Violence between Watford and Everton fans overshadowed a hard-fought win for the Hornets on Saturday as Javi Gracia’s men bagged a valuable three points against their determined visitors from Merseyside.
Two Watford fans were taken to hospital after the game and, at the time of writing, one man is still in hospital after police were called to Vicarage Road just minutes after the final whistle. You can read more about this here.
Returning manager Marco Silva and former favourite Richarlison were predictably the centre of attention and some Watford fans showed that they were not in the mood to forgive and forget, greeting their former favourites with the inflatable snakes first seen in the reverse fixture in December.
On the pitch, Watford started brightly and Etienne Capoue should have done better in the 11th minute after Troy Deeney chested the ball down in the area. But keeper Ben Foster had to make smart saves from Kurt Zouma and Tom Davies as the visitors threatened to take the initiative.
After the break, Gracia introduced Andre Gray but the home side were unlucky not to fall behind to a brilliant bit of skill from Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson who was desperately unlucky to see his improvised lob hit the bar.
Although Watford were threatening from set pieces, Andre Gray was presented with a simple tap in just after the hour mark after he was set up by Craig Cathcart.
It was Everton who grew into the game after falling behind however with Lucas Digne hitting the bar and Dominic Calvert-Lewin spurning a glorious chance to earn Silva’s side a share of the spoils as the Toffees applied real pressure in the closing stages.
But Watford deserved credit for their dogged defending although for the fans, the game was about much more than the win – they at last tasted revenge.
The game also saw the unfurling of a huge flag over the Rookery End.