Flying Start For Hornets

Watford finally recorded their first win away from home since last November with an impressive 3-1 victory over Sean Dyche’s Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon. Since the Pozzo family appointed Spaniard Javi Gracia as Watford head coach back in January, the Hornets have failed to even find the back of the net away from home. Interestingly, Javi went for a 4-2-2-2 formation: the partnership between Andre Gray and Troy Deeney is something that most Watford fans have been demanding for some time. Whereas former Watford boss Sean Dyche set his starting eleven in a 4-4-1-1 formation, a defensive strategy unchanged from last week’s goalless draw against Southampton.

A rainy afternoon and a round trip clocking up 440 miles for the dedicated Watford supporters were greeted with the golden boys kicking off to a positive start. It was a rapid start to the first half as former Burnley Striker Andre Gray found Deeney on the right before making a sprint into the box, collecting the ball back from the number 9, with a fantastic first touch firing the ball past Joe Hart. Watford fans had three minutes of hope before Burnley equalised from a set piece, a reminder of the Hornets main weakness from last season.  Johann Berg Gudmundsson delivered a corner to James Tarkowski, who headed the ball beyond recently signed goalkeeper Ben Foster into the middle of the net for his first goal for the Clarets. The remainder of the half was made up of a few other chances, including Gudmundsson supplying an excellent free kick which Foster did well to dive and save calmly. Gray shot wide from a respectable position followed by Jack Cork making a lung busting run into the box before being stopped in his tracks by Etienne Capoue. Troy Deeney was also on the attack in the final minutes of the first half with a long distance strike which was comfortably dealt with by Hart.

Three minutes into the second half and the Hornets managed to take the lead with Captain Deeney making the score sheet. Deeney’s initial attempt was blocked by Ben Mee, which ricocheted perfectly to Abdoulaye Doucoure who delivered a superb assist through the static Burnley defence to Deeney who then planted the ball to the right of the oncoming Hart. Two minutes later and the 1000 Watford fans were sent into a frenzy.  A Burnley throw to Matt Lowton was turned into the path of Watford’s Will Hughes, who collected the ball, charged forward and blasted the ball into the top corner from outside the box to put the Hornets 3-1 ahead. Although Burnley had most of the possession in the second half, they only came close when substitute Sam Vokes headed wide.

The golden boys brought home the glory, 6 points in 2 games under their belt this season, facing Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road next. If Watford continue this style of play throughout the season it could lead to a better than anticipated mid table finish. On the other hand, Burnley travel to Greece next to compete in another Europa League game on Thursday followed by Fulham on Sunday in the Premier League.  The Clarets will want to prove that they can compete in Europe without affecting their competitiveness in the Premier League a feat that Watford would like to emulate.

How far can Watford go this season? Let us know in the comments below!