kane before rolling the ball to Troy Deeney who managed to turn and shoot into the bottom corner of the goal giving Sandomierski no chance. This was the Hornets Hitmans 17th goal of the season and he celebrated in style. But Blackburn went down the other end and nearly scored themselves. David Dunn retrieved a ball which looked like it was about to go out for a throw in and crossed it in. The ball was met by Jordan Rhodes who saw his header go over the bar. But the Hornets went straight down the other end and scored in the 61st minute. From a free kick on the half way line, Nathaniel Chalobah passed the ball to Forestieri who ran forward before playing a through ball to Deeney who made no mistake scoring with the outside of his boot. This was Deeney's 18th goal of the season and put the Hornets 2-0 up. Forestieri should recieve a lot of credit after playing Deeney in. Blackburn then made their first substitution which saw Kerim Rekik replace Gael Givet. The Hornets were well in control of the match and added a third in the 67th minute. After a passing move of at least 30 passes causing the 'Oles' to come out. Forestieri chipped the ball into Abdi who was in the penalty box. Abdi was very calm and managed to turn past his marker before shooting into the roof of the net to make the score 3-0 to the Hornets. This was the Swiss midfielders 11th goal of the season. Forestieri again should recieve some plaudits after recording his 3rd assist of the afternoon. Zola made his first change of the afternoon with Joel Ekstrand being replaced by Matthew Briggs. This meant Cassetti moved into the heart of the back three with Doyely and Briggs alongside him. Nuno Gomes replaced Josh King. In the 74th minute, it was nearly 4-0 if it werent for a fantastic save from Sandomierski. Deeney saw a shot blocked by Dann but the ball went high into the air. The ball came down and was met on the volley by Ikechi Anya whose sweetly struck shot was only just tipped over from Sandomierski. From the resulting corner, the score became 4-0. Almen Abdi's corner was cleared by Kerim Rekik. But his header fell straight to Matthew Briggs who was inside the penalty area, who took a touch before hammering the ball home on the half volley. This was Briggs first goal for the hornets since joining on loan from Fulham in March. The brilliant Forestieri was then replaced with 14 minutes to go, with Vydra coming on to replace him. Sean Murray then replaced Ikechi Anya in the 82nd minute. That seemed to be that but their was one final piece of drama. In the final minute of added time, Leon Best was not pleased with a tackle made on him by Marco Cassetti, and the Rovers forward sqaured up to him before attepmting to headbutt him. The linesman and referee saw this. Cassetti recieved a yellow card for his involvment but Best was shown a straight red. That was the last moment of the match meaning that the Hornets ran out easy winners after a superb second half performance.
Full Time - 4-0
Watford - Almunia (GK)(C) 6, Doyley 8 , Ekstrand 7 (Briggs 68 7), Cassetti 7, Anya 8 (Murray 82, 5), Hogg 7, Chalobah 7, Abdy 8, Pudil 7, Deeney 9, Forestieri 9 (Vydra 76 6).
Subs Not Used - Bond (GK), Yeates, Geijo, Battochio.
Goals - Deeney ( 52, 61), Abdi 68, Briggs 75)
Yellow Cards - Cassetti and Ekstrand.
My Man Of THe Match - Fernando Forestieri- Blackburn simply could not contain the Argentine who was a menace throughout. May not have scored but set up three of the four goals.
Blackburn - Sandomierski (GK), Kane, Dann (C), Givet (Rekik 63), Ollsson, King (Gomes 71), Jones, Williamson, Dunn, Best, Rhodes (Morris 82)
Subs Not Used- Usai (GK), Orr, Pederson, Goodwille
Yellow Cards - Rekik, Williamson, JonesRe
Red Card - Best
Attendance - 13,775 (733 Blackburn fans)
Referee - Nigel Miller.