Watford vs Leeds LIVE: Championship result and reaction after Mateo Joseph’s late equaliser

Emmanuel Dennis celebrated restoring Watford’s lead with a backflip (John Walton/PA Wire)
Emmanuel Dennis celebrated restoring Watford’s lead with a backflip (John Walton/PA Wire)

Leeds were unable to return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship after being held to a draw at Watford in the late kick off on Good Friday.

Tom Cleverley kicked off his time as Watford interim head coach off to a good start prior to the international break with a 1-0 win over Birmingham City, and followed it up with a hard-fought point against Leeds.

Despite Leeds’ significantly better position in the league, it was the Hornets who started brightly, taking the lead through Vakoun Bayo.

Leeds fought back, Crysencio Summerville scored a stunning individual curled strike into the top corner to make it 1-1.

Emmanuel Dennis put the Hornets ahead with another good goal, this time an individual effort capped off with a backflip celebration, and it looked enough for the home side before Mateo Joseph scored at the second attempt just moments after being brought onto the field.

Daniel Farke boasts an impressive record for promotion to the top flight, having managed to do so twice when manager of Norwich.

Follow all the live action from the Championship clash in the blog below, and get the latest odds and tips here.

Watford vs Leeds LIVE

  • GOAL! Joseph scores! - Watford 2-2 Leeds [85’]

  • HT: Watford 2-1 Leeds

  • GOAL! Dennis fires Hornets into the lead! - Watford 2-1 Leeds [45’]

  • GOAL! Summerville fires in stunning equaliser - Watford 1-1 Leeds [37’]

  • GOAL! Bayo fires the hosts ahead - Watford 1-0 Leeds [30’]

  • Leeds XI: Meslier, Bryam, Gray, Rodon, Cooper, Ampadu, Kamara, Summerville, James, Georginio, Bamford

  • Watford XI: Bachmann, Sierralta, Porteous, Lewis, Pollock, Asprilla, Bayo, Dele-Bashiru, Dennis, Kayembe, Andrews

Watford FC 2 - 2 Leeds United FC

Match report

22:13 , Sonia Twigg

Substitute Mateo Joseph netted a late equaliser to earn Leeds a 2-2 draw at Watford - but that was not enough to lift his side back to the top of the Championship table.

Mid-table Watford led twice before half-time thanks to goals from Vakoun Bayo and Emmanuel Dennis either side of a fine Leeds reply from Crysencio Summerville.

Leeds were in danger of suffering a first league loss of 2024 until 20-year-old Spaniard Mateo came off the bench and scored seconds later.

Leeds ended Good Friday in second spot however as Ipswich, 1-0 winners at Blackburn earlier in the day, are a point ahead.

Via PA Media

FT: Watford 2-2 Leeds

21:58 , Sonia Twigg

FT: Leeds cannot push for a winner, and they will leave Vicarage Road with a point having come from behind twice.

Three goals in the first half put Watford ahead, but Joseph, who had only just come onto the field, was in the right place at the right time to tap the ball home to ensure his side remain unbeaten in the league in 2024.

Watford 2-2 Leeds

21:55 , Sonia Twigg

90+4 mins: Ampadu throws for Leeds, it’s initially cleared but came back to Firpo, and the second ball was headed clear by Sierralta.

Watford 2-2 Leeds

21:54 , Sonia Twigg

90+3 mins: The game has just stopped for some pushing and shoving, there looked like a foot-stamp off the ball, but maybe too much was made from it.

Watford 2-2 Leeds

21:52 , Sonia Twigg

90+1 min: Leeds are keeping with their tactics and trying to build from the back, but so far they have just been forced back into their own half.

Watford 2-2 Leeds

21:51 , Sonia Twigg

90 mins: We are into stoppage time now, Joseph goes down in the box, but the referee believes he has committed a free kick and that will give the home side some breathing room.

There will be five minutes of added time.

Watford 2-2 Leeds

21:50 , Sonia Twigg

89 mins: It is just feeling like Watford’s threat disappeared when Emmanuel Dennis had to leave the field because of a knock.

