Rotherham United


A Mileta Rajović brace and Edo Kayemebe’s first goal in yellow helped Watford earn a comfortable 5-0 win over Rotherham United at Vicarage Road, ensuring the club headed into the international break with an unbeaten run stretching to six Sky Bet Championship games.

Rajović’s opener in the 10th minute ensured a fast start for the hosts, and the summer signing duly made it 2-0 with an almost identical finish from another Ken Sema cross just shy of the half-time whistle.

DR Congo international Kayembe got off the mark for the Golden Boys with a clever finish early in the second period - on his 47th appearance for the club - and substitutes Tom Ince and Matheus Martins put further gloss on the scoreline close to the death.

A first victory in three games lifts Valérien Ismaël’s charges up to 13th in the second-tier standings after 16 games - and five points off the top six - ahead of a trip to league leaders Leicester City in two weeks’ time (Saturday November 25, 3pm KO).

Head Coach Ismaël made five changes to the XI that started the goalless draw at Huddersfield Town last time out (Saturday November 4), with Ben Hamer, Ryan Andrews, Ryan Porteous, Ismaël Koné and Rajović all coming in, while Wesley Hoedt took on the captaincy in Daniel Bachmann’s absence.

With the fixture falling on Armistice Day, all inside The Vic paid their respects before kick-off, with a Remembrance parade taking place, Abide With Me and The Last Post both being performed, wreaths being laid and a minute’s silence being observed.

Following a tentative start to proceedings, which saw Watford dominate the early possession, the first whiff of a chance fell the way of the visitors, though Sam Nombe couldn’t trouble Hamer with his speculative cross-shot in the sixth minute after he had got the better of Porteous.

Recalled forward Rajović just couldn’t get his head to a looping Koné ball at the other end moments later, but the Dane made no mistake when given his next opportunity, connecting well with Sema’s cross to make it 1-0 with his fifth goal of the season.

Kayembe headed wide from a corner in the 12th minute, as the Hornets looked to capitalise on their winning momentum, and then just past the midway point in the half Sema forced Viktor Johansson into a low stop after neat footwork by Koné.

Andrews and Yáser Asprilla were seeing lots of the ball down the right-hand side, though clear-cut chances proved somewhat hard to come by, and seconds after the half-hour mark stand-in skipper Hoedt powered a driven shot at goal that was comfortably held by Johansson.

A premature withdrawal for the Millers’ Sam Clucas brought play to a brief halt, and his replacement Cafú almost made an immediate impact with a swerving free-kick from range that Hamer did well to push away from danger.

Colombian teenager Asprilla took a knock in the minutes preceding half-time, but was able to return to the action after receiving treatment, and then Cafú became the first player to go into referee Stephen Martin’s book for a heavy challenge on Andrews.

Though the game had entered the fourth of five minutes of added time at the end of the first 45, there was still time for Rajović to double his and Watford’s tally, the 24-year-old again finishing a Sema ball off from close range to put his team in a commanding position at the break.

The first effort after the interval came from Rotherham’s Aston Villa loanee Sebastian Revan, though he could only skew the ball wide after making a decent run, and the away side then made a double change with Daniel Ayala and Fred Onyedinma coming onto the field.

It wasn’t long before Watford were back on the attack, and within nine minutes of the restart Kayembe made it 3-0 with a well-taken strike after being picked out in the box expertly by Porteous.

Now cruising and in full control of the contest, the Golden Boys looked to further increase their lead as Asprilla hit a speculative shot high and wide close to the hour, and Andrews continued to prove a thorn in Rotherham’s side on the right flank.

Ismaël rang the changes with little under 25 minutes left, as Asprilla, Jamal Lewis and Jake Livermore made way for Martins, Ince and Giorgi Chakvetadze, and the latter quickly got the fans up off their seats with some tricky footwork.

Hamer had to stay alert to tip a lofted Cafú attempt past his post, before a Cohen Bramall strike - and then an Ayala chance at the back post - reminded the Hornets of the quality possessed by their opponents.

Rhys Healey came into the fray with six minutes to go, while Rotherham’s Cafú went off without being replaced due to the South Yorkshiremen having already made five replacements, and Ince quickly made the numerical advantage count with a deft finish to make it 4-0.

Kayembe could have had a second, when he audaciously flicked the ball narrowly wide past Johansson and the woodwork, and sub Tom Dele-Bashiru then made the Swedish stopper work with a fierce drive from 18 yards.

Watford continued to push forward deep into seven minutes of added time, and Martins wrapped up the convincing win with a fifth, slotting into the corner after Healey had initially been set through on goal by Ince.


Team Stats

Player Stats

Next Game