Gerard Deulofeu scored Watford’s first high-flight hat-trick since 1986 as they boosted their hopes of a Europa League region by cruising to victory at Cardiff.
Deulofeu set apart the Hornets in front on 18 minutes sooner than two targets within the put of as many 2nd-half of minutes ended any hope of a fightback from the hosts, who performed a feature in their very savor downfall with some woeful defending.
The Spaniard opened the scoring after Bruno Manga gave the ball away, and doubled the reduction after a brief counter-assault. He carried out his hat-trick after Harry Arter surrendered the ball tamely.
Deulofeu then situation up Troy Deeney for a faucet-in as Watford took a 4-0 lead.
Cardiff arguably can also savor done greater for the web site visitors’ opening three targets, though they were aggrieved at 1-0 that they weren’t awarded what looked a undeniable penalty when Daryl Janmaat brought down Josh Murphy.
They did put together a comfort when Sol Bamba bundled home, however the four-purpose margin used to be restored when Deeney scored his 2nd from Will Hughes’ pass in ruin time.
Victory sends Watford up to seventh whereas Cardiff remain 17th, though they’ll also return to the relegation zone over the weekend.
Watford aiming for Europe
Many felt Watford would possibly per chance per chance well be within the lower reaches of the desk this season along with Cardiff, but as March approaches they’re seventh and through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
They authorized about shaded the early exchanges here, though their opening purpose used to be a gift from the hosts.
Cardiff did not certain not once but three times, with Manga surrendering possession and Sean Morrison and Joe Bennett failing to to find reduction the ball in a scrappy passage of play that culminated with Deulofeu sweeping home a loyal, controlled enact.
As with the first, Watford’s 2nd used to be as grand about Cardiff’s sorrowful defending because the leisure, with the Hornets countering from a situation-half and Deulofeu finishing after outpacing Manga and rounding Neil Etheridge.
He repeated the trick rapidly afterwards. This time Arter surrendered possession and Deulofeu again had time and put to enact and obtain Watford’s first hat-trick within the finish division since Designate Falco.
The 24-year outdated Spaniard capped a supreme point out with an assist for Deeney, who can also not leave out after a sexy group crawl as he ended a slip of eight video games without a purpose in opposition to the Bluebirds.
And Deeney used to be not done there, sweeping home from Hughes’ pass after Bamba had pulled a purpose reduction by firing home from a rebound after his header hit the put up.
“I am happy with the methodology we’re playing,” mentioned Hornets manager Javi Gracia. “We are competing within the overall video games and with this ambition, I am distinct we can attain something various this season.
“Now we savor 40 aspects now which is authorized, but we’re seeking to make a selection going within the league and FA Cup.
“I am more than happy with all my gamers, they’re exhibiting their quality and commitment, the group is getting greater and greater, but we must strive to give a enhance to.”
Cardiff clobbered after emotional week
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock spoke this week about the desire to manufacture in “12 cup finals” but their preparation used to be again overshadowed by the fallout over the transfer of Emiliano Sala.
Sala used to be Cardiff’s file signing but by no methodology performed for the club – he died when a aircraft piloted by David Ibbotson, who remains lacking, crashed.
Warnock mentioned the £15m transfer can also had been greater performed, but that chairman Mehmet Dalman “will originate issues within the authorized methodology”.
Cardiff now survey to Everton loanee Oumar Niasse as their main purpose menace, but he used to be discovered trying authorized sooner than Watford’s opener as he poked the ball straight at Ben Foster after stealing in within the reduction of the web site visitors’ defence.
Winger Murphy also looked spirited – firing straight at Foster from a first fee situation – and belief he must had been awarded a penalty on the stroke of half of-time.
Bluebirds boss Warnock can also not to find over “the injustice of it”.
He suggested BBC Match of the Day: “Troy Deeney and all their workers suggested us it used to be a stonewall penalty. I had to strive and to find it out of their minds at half of-time.
“When each person from the opponents inform you and deep down I focus on the overall officers knew the truth is. I focus on the referees wager most of the time and that you would be in a position to well’t originate that at this level.”
The Bluebirds were trying to to find three consecutive high-flight league video games for the first time since February 1961, but Watford’s opening purpose looked as if it can per chance well dent their self belief and additionally they by no methodology recovered.
Deulofeu joins the Windass and Henry club – stats
- Warnock has misplaced his previous four home league fits in opposition to Watford by an aggregate of 16-2, with this his 16th league defeat in opposition to the Hornets. Most efficient in opposition to Finding out (16) has he misplaced as many league fits as a manager.
- Watford scored five targets in a high-flight match for the first time since a success 5-1 in opposition to Leicester in November 1986.
- Deulofeu has had a hand in seven targets in his previous three Premier League appearances in opposition to Cardiff (5 targets, 2 assists).
- Deulofeu turned handiest the third participant to obtain a Premier League hat-trick on a Friday, after Dean Windass (Bradford v Derby, April 2000) and Thierry Henry (Arsenal v Liverpool and Leeds in April 2004).
- Deeney’s first seven Premier League assists were engrossing about Odion Ighalo – his 9 since had been for eight various gamers (Capoue twice, Kabasele, Niang, Richarlison, Doucoure, Gray, Sema and Deulofeu).
- Cardiff savor conceded 28 home Premier League targets this season – better than any other aspect.
- All four Premier League hat-systems scored in Wales had been scored by the opposition – Luis Suarez v Cardiff (Liverpool, 2014), Riyad Mahrez v Swansea (Leicester, 2015), Jermain Defoe v Swansea (Sunderland, 2016) and Deulofeu.
Man of the match – Gerard Deulofeu (Watford)
Cardiff Metropolis host Everton within the Premier League on Tuesday, 26 February. Watford are at Liverpool the next night.