The Hornets have struggled to get going since and it is Leeds who have kept pushing, and will keep doing so to try and claim a late winner.

Watford manager Tom Cleverley makes two more substitutions, but can they hold on for a point.

Watford 2-2 Leeds

21:48 , Sonia Twigg

87 mins: Leeds have just turned on the pressure here, James curls in a corner, and the goalkeeper has to hold on.

GOAL! Joseph scores! - Watford 2-2 Leeds

21:46 , Sonia Twigg

GOAL! 85 mins: Summerville again was at the heart of it, the ball was bouncing everywhere.

Joseph scuffed his first chance, but on the saved rebound managed to tap it home!

He had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds!

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:45 , Sonia Twigg

84 mins: Leeds make another couple of changes, Byram and Kamara off, Joseph and Anthony on.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:43 , Sonia Twigg

82 mins: An urgency has finally been injected into Leeds’ performance, and they have less than 10 minutes of normal time to find an equaliser, and capitalise after Leicester dropped points earlier in the day.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:40 , Sonia Twigg

79 mins: Another almost for Leeds, a flick from Bamford, Firpo spots the run of Piroe, but the final delivery is just slightly overhit and he cannot capitalise as the ball runs into the hands of the goalkeeper.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:37 , Sonia Twigg

76 mins: Summerville tries to play in James but Jamal Lewis was in the right place to prevent the forward from being able to take a shot.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:34 , Sonia Twigg

73 mins: Bamford tries to drop and play a quick one two, but Leeds were almost caught on the break!

The visitors’ intensity has just been dropping slightly in the last few minutes.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:31 , Sonia Twigg

70 mins: There’s just a touch of frustration from the away fans as Leeds play it back to their own goalkeeper twice, but they might be about to make another substitution.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:28 , Sonia Twigg

66 mins: Bamford was millimetres away! James curled an attempt towards goal and it was fractionally ahead of Bamford, who would have just had to tap the ball into the net to find the equaliser.

That might be Leeds’ best chance of the half.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:24 , Sonia Twigg

63 min: Watford have another corner, there’s a drumroll from the crowd, and it was kept alive before a wild chance from Sierralta gives Leeds the free kick and the chance to make their first change.

Cooper comes off for Firpo.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:21 , Sonia Twigg

60 min: The game is just being broken up a lot by both sides, quite a few deliberate fouls that are stopping either side from getting going.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:18 , Sonia Twigg

57 min: It looks like Watford are about to make a change and Emmanuel Dennis could be about to come off. It is his oustanding goal that is separating the sides, but it looks like he has felt something and will have to leave the field because of it.

He was replaced by Kone.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:17 , Sonia Twigg

56 min: Leeds have a corner, and commit a foul trying to wrestle the ball back from the Hornets near the touchline.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:14 , Sonia Twigg

52 min: Leeds came close again from a free-kick. Watford were just able to head it clear, but it was flagged off for the ball having gone out in the build up, and with no VAR it would not have stood, even though the ball had not gone out.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:12 , Sonia Twigg

50 min: Summerville drives forwards and he forces Bachmann into a save! He has looked the brightest from Leeds throughout this game and came close, although he was trying to beat the goalkeeper at his near post.

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:09 , Sonia Twigg

48 min: So far the second half has started in the same as the first, the hosts have had more of the ball, and a corner, but have not created anything significant from it

Watford 2-1 Leeds

21:07 , Sonia Twigg

46 min: The second half is underway

HT: Watford 2-1 Leeds

20:51 , Sonia Twigg

Half time: That was an exciting half of football, and there have been some stunning goals.

Summerville levelled the score, cancelling out Bayo’s opener with a curled strike into the top corner, but Dennis was not to be out-done. He wrong-footed the defender, drilled the ball into the back of the net, and then celebrated with a backflip.

GOAL! Dennis fires Hornets into the lead! - Watford 2-1 Leeds

20:47 , Sonia Twigg

GOAL! 45 min: Emmanuel Dennis is back to his best!

That was a lovely piece of individual skill to create the space in the box to get the shot underway before firing under Meslier.

