Connect with us

Sport

Watford manager stays silent on absent trio

Published

on

Pearson

Watford (UK), June 29, 2020 Watford manager Nigel Pearson said he would wait for the facts before commenting on the absence of Andre Gray, Domingos Quina and Nathaniel Chalobah for their game on Sunday.

The three players were absent for his struggling team’s 3-1 home defeat by Southampton in the English Premier League (EPL).

It looked like a good opportunity for Pearson’s side to give themselves some breathing space in the relegation fight, but instead they find themselves one point above the bottom three.

They have also played a game more than West Ham United and Bournemouth who are just below them on 27 points from 31 games.

Watford’s preparation was hardly helped when Gray, Chalobah and Quina were all omitted from the squad as a “precautionary measure”.

This was after British media reported that striker Gray had breached coronavirus lockdown rules by holding a birthday party at his home, with Quina also pictured at the gathering.

A statement from the club said Pearson had dropped the trio from the squad to ensure “the health and safety of all players, staff and officials at today’s game.”

Pearson will no doubt be furious that he was deprived of three players for such a crucial fixture, but preferred to focus on the efforts of the players that were on the pitch.

“I’m looking more at the performance and really what happened to put us in the situation that we’re in today and that is again fighting for our lives because we’ve not found the performance levels that I would expect from us,” Pearson said.

His side have managed one point from their three games since the season resumed after a three-month stoppage.

“Again, we made too many unforced errors and made mistakes for the goals and gave ourselves far too much to do and it’s disappointing for sure,” he added.

Southampton defender Jan Bednarek’s own goal looked to have given Watford hope late on after a Danny Ings double for Saints but James Ward-Prowse sealed the points for the visitors.

“We’ve not looked as cohesive as a unit as we have done in other games as well. So, it’s disappointing because today was an opportunity for us to add to our points tally,” said Pearson.

“We have games left in which it is in our own hands to make sure we secure our future in the Premier League. No one is going to do it for us.”

OLAL

(

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

Olawale Alabi: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Sport

Welbeck wonder goal takes Watford away from EPL drop zone

Published

on

Danny Welbeck’s spectacular bicycle kick propelled Watford to three vital points in their battle against English Premier League (EPL) relegation on Tuesday.

They came from behind to beat Norwich City 2-1 at Vicarage Road.

Former England international Welbeck scored his first league goal for Watford since joining at the start of the season in the 56th minute.

It proved the winner as they moved four points clear of the relegation places with four games remaining.

Norwich, who took a fourth minute lead through Emiliano Buendia, remain rooted to the bottom.

They are virtually condemned to returning to the Championship after losing for a sixth league game in a row.

Their advantage lasted only six minutes before Craig Dawson equalised to get Watford back in the game.

They are now on their way to a first league win since ending Liverpool’s unbeaten run in February.

Watford still have some difficult games ahead but will see success over Norwich as a major boost to their hopes of staying up.

Norwich manager Daniel Farke admitted before kick-off his side had little hope of remaining in the Premier League.

He added that they could have that officially confirmed on Saturday when they host West Ham United.

Yet, they did score for the first time in the league since its restart after it was suspended due to COVID-19.

That was when the pace of Onel Hernandez stretched the home defence to allow Buendia to bend a left-footed shot into the net.

It did not take long, however, for their defensive frailties to show as they first gave away a needless free kick.

They then allowed Watford centre-back Dawson to force his way to the back post to head home easily.

The winner came at the end of a quick breakaway by the home side, driven down the right by Ismaila Sarr.

His cross struck a defender and bounced up for Welbeck with his back to goal.

His bicycle kick was one of the best finishes of the season.

Norwich could have equalised five minutes from full-time when substitute Adam Idah missed from close range.

Watford are at home again on Saturday against Newcastle United.

OLAL

(

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

Continue Reading

Sport

Watford trio left out of squad after lockdown breach

Published

on

Southampton (England), June 28, 2020  Watford omitted Andre Gray, Nathaniel Chalobah and Domingos Quina from their squad for the Premier League game against Southampton on Sunday as a precautionary measure, the club said in a statement.

