First Team 07/04/2019

Deulofeu: “I’m Just Happy To Help The Team”

Gerard Deulofeu admitted he was just happy to help the team after his two-goal cameo off the bench helped Watford into the FA Cup final.

Hornets boss Javi Gracia decided to partner Andre Gray – who had shone as a second half substitute in the midweek win over Fulham – alongside Troy Deeney against Wolves at Wembley on Sunday.

But, with Watford chasing the game at 2-0 down, Gracia introduced Deulofeu on 66 minutes.

Within 13 minutes, the Spaniard had clipped a stunning lobbed finish over John Ruddy. Then Deeney completed the comeback with a penalty in added time.

But Watford – and Deulofeu – weren’t finished. When Gray slipped a pass into the former Barcelona man’s path in the fourth minute of added time, he coolly slipped the ball beyond Ruddy to blow the roof off Wembley Stadium.

“When I was younger, I scored some goals like this at Barcelona,” admitted an overjoyed Deulofeu. “I saw the keeper up a bit and I put it over into the corner.

“Then with the penalty, Troy has so much experience. My thought then was that we could go on and win it.

“For me, it was good to help the team, and to then kill Wolves off in extra time.

“It was a good counter-attack, and after a one-two with Andre, my finish was really quick and I don’t think the keeper expected it.

“Here in England, games change so quick, and I’m just happy to help the team.”

Watford, of course, will now return to Wembley in May to face Manchester City with the FA Cup trophy on the line.

Deulofeu is excited at the opportunity to write another chapter in the club’s history.

“I’m so happy to be in the final,” he added.

“It will be tough but we are here at Wembley another time. We will fight in the final. We will suffer but let’s see if we can win the Cup and make history for the club.”

First Team 07/04/2019

Gracia On Deulofeu: “He Was Angry & I Like To See That”

By Kevin Affleck

Watch Gracia's post-match interview above or read on below.

Javi Gracia said he unleashed a motivated Gerard Deulofeu on Wolverhampton Wanderers and added he knew the Spaniard had the ability to conjure up two moments of quality like that to win the semi-final of all semi-finals.

The Head Coach made the big call to start with Andre Gray ahead of Deulofeu, but sent for the summer signing from Barcelona with 24 minutes remaining and with his side in a deep hole. Deulofeu answered the call big time, chipping the first in in a goal that bore more than a resemblance to the one Ronaldinho got against Chelsea in 2005.

Then, after Deeney rammed in a penalty, Deulofeu scored the winner in extra-time by surging past Conor Coady and sliding the ball past John Ruddy before he had time to even set himself.

"We knew when we started with other players, that Gerard would be important during the game," said Gracia. "I knew it with more spaces. He was angry and I like to see my players with his attitude. When they feel angry in those moments they are able to show what they are able to do. He helped the steam to score two important goals of high quality. It is not a surprise for me because I see him in all the training sessions."

Gracia has shown he is not afraid of making the big calls. He left Deulofeu out against Manchester City, twice, and Everton away and also substituted him here against Tottenham.

"He always accepts the decision," said the Head Coach. "He knows we have other players in the same situation. I suppose he was angry in that moment. He wanted to play in the semi-final. He has played in almost all the games before. He wanted to help the team. All the players are showing they deserve to and it is not easy to choose the moments for all of them. I try to choose the best moment for all of them."

The tally took Deulofeu's haul to nine for the season and, crucially, two of them have now come in a big game.

"Gerard is capable of that," said Heurelho Gomes on BBC Radio 5 live. "He does it in training. It was difficult for him today but he showed we are working as a team and he changed the game."