10-man Watford hang on to beat Wolves

Tom HomewoodAssistant Producer

10-man Watford beat Wolves 2-1 at Vicarage Road as Nigel Pearson adds to his impressive unbeaten run since he joined the club at the start of December.

Gerard Deulofeu opened the scoring for the Hornets with a well placed first time finish before Abdoulaye Doucoure doubled their advantage after the restart with the help of a deflection.

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Pedro Neto pulled one back for Wolves with his first Premier League goal with the help of another huge deflection, and their chances of a comeback were given a boost with 20 minutes to play after Watford were reduced to ten men.

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Christian Kabasele was originally shown a yellow card for a trip on Diogo Jota, but after VAR had a look at the challenge, it was upgraded to a straight red.

Watford hung on to claim all three points at home and are now just a point away from escaping the relegation zone, while Wolves remain in seventh.

Deulofeu celebrates with Deeney (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Deulofeu celebrates with Deeney (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Raul Jimenez, Romain Saiss, Adama Traore and Matt Doherty returned to the starting XI after Wolves’ 1-0 defeat to Liverpool last time out.

Watford midfielder Roberto Pereyra recovered from illness to take his place on the bench and defender Craig Cathcart started after overcoming injury.

Jimenez had the first real chance of the game, turning inside of Christian Kabasele onto his right foot, but he screwed his shot wide with only Ben Foster to beat.

Rui Patricio was then called into action at the other end, getting down well to deny Ismaila Sarr's snapshot from eight yards out.

The home side took the lead in the 30th minute through Gerard Deulofeu as Watford capitalised on a defensive error.

Sarr cut out a loose pass from Leandre Dendoncker and laid it off to the left-edge of the box for Deulofeu, who still had plenty to do, but coolly rolled it past Patricio first-time into the far corenr.

The Spaniard could have had a second after he latched onto a cross from the right but he couldn’t direct his effort on target.

Sarr should have made it 2-0 just before the break when Troy Deeney played in Sarr, but the Senegal international was forced wide and dinked his effort into the side netting.

Deulofeu finds the bottom corner to make it 1-0 (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Deulofeu finds the bottom corner to make it 1-0 (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Watford doubled their lead four minutes after the restart as goalscorer Deulofeu turned provider.

He squeezed a pass out to Abdoulaye Doucoure, who took a touch out of his feet before his effort deflected off of Conor Coady's attempted challenge and into the back of the net.

Pedro Neto pulled one back for Wolves on the hour mark with the help of another huge deflection. His long range strike coming off Kabasele and looping over Ben Foster for his first Premier League goal.

Watford were reduced to 10-men with 20 minutes to go after Kabasele tripped Diogo Jota and referee Andy Madley originally showed him a yellow card, but that was upgraded to a straight red following a lengthy VAR review as he was deemed to be stopping a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Matt Doherty almost restored parity, but after getting up well and directing his header into the bottom corner, Ben Foster produced a brilliant save to keep it out.

Watford continue their unbeaten run under new manager Nigel Pearson and are now only a point away from escaping the Premier League drop zone.

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