British media reported that striker Gray had breached coronavirus lockdown rules by holding a birthday party at his home this week, with Quina also pictured at the gathering.

“Gray, Chalobah and Quina have all been omitted from the Watford squad by (manager) Nigel Pearson to ensure the health and safety of all players, staff and officials at today’s game,” Watford said.

The club said on Saturday they were investigating the matter and would speak to the players involved.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

Continue Reading

Sport

Dawson’s late overhead kick gives Watford one point

Published

on

Watford’s Craig Dawson grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser with an overhead kick to earn his side a 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Saturday.

The draw gave them a vital point in their battle for English Premier League (EPL) survival.

England full-back Ben Chilwell had put third-placed Leicester City ahead in the 90th minute with a thunderous shot.

Thereafter, Dawson’s acrobatic finish lifted Watford provisionally a point clear of the relegation zone.

Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure created the best chance of the opening half, firing straight at Kasper Schmeichel after a defensive error by Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi.

Soon after half-time Watford’s Etienne Capoue produced a defence-splitting pass to send Ismaila Sarr clean through on goal but Schmeichel made an excellent block from close range with an outstretched hand.

Having failed to record a single effort on target in the first half, Leicester City created the majority of chances in the closing stages and went close when Marc Albrighton’s effort hit the post.

Leicester City thought they had secured their first league win at Vicarage Road since 2016 with Chilwell’s strike, but defender Dawson had other ideas.

“It was obviously a very important goal and it was good to get a point in the end,” said Dawson after scoring his first goal for Watford.

“We were disappointed to concede but great spirit from the lads to go and get the equaliser.

“There was tiredness in the second half. But credit to the lads. You can hear the lads who are not playing and the noise they made when the goal went in.”

Watford moved to 16th place in the table with 28 points, while Leicester City remained third and six points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea.
OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

Continue Reading

Sport

Liverpool’s dream EPL run ends in shock 3-0 thrashing at Watford

Published

on

Thrashing

London, March 1, 2020 Liverpool’s unbeaten run of success in this season’s English Premier League (EPL) was ended in unfathomable fashion on Saturday as struggling Watford hammered the European champions 3-0.

Ismaila Sarr inspired the extraordinary upset, stunning off-key Liverpool with two goals in six second half minutes at their ecstatic Vicarage Road stadium.

He then set up team captain Troy Deeney with a third for the team who had started the day one from bottom, 55 points behind the runaway leaders.

Liverpool’s first league defeat of the season in their 28th match meant the end of their hopes of going the whole league campaign unbeaten.

They would have been the new “Invincibles’’ and emulate Arsenal’s feat of 2003/2004 and Preston North End’s in 1888/1889.

It also concluded their run of 44 league matches without defeat stretching back to January 2019.

It came on the day they were expected to surpass champions Manchester City by creating a new English top-flight record of 19 successive league victories.

The setback will doubtless not stop Juergen Klopp’s men going on to lift their first English title for 30 years as they remain 22 points ahead of their nearest pursuers Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

Yet their season’s aura of domestic invincibility was demolished on Saturday.

“Our best performance by a country mile. No one give us a prayer or a hope for this one,” said Deeney, who praised man-of-the-match Sarr as an “unbelievable player, unbelievable talent’’.

Klopp had no complaints.

“They did exactly what they wanted to do, and we did not. That’s how football works,” shrugged the German. “You have to accept it. It’s not so easy, but we were not good enough tonight.”

Liverpool had previously dropped only two points in the league this season —- their draw at Manchester United in October.

But from the start, Watford attacked them with a vigour that belied their struggles in the league.

Watford, who had not won any of their previous five league games, quickly looked the more likely to break the deadlock in the first half.

Gerard Deulofeu was proving to be Liverpool’s main tormentor before he was stretchered off with a knee injury that manager Nigel Pearson described as “bad”.

Yet it was only when the Senegalese winger Sarr struck twice just before the hour mark that the Hornets dared to dream.

First he poked home from close range after Liverpool had failed to deal with a throw-in.

