Watford came from behind to grab the 3 points for the second time this week which helps secure another huge boost to their survival hopes. A Dwight Gayle opener in the first half was not enough for Newcastle who were pegged back by two Troy Deeney penalties in the second half. Here’s how I rated the Hornets individually.
Ben Foster – 7.5/10
A quiet game overall for Foster but he was low key the foundation for the hosts kicking on and grabbing the 3 points. He reacted instinctively to deny Almiron on the angle following the ball finding itself at the back post in the first half and his key impact arrived with the score at 1-0 to the Magpies. With Saint-Maximim baring down on goal with just the keeper to beat, Foster’s outstretched leg prevented a crucial second goal. He made one uncertain punch in the first half but was rarely called upon in the second 45 and he got the job done crucially.
Kiko Femenia – 7.5/10
The Spaniard’s performance reflected that of the team throughout. Just like against Norwich he started with uncertainty and continues to cause concerns with his questionable positioning and ruthlessness in the tackle at times. His solid but unspectacular opening 45 transformed into a decisive and game changing second half as his overlaps caused Newcastle problems opening up gaps with the majority of the threat coming down the Hornets right flank. He was caught late by Matt Ritchie which earned Watford an important penalty through a rare flurry into the box. His work on the ball and drive from full back made a difference and I think Kiko was one of the stars of the turnaround for Nigel Pearson’s side.
Christian Kabasele – 5.5/10
The centre half has not been convincing since the restart and while he was not constantly in the thick of the action in comparison to his teammates he’s still failing to impose himself and not make you have a moments comfort when watching. His distribution was not progressive and he got caught when he did try to play the ball through the lines. More importantly his defensive work was relatively stable and we didn’t see any glaring moments throughout the match both exceptionally good or bad.
Craig Dawson – 7.5/10
Dawson was the man to stand up and be counted when Watford needed to see the game out. His aerial ability was dominant and he made a couple of really impressive challenges to halt a Newcastle fight back. He remains one of Watford’s biggest threats going forwards as he continues to cause chaos from set pieces. He’s shown a complete mix of good and bad in the last 4 games but this was a fairly commanding performance particularly when it mattered most.
Adam Masina – 5.5/10
The left back has come on leaps and bounds this season and where others have floundered he’s come out with some credit. Since the restart though he has been exceptionally limited and isn’t displaying the levels of ability we’ve seen him demonstrate prior. He was again unwilling to be creative and keep the ball on the floor, often just playing long without really taking care in possession. Apart from being caught out by a quick counter where Saint-Maximim went through on goal he did however keep Newcastle’s main threat at bay. We need more from Masina.
Etienne Capoue – 5.5