In a tight affair, it was Watford captain Troy Deeney who prevented the points from being shared at Vicarage Road today.
The striker, who has seemingly regained his confidence and has found his feet under new boss Javi Gracia, netted in the 79th minute when he latched onto Stefano Okaka’s pass.
From both the home and away fans’ point of view, it is fair to say that the first half was incredibly poor with neither team threatening to score.
The visitors had the first chance when some questionable defending by Sebastian Prodl meant that the Toffees suddenly had a free kick within scoring range. It was Gylfi Sigurdsson who opted for the deep cross, leading to a clearance and, in the end, a wasted chance.
Still in the first ten minutes, the home team came closest to breaking the deadlock but also failed to do so after a Pereyra corner was dummied by Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu.
The move meant that the ball found Abdoulaye Doucoure, who could only badly miss-cue his shot from twenty yards. Marriappa, who was poor the whole game, was then beaten down the other end.
Tom Davies fed the ball through to Niasse who at a tight angle had his shot blocked by Watford keeper Orestis Karnezis.
The second half wasn’t quite that of the reverse fixture and a Watford formation change didn’t help add any more excitement. With chances from Rooney and Watford’s Kiko Femenia being missed, the goal which eventually came, but at many stages looked like it never would, meant that the Hornets finished off the day in tenth and only one point off their opponents.
The captain, who made sure that the tie went in favour of the home team, described the game as “dire” but was glad they got a win for the fans who “fully deserved” the result that they got.
Picture Courtesy of Alan Cozzi