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Matchday Review

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Fri 21 Feb At 00.02 AM

Highlights | Watford 3-2 Everton

- Stefano Okaka double and Sebastian Prödl header seal the three points

- Romelu Lukaku netted twice for Everton

- Hornets secure first-win over Toffees since 1987

- Watford climb to seventh in the Premier League ahead of 3pm kick-offs

The Hornets secured all three points against Everton as Walter Mazzarri’s side came back from falling behind to an early Romelu Lukaku strike.

Stefano Okaka scored with an exceptional back-heeled volley to ensure the sides went into the half-time break on level-terms.

Further second-half goals from Sebastian Prödl and Okaka secured the points, with Lukaku scoring a late consolation for the blues.

Okaka opens the scoring

Walter Mazzarri made two changes to his side with Roberto Pereyra (susp) and Christian Kabasele both replaced by the returning Valon Behrami and Miguel Britos.

The opening minutes of the game were closely contested but Heurelho Gomes was called into action as he darted across goal to keep out Gerard Deulofeu’s goal-bound cross from the right.

Moments later however and Everton took the lead. An exceptional first-time ball over the top from Gareth Barry split the Watford defence and Lukaku raced through before slotting the ball underneath Gomes.

Deeney and Okaka combined efficiently with the captain’s back-heel unleashing his strike-partner, but Okaka’s low shot was held comfortably by Maarten Stekelenburg in goal for the Toffees.

The Hornets upped the tempo and Adlene Guedioura saw a header saved by Stekelenburg as Deeney did well to flick a ball back into his path.

A minute later and the Hornets were back on level terms. Nordin Amrabat teased a great ball across the front of goal and Okaka darted in and volleyed a back-heel into the back of the net. It was a goal of real quality and his first in a Watford shirt.

A great ball over the top from Guedioura reached Deeney at the far-post, but the striker was just unable to get under the ball as the first-half came to a close.

The first chance of the second-half fell to Prödl as he met Guedioura’s free-kick into the box, but the defender’s header went over the bar.

But the Austrian made no mistake moments later as he headed the Hornets into the lead. José Holebas whipped a brilliant free-kick into the box from the left and Prödl planted his header firmly past Stekelenburg for his first of the season.

Prödl nets the Hornets' second

Mazzarri made his first change of the afternoon soon after as Guedioura came off and was replaced by Daryl Janmaat.

Steklenburg pulled off an exceptional save as he managed to get fingertips onto the end of Britos’ downward header, and the ball somehow flew over the bar.

From the resulting corner the Hornets had their third of the afternoon. Holebas curled the ball in and Okaka nipped in-front of Barry and glanced a firm header towards the far corner which Leighton Baines was unable to keep out on the goal-line.

The second change of the game for the hosts saw Ben Watson replace the impressive Okaka with ten minutes remaining.

A minute’s applause rang out around Vicarage Road on 81 minutes in memory of Ray Batchelor who sadly passed away last weekend after the West bromwich Albion fixture. 

A minute's applause for Watford fan Ray Batchelor

With five minutes left Lukaku scored his and Everton’s second of the game. The striker got onto the end of substitute Aaron Lennon’s cross as he headed in to set-up a nervy ending.

Mazzarri made his final change of the match inside stoppage time as Christian Kabasele came on in place of Camilo Zúñiga.

But the Hornets held firm and negotiated the four added minutes to record their first win over Everton since 1987.

HORNETS: Gomes (GK); Zuniga (Kabasele, 90), Prödl, Britos, Holebas; Capoue, Behrami, Guedioura (Janmaat, 61); Amrabat, Okaka (Watson, 80), Deeney (C).

Subs not used: Pantilimon (GK), Success, Sinclair, Ighalo.

Yellow cards: Guedioura (7), Holebas (74)

Goals: Okaka (37, 63), Prödl (60)

TOFFEES: Stekelenburg (GK); Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Baines (Lennon, 83); McCarthy, Barry (C), Gueye (Barkley, 64); Mirallas (Valencia, 70), Lukaku, Deulofeu.

Subs not used: Robles, Jagielka, Cleverley, Holgate.

Yellow cards: Deulofeu (14), Baines (62)

Goals: Lukaku (17, 86)

Attendance: 20,769

Referee: Anthony Taylor

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