The Hornets have restored their lead.

Watford 1-1 Leeds

20:46 , Sonia Twigg

44 min: Another Watford corner, and this time it does fall to a player in yellow and black, although Pollock was not able to get sufficient power on his header and Meslier was able to make a straighforward save.

Watford 1-1 Leeds

20:42 , Sonia Twigg

40 min: Cooper had to be alert there for Leeds at the back to turn the ball behind and away from the incoming Bayo.

As they have done all evening, Leeds deal with the subsequent corner comfortably.

GOAL! Summerville fires in stunning equaliser - Watford 1-1 Leeds

20:39 , Sonia Twigg

GOAL! 37 min: That was a stunner! Summerville is picked out almost at the sideline, he makes his way into just the corner of the box before unleashing an absolute beauty of a curled strike right into the top corner.

There was nothing the goalkeeper could do about that!

Watford 1-0 Leeds

20:36 , Sonia Twigg

34 min: Rodon makes a brilliant defensive challenge to prevent Dennis just strolling into a place where he could get a shot away. That could have made things twice as challenging for the visitors, but for the defender.

Watford 1-0 Leeds

20:35 , Sonia Twigg

33 min: Leeds try to pick out Bamford, as their attempt to return to the summit of the Championship was dealt a blow by Watford’s opener, but the ball is too long for the forward and runs out for a goal kick.

GOAL! Bayo fires the hosts ahead - Watford 1-0 Leeds

20:33 , Sonia Twigg

GOAL! 30 min: Watford break quickly and capitalise, Meslier was able to stop the first shot from Dennis, but the ball just fell to Bayo who smashed it into the back of the net.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:31 , Sonia Twigg

29 mins: Both sides have had just the one shot on target so far in the game, but Watford have seen more of the ball, with 58 per cent of the possession, compared to 42 from Leeds.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:28 , Sonia Twigg

27 min: It’s swung in and again cleared at the near post by the men in white, but they cannot release James on the attempted counter.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:27 , Sonia Twigg

26 min: Another coming together disrupts the flow of play, but there is no cause for a yellow card, although the Hornets will have another corner.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:25 , Sonia Twigg

22 min: Other than Summerville’s one chance where the goalkeeper was tested, there has not been much quality at either end in this match.

Watford have started brightly, but Meslier has not really come under pressure so far.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:21 , Sonia Twigg

20 min: Watford have another corner, they have had a few already, but Leeds will have the ball back for a foul in the box almost immediately after the kick was taken.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:21 , Sonia Twigg

18 min: Summerville tries to get a foul for an almost identical incident to Watford’s penalty shout, but the referee was consistent and nothing was given.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:17 , Sonia Twigg

15 min: Sir Elton John is in the stands watching on as Leeds have a chance! Summerville got a got curled shot away and the goalkeeper was just able to make the save!

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:14 , Sonia Twigg

12 min: Watford fans are calling for a penalty after Bashiru goes down in the box, play has stopped, but the referee waived play on. It would have been a soft penalty, but his foot was stamped on.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:12 , Sonia Twigg

10 min: The game has started in a very intense fashion, as Leeds fans have come to be accustomed to, but neither side has had a significant chance yet.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:08 , Sonia Twigg

6 min: The referee has just had a word with a player from each side as it started to get slightly fiesty but nothing has happened.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:04 , Sonia Twigg

3 min: Emmanuel Dennis gets on the ball early and drives forward for Watford, winning a dangerous throw in, but it is cleared comfortably by Leeds.

Watford 0-0 Leeds

20:02 , Sonia Twigg

1 min: Watford kick the game underway

Watford vs Leeds

20:00 , Sonia Twigg

The teams are out on the field and the match is about to get underway at Vicarage Road.

Watford vs Leeds

19:57 , Sonia Twigg

Tom Cleverley was asked about being head coach by Sky Sports: “I see it as a head start, the fact that I know the club and the chairman. I’ve not changed as a person, I was a respectful teammate and now I hope they respect me as a coach.

