Watford have beaten Derby County tonight after a late Joao Pedro stunner allowed the Hornets to continue their positive start in the Championship.
Derby, captained by Wayne Rooney, have had a tough start to the season, but were looking to build on their first win of the season just before the international break against Norwich City.
Vladimir Ivic named four changes to the side that lost against Reading last time out, bringing in new signing William Troost-Ekong into the starting eleven, along with Tom Cleverley, Ken Sema and Domingos Quina.
It was a cagey opening 20 minutes from both sides, but a good corner from Rooney have the Hornets defence something to deal with, but Matthew Clarke was too late to the ball.
The Hornets squandered possession in their own area on the 40th minute mark, which allowed Duane Holmes to unleash an effort towards Foster’s goal, but it went over the bar.
Cleverley also had a pop at distance just before half time, but again it didn’t trouble the goalkeeper.
The second half almost sprung into life straight away when Joao Pedro managed to chip the ball over David Marshall and into the back of the net, only for it to be chalked off for offside.
On the hour mark, the Hornets appealed for a penalty when the ball appeared to have struck the hand of a Derby defender, but the referee waved play on.
The opening goal finally came for the Hornets with just under 15 minutes to go, and it was a stunning strike from Joao Pedro from the edge of the area which left Marshall with no chance of stopping it. 0-1
Watford’s joy was very nearly short-lived, when Rooney was set free and in on goal, but the former England captain’s effort went narrowly wide of Ben Foster’s goal.
The Hornets held on for what was a well-fought for three points, sending them into 5th position in the Championship table in the process.
Ivic’s men are back in action on Wednesday night, and back at Vicarage Road where they welcome Blackburn Rovers.
Picture credit: Watford FC