Birmingham City


Imrân Louza, Keinan Davis and Britt Assombalonga etched their names onto the scoresheet as Watford secured a 3-0 victory in impressive style at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets got off to the perfect start as Louza fired his side into the lead with a first-time finish on his weaker foot, gracefully placing Ken Sema’s cross into the net. Buoyed by the opener, Davis would double the Hornets’ lead inside 20 minutes with a clinical strike into the roof of the net sending the Watford faithful into raptures.

Chris Wilder’s side would be disappointed to head into the half-time break with just the two goals as Ismaël Koné, Jeremy Ngakia and Craig Cathcart all came close to finding the back of the net. After the interval, the away side sought to get themselves back into contention, forcing Watford's defence to remain vigilant.

But they couldn't stop substitute Assombalonga from adding gloss to the scoreline as he notched his first in yellow to secure a memorable victory for the Hornets.

Hornets Head Coach Wilder made three changes from Saturday’s starting XI, bringing in Ngakia, Leandro Bacuna and Koné for Mario Gaspar, the injured Ismaïla Sarr and the suspended Hamza Choudhury.

Following a disappointing defeat to Queens Park Rangers last time out, the Hornets were quick to put their best foot forward as inside five minutes they took the lead.

On the edge of the box, Davis swept his pass out wide to Ken Sema, who drilled a cross to Louza. Without hesitation, the Moroccan fired it into the far corner to give Watford an early lead.

With the Hornets in the ascendancy, it wouldn’t take long for them to earn another chance to score as Davis and Louza, who were both involved in the opener, combined again in another attacking move.

Ryan Porteous began the move, bringing the ball down before exhibiting impressive composure to release the goalscorer Louza. On the move, the 23-year-old played in Davis who turned Kevin Long inside and out before releasing a powerful effort into the roof of the net, doubling the lead to The Vic’s delight.

At the 20-minute mark, the attacking football seemed to be never-ending as Ngakia released a venomous strike from the right-hand side of the goal, smashing the woodwork having left John Ruddy beaten.

Led by João Pedro, the front-line were causing the Blues problems and the Brazilian almost teed up the third as Koné hit a sweet strike just wide of the target from the edge of the box.

Trying to get in on the goalscoring action before referee Darren England blew for the interval, Watford skipper Cathcart almost headed Louza’s corner past Ruddy, but the Northern Irishman’s header was too powerful and it went away from the goal.

After the stoppage, João Pedro forced the Blues’ shot-stopper to make a save after dribbling past multiple Birmingham bodies before hitting a tame effort at Ruddy.

Following that, the Blues had their first meaningful chance of the game as half-time substitute Scott Hogan rolled his effort wide of Daniel Bachmann’s goal in a promising opportunity for the away side.

Despite João Pedro’s early chance, the Hornets had to endure a resurgent Birmingham in the early stages of the second-half as Auston Trusty volleyed Jordan Graham’s cross over the bar and Lukas Jutkiewicz forced Bachmann to parry his effort away from goal.

Wilder’s Hornets remained resilient in the face of a lifted Birmingham City as the Head Coach looked to his bench to match the new intensity set by the away side – Ngakia and Davis making way for Gaspar and Assombalonga.

Just as Wilder would have hoped, one of the changes made the difference as Assombalonga scrambled Koné’s squared-cross over the line to make it three without reply for the Golden Boys.

And the Hornets kept their performance levels high until the full-time whistle to secure a clean sheet and an important three points in the race for the play-off places in the second-tier.

Watford will hope to maintain this momentum heading into another crucial home fixture in the Sky Bet Championship against Wigan Athletic this Saturday (March 18, 3pm KO).


Team Stats

Player Stats

Next Game