Then, after Will Hughes had set up an attack with a neat backheel, he powered forward and lifted the ball over the advancing Alisson.

Sarr then completed his fairytale day by latching on to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s poor back pass and setting up Deeney, although he did miss a good chance to complete his hat-trick.

Liverpool never gave up and Adam Lallana hit the post with one thumping drive.

But, for the first time in the league this season, they had been thoroughly outplayed, as Klopp acknowledged with his generous on-field congratulations to his opponents.

“If you win, good. If you lose, try to do it in the right manner and do it like a man,” Klopp said.

For Watford, these were crucial points, as Pearson’s men moved out of the bottom three on goal difference into 17th place.

“I think that performance surpassed everything else we’ve delivered so far. You’ve got to earn the right to beat a side as good as Liverpool,” said Pearson.

As for Liverpool’s setback, captain Virgil van Dijk said: “Losing hurts, the records are only for the media, we didn’t mention it once.

“We keep going. We want to win the next game in the FA Cup and then in the league against Bournemouth, that’s the only way forward.”

OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

Continue Reading

Sport

Manchester United outclass Watford to stay in EPL top-four hunt

Published

on

Manchester United kept alive their hopes of finishing in the English Premier League (EPL) top four after a 3-0 home win over Watford on Sunday.

Goals from Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood secured the win for the former champions.

Portugal midfielder Fernandes scored his first goal for Manchester United with a 42ndminute penalty kick.

Martial and Greenwood then netted fine individual efforts to lift them two places up to fifth on 41 points from 27 games.

Manchester United are three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and one ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, while struggling Watford stayed 19th on 24 points.

The home team’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised the agile Fernandes and Greenwood.

“A very good win, two good wins and two clean sheets, some goals to celebrate. Now we want to kick on,” Solskjaer said, also referring to Manchester United’s 2-0 win at Chelsea on Monday.

“Fernandes is quicker than he looks. Very excited by having him in. He has come in, given everyone a boost and wants to conduct a game. There are big games coming up now.

“The thing that matters in football is scoring goals and that is what Greenwood does.”

Fernandes added: “This is the day every player wants to have. I just need to help the team, it’s what I need to do. I hope Martial scores more goals too like he did.”

The home side looked disjointed in the opening 20 minutes and both teams missed chances.

Then, Ben Foster tripped Fernandes and the playmaker sent the Watford goalkeeper the wrong way with a confident spot-kick.

Watford had an effort ruled out for handball following a VAR check soon after half-time.

Manchester United then doubled their lead in the 58th minute when Martial picked up the rebound after Foster blocked his initial attempt.

He left Etienne Capoue dumbfounded with dazzling footwork before dinking the ball over the goalkeeper.

Greenwood put the icing on the cake with another goal of the highest quality in the 75th minute.

He unleashed a pile-driver into the top corner after finding space on the edge of the penalty area.

Manchester United fans unfurled a giant banner before the kick-off.

There was also a minute’s silence to honour the club’s former goalkeeper Harry Gregg who died last Sunday at the age of 87.

OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

Continue Reading

Sport

Tranmere Rovers oust Watford to face Manchester United in FA Cup fourth round

Published

on

Tranmere Rovers substitute Paul Mullin scored an extra-time winner in a 2-1 victory over English Premier League (EPL) side Watford on Thursday.

The goal was enough to set up an FA Cup fourth round clash with heavyweights Manchester United on Sunday.

Mullin had hit the post in the 71st minute after coming on minutes earlier.

He then headed in the winner at the far post in the 104th minute as Prenton Park erupted with joy after the match ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Emmanuel Monthe had put the hosts, who are deep in relegation trouble in League One (third tier), ahead in the 36th minute for a well-deserved lead.

Tranmere Rovers had already fought back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 in the first match at Vicarage Road to force the replay.

Watford, who had played 48 hours earlier in the Premier League and made 11 changes for the game, worked their way back after the break.

Jose Holebas hit the woodwork just past the hour.

Kaylen Hinds, making his Watford debut, got the equaliser with a scrappy goal in the 68th minute after several defenders failed to clear the ball.