“We understand we’re at home and they were affected by the international break quite a lot, they’re a high energy, high intensity team and we have to match that.”

Watford vs Leeds

19:52 , Sonia Twigg

Just five minutes to go until kick off and after Ipswich’s win over Blackburn in the 5.30pm kick off, Leeds have a chance to go back top of the table.

Daniel Farke speaks ahead of the match

19:50 , Sonia Twigg

Daniel Farke spoke to Sky Sports ahead of the game: “You are forced to deal with some disappointing outcomes. It’s football and for that, they have to be on it again, I was a bit more concerned with some unnecessary injuries during the international break.

“It was not the easiest break but we have to be positive again.”

Watford vs Leeds

19:45 , Sonia Twigg

Kick off is now just 15 minutes away and the players will be out on the field warming up ahead of the Championship clash.

Watford vs Leeds

19:40 , Sonia Twigg

Watford vs Leeds

19:25 , Sonia Twigg

Here are some photos from around the stadium:

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

How to watch Watford vs Leeds

19:15 , Sonia Twigg

When is Watford vs Leeds?

Watford vs Leeds is due to kick off at 8pm GMT on Friday 29 March at Vicarage Road.

How can I watch it?

Viewers in the United Kingdom can watch the match live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, with coverage on the channels from 7:30pm GMT.

If you’re travelling abroad and want to watch major sporting events, you might need a VPN to unblock your streaming app. Our VPN round-up is here to help and includes deals on VPNs in the market. Viewers using a VPN need to make sure that they comply with any local regulations where they are, and also with the terms of their service provider.

Watford team news

19:06 , Sonia Twigg

Tom Cleverley has named his team for his first home match in interim charge of the club.

Watford XI: Bachmann, Sierralta, Porteous, Lewis, Pollock, Asprilla, Bayo, Dele-Bashiru, Dennis, Kayembe, Andrews

Leeds team news

19:04 , Sonia Twigg

Rutter is fit enough to play for Leeds but there are three key absences.

There will be no Gruev, Gnoto or Roberts, meaning Ampadu will move into central midfield and Cooper will be at centre back.

Leeds XI: Meslier, Bryam, Gray, Rodon, Cooper, Ampadu, Kamara, Summerville, James, Georginio, Bamford

Watford vs Leeds

18:58 , Sonia Twigg

The teams have arrived at Vicarage Road

Watford vs Leeds

18:45 , Sonia Twigg

Team news

Watford were able to come through the international break unscathed, having no new fitness concerns to report. That said, Jeremy Ngakia and Ken Sema are doubtful to make their return against Leeds, having gone into the break nursing problems.

Wesley Hoedt will also miss the fixture as he serves the final game of his two-match suspension.

Leeds weren’t so lucky in the injuries department - Connor Roberts limped off for Wales in the Euro play-off final defeat to Poland, while Charlie Cresswell was notably absent from the England U21 squad that thrashed Luxembourg 7-0 on Tuesday.

Both could be unavailable for tonight’s outing, joining Stuart Dallas and Pascal Struijk in the treatment room.

Watford vs Leeds

18:30 , Sonia Twigg

Leeds travel to a 13th-placed Watford with an eye to at least briefly create breathing space between them and their promotion rivals, sitting level on points with Leicester and just one above Ipswich Town in third going into the contest.

With everything still to play for in the race for the automatics, the Hornets will be eager to cause an upset and derail Leeds’ rampant charge towards a one-season return to the Premier League.

Watford vs Leeds

18:00 , Sonia Twigg

Leeds United will be hellbent on picking up from where they left off before the international break as the Championship leaders make the trip to Vicarage Road to take on Watford.

With 12 wins in their last 13 Championship matches, Daniel Farke’s men are unbeaten in the league in 2024, closing what was once a 17-point gap with Leicester City to knock the Foxes off their perch at the top of the table.

Watford vs Leeds

15:58 , Sonia Twigg

Good afternoon and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of Watford vs Leeds in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Hornets will have a tough task ahead of them with Leeds in the fight alongside Leicester and Ipswich to be crowned Championship winners.