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Matchday Review

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Sat 25 Jan At 19.01 PM

Highlights | Watford 2-1 Burnley

  • Burnley reduced to 10 in opening minutes after Kendrick red card
  • Deeney opens the scoring on 11 minutes
  • Niang scores first Watford goal on stroke of half-time
  • Barnes penalty sets up nervy final few minutes
  • Hornets climb up to 10th in the Premier League

Watford moved into tenth place in the Premier League on Saturday with a 2-1 win over away strugglers Burnley.

Troy Deeney and M’Baye Niang netted before the interval, in a first-half that saw Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick sent off for a tackle on Jose Holebas.

Ashley Barnes converted from the spot after Sebastian Prodl was adjudged to have handled Joey Barton’s shot inside the area.

Walter Mazzarri made two changes to the Watford team that beat Arsenal on Tuesday, Holebas replacing Miguel Britos at the back.

Mauro Zarate made his Golden Boys debut in place of Daryl Janmaat.

It was a beautiful day for football, a warmer afternoon at The Vic than has been enjoyed in a good few months.

The opening exchanges were evenly matched until the match took a turn with six minutes gone, when the Clarets were reduced to ten-men.

Hendrick went in on Holebas with two feet raised, in-front of the technical area, and referee Michael Oliver had no hesitation as he brandished a red card.

With their first effort at goal the Hornets were in front. Craig Cathcart picked the ball up on the right before playing a pass into M’Baye Niang.

The speedy winger put the ball onto his left-foot and whipped a magnificent cross towards the far-post where captain Troy Deeney arch himself to power a firm header past Tom Heaton in goal.

Deeney and Niang combined to deadly effect midway through the half as the latter unleashed a powerful curling effort towards the top-corner, which Heaton did well to tip over the bar.

The Hornets continued to pour forward and Zarate tried his luck as he fired a volley at goal following Deeney’s flick-on, however Heaton saved comfortably.

Dyche’s side fashioned their first effort through Joey Barton’s free-kick, however Heurelho Gomes produced a fine finger-tip stop to tip the ball over the bar.

Niang burst his way into the box, past two defenders, before hitting a low strike which Heaton saved as the hosts dominated possession.

Zarate was inches away from extending the lead as the half neared an end. He cut into the area before arrowing a shot which flew just wide of the far-post.

A short-corner found its way to Etienne Capoue inside the Burnley box. The Frenchman put his laces through the ball only for Ashley Barnes to block from in front of goal with his head.

But just a minute later the Hornets were up two goals to the good.

Holebas swung a fantastic ball in from the left-flank which Niang met with a flicked header into the far-corner for his first goal in Watford colours.

The half-time whistle sounded shortly after, putting to an end what had been a dominant opening half for the Hornets.

Dyche’s Clarets came out firing and fashioned a few half-chances at goal, however substitute Robbie Brady wasted a good opportunity as he fired over Gomes’ bar when well positioned.

Mazzarri made his first change of the match shortly after the hour mark as Abdoulaye Doucouré entered the field in place of Valon Behrami.

The Hornets almost had a third as Capoue got onto the end of Holebas’ cut-back, however his first-time effort failed to test Heaton.

Niang sprung his defender and put a ball across the face of goal. Deeney got onto the end of it only for Heaton to pull off a fantastic one-handed save.

Gomes too was called into action shortly after as he dealt well with Scott Arfield’s rising strike.

The Clarets had a goal back moments later in a frantic few minutes. Firstly Craig Cathcart made a fantastic block off the line from an over-head kick, and the ball fell to Barton.

The midfielder aimed a shot at goal, which struck Prödl’s arm on the way through. Referee Oliver pointed to the spot to hand Dyche’s side a lifeline.

Ashley Barnes stepped up and rolled his kick into the bottom left hand corner.

The Hornets’ second change of the match saw Isaac Success come on in place of the impressive Niang, before Daryl Janmaat replaced Zarate a few minutes later.

It was a nervy final four minutes of injury time as Barnes broke at goal, following a mis-hit clearance, only to put his effort straight at Gomes.

And the final minute proved to be the most dramatic of the match. Success broke down the left-flank and squared to Deeney, who fired the ball in, but it was ruled out for handball and Burnley broke up-field quickly.

A final free-kick was played into the box with everyone, including keeper Heaton, inside the Watford box. Prödl however rose highest to head away and the full-time whistle followed.

Back-to-back wins for the Hornets then, who celebrated a crucial victory ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester United.

HORNETS: Gomes (GK); Cathcart, Prödl, Kaboul, Holebas; Cleverley, Behrami (Doucouré, 64), Capoue; Niang (Success, 80), Zarate (Janmaat, 87); Deeney (c). 

Subs not used: Arlauskis (GK), Britos, Watson, Okaka.

Yellow cards: Niang (5), Holebas (20), Capoue (33), Prödl (78), Cathcart (90)

Goals: Deeney (11), Niang (45)

CLARETS: Heaton (GK); Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Arfield (Westwood, 76), Hendrick, Barton, Boyd (Vokes, 86); Barnes, Gray (Brady, 55).

Subs not used: Robinson (GK), Flanagan, Gudmundsson, Tarkowski.

Red cards: Hendrick (6)

Goals: Barnes (78)

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 20,178


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