But Tranmere Rovers fought back once more and grabbed the winner through Mullin, to book a glamour fourth round tie — their first in 16 years — with their big-name opponents.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)

Continue Reading

Sport

Watford move out of EPL’s bottom three after thrashing Bournemouth

Published

on

Watford moved out of the relegation zone as their stunning revival under new manager Nigel Pearson continued with a 3-0 victory at south coast strugglers Bournemouth on Sunday.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s goal shortly before half-time gave Watford the lead and Troy Deeney smashed in their second midway through the second half.

Bournemouth offered little by way of a response and substitute Roberto Pereyra completed the rout in stoppage time.

The win, Watford’s fourth in the six games since Pearson took charge with them bottom of the table, lifted them to 17th place, ahead of Aston Villa who faced Manchester City later.

Pearson, who inspired Leicester’s escape from relegation in 2014/2015, has collected 13 points from his six matches at the helm.

This is five more than his predecessors Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores, both sacked this season, managed between them.

“He has stripped it back to basics,” Watford captain Deeney said. “I don’t want to be too simplistic because that doesn’t do him enough credit. He puts demands on the players and the players have accepted those demands.”

While Watford, who won only one of their opening 17 league games and were six points adrift at the bottom heading into Christmas, are on the up, Bournemouth’s case is different.

Bournemouth’s hopes of a sixth successive season of top-flight football are sinking.

Eddie Howe’s side looked short on confidence as they slipped to their third successive defeat without scoring a goal.

They are second bottom with 20 points from 22 games having been as high as seventh in early November.

Howe has won plaudits for the passing style Bournemouth have used to punch above their weight in the top-flight, but there are signs that it is becoming their Achilles heel.

They were often guilty of careless passing as they tried to play out from defence.

Bournemouth were lucky not to be punished early on when Gerard Deulofeu forced a smart save from goalkeeper Mark Travers, making his first Premier League start.

Bournemouth did not learn their lesson and when Travers played a loose pass out in the 42nd minute, Watford stole the ball and Ismaila Sarr’s cross fell to Doucoure to finish well.

Sarr was involved again for Watford’s second in the 65th minute when his cross was diverted to Deeney who thumped a first-time shot past Travers.

Deeney could have added to his tally as Bournemouth wilted and Pereyra’s fine finish rounded off a great day for Watford.

Since beating Manchester United on Nov. 2, Bournemouth have taken four points from their last 11 matches and unless Howe can stop the rot they are heading for relegation.

“The manager always has to take responsibility when things aren’t going well,” Howe said. “Instilling confidence back to the players is my job.”

OLAL

(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

Continue Reading

Sport

Watford revival continues with 2-1 win over Wolves

Published

on

By

Ten-man Watford continued their fine run of form under new manager Nigel Pearson with a 2-1 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.

The win boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the 2019/2020 English Premier League (EPL).

Gerard Delofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure fired Watford ahead before Pedro Neto pulled one back for Wolves.

The visitors though failed to capitalise on a numerical advantage in the last 20 minutes after defender Christian Kabasele was sent off for the hosts.

Deulofeu opened the scoring with a neat 30th minute finish when he beat goalkeeper Rui Patricio with a crisp low shot into the far corner after good work by Ismaila Sarr.

Doucoure made it 2-0 in the 49th minute when he cut inside from the left and found the top corner with a firm drive.

The shot clipped Wolves defender Conor Coady and left Patricio stranded.

Neto reduced the arrears on the hour with a heavily-deflected effort which sailed over Ben Foster.

Wolves then piled the pressure after Kabasele was shown a straight red card following a VAR review.

The centre-back was originally booked for hauling down Diogo Jota just outside the penalty area.

But Watford held on in the closing stages to celebrate their third league win coupled with one draw under Pearson.

(Edited by: Joseph Edeh and Olawale Alabi)

Continue Reading

Sport

Watford revival continues with 2-1 win over Wolves

Published

on

Ten-man Watford continued their fine run of form under new manager Nigel Pearson with a 2-1 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.

The win boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the 2019/2020 English Premier League (EPL).

