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Hornets disappoint in last day defeat

 Published on: 13th May 2018   |   By: Ryan Gray   |   Category: Watford FC

Watford fans would have hoped that the Theatre of Dreams could have provided a shock result for a deflated team with a clear lack of confidence when travelling away.

The dream, though, was far from reality, a Rashford goal meaning that Javi Gracia’s Golden Boys finish the season in 14th place, having not scored an away goal in eight games on the road.

This was a match which meant very little to both teams in terms of league position and panned out exactly how most expected it to, with Mourinho fielding a weakened team, with neither side badly going for the three points.

In a game which won’t go down in the history books as a classic, there were positives from those Hornets who haven’t played a part in some of the recent performances.

Making his 100th appearance, Heurelho Gomes started for the first time since being dropped, as did Nathaniel Chalobah, who made his comeback after eight months of injuries and frustrations.

Gerard Delulofeu started what may be his last game for the club, joining in with the theme of the day as Michael Carrick played for the Red Devils in his last game as a professional footballer.

The changes helped Watford initially as they held off United for 34 minutes, in that time missing a rare opportunity in the form of a Richarlison free kick which flew high over the bar.

Eventually, though, Gracia’s defence made an error and against the league runners-up, one mistake proved enough to win the hosts the game.

Juan Mata, a player who scored the only goal in this fixture two years ago, was allowed to run in behind defenders and latched onto a Michael Carrick pass, squaring the ball for Marcus Rashford to tap home.

In the closing stages of the half, United’s Sergio Romero brilliantly got down to his left to keep out an agonisingly close effort in the form of a Richarlison header.

The second half continued to follow the script of the first and for many Watford fans, enough was enough, with many simply used to such a result away from home.

Nevertheless, despite today’s loss, Watford have improved on last season’s league position and it can be argued that across the season there has been huge improvement throughout what is now a steady and settled Premier League club. 

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