Gerard Delofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure fired Watford ahead before Pedro Neto pulled one back for Wolves.

The visitors though failed to capitalise on a numerical advantage in the last 20 minutes after defender Christian Kabasele was sent off for the hosts.

Deulofeu opened the scoring with a neat 30th minute finish when he beat goalkeeper Rui Patricio with a crisp low shot into the far corner after good work by Ismaila Sarr.

Doucoure made it 2-0 in the 49th minute when he cut inside from the left and found the top corner with a firm drive.

The shot clipped Wolves defender Conor Coady and left Patricio stranded.

Neto reduced the arrears on the hour with a heavily-deflected effort which sailed over Ben Foster.

Wolves then piled the pressure after Kabasele was shown a straight red card following a VAR review.

The centre-back was originally booked for hauling down Diogo Jota just outside the penalty area.

But Watford held on in the closing stages to celebrate their third league win coupled with one draw under Pearson.

(Edited by: Joseph Edeh and Olawale Alabi)

Continue Reading

Manchester City aren’t the only big spenders  —- Guardiola Wigan thrash struggling Hull 8-0, West Brom draw with Fulham Atalanta whip Brescia 6-2 to go second in Serie A No roars as Tiger makes return to sounds of silence Chelsea win to boost UEFA Champions League chances 7 persons suspected to operate illegal employment agencies arrested Former nurse admits killing 7 United States military retirees Abia doctors lament poor infrastructure, exposure to diseases WASCE: Nigeria’s non-participation will cause irreparable damage – Afe Babalola Illegal refining: NSCDC arrests 6 suspects as facility catches fire in Oregun, Lagos Delta Govt to begin property enumeration to raise IGR — Commissioner Lawyers back Supreme Court judgment on virtual court proceedings Sports Minister congratulates UFC Champion, Usman OPEC launches Annual Statistics Bulletin CBN unveils non-interest guidelines for AGSMEIS, MSMEDF, others  Retirees’ benefits: NLC commends FG’s decision to release N7.45 billion Oyo SWAN mourns ex-3SC boss Buhari won’t fail Nigerians on anti-graft war, says Presidency United States bows to pressure, rescinds policy targeting foreign students Police recover 2 anti-aircraft guns, others in Borno Election: APC ‘ll reclaim Edo, says Sylva Lagos SWAN mourns former Vice Chairman, Ukaigwe Rape: Don urges states to domesticate sexual, gender-based violence laws Tambuwal urges Northern stakeholders to inject more resources, capacity to rescue education Illicit oil storage causes fire outbreak at Oregun – LASEMA boss Enugu airport runway for completion Aug. 30 – aviation minister 2020 MSMEs awards hold virtually on July 16 – Presidency Coronavirus: FRSC cautions commercial drivers in Nasarawa against non-use of passengers’ manifest Trump to hold news conference on Tuesday: White House Supreme Court judgment: Gov. Diri dedicates victory to God FG evacuates 590 Nigerians from UK, 305 from Dubai Coronavirus: NCD Alliance gets grants to help non-communicable disease patients Google hit with 600,000 Euro Belgian privacy fine Okowa congratulates Diri on Supreme Court victory Enugu airport reopens Aug. 30 – Sirika FirstBank rewards its Verve Card holders with free fuel Pompeo hails UK ban of Huawei from 5G networks APC youths leaders laud Gov Akeredolu’s feat in Ondo Strike: NMA warns LASG against escalating impasse with medical doctors Lagos gov’t pays N8.7bn to retirees in 6 months China’s Wanda Film warn a loss 2 executed in Iran after bomb attack Masks, cameras, action! Film production restarts in Californiaho Imbibe spirit of engagement, negotiation for uninterrupted healthcare delivery- Doctors DR Congo police fire tear gas to disperse protests over election chief Kogi Govt. approves construction, reticulation of Osara Water Scheme Ogun assesses business outfits ahead of post Coronavirus operations NiMet predicts cloudiness, rains Wednesday to Friday Death toll rises in Azerbaijan-Armenia border clashes Pastor, 59, allegedly defiles girl, 10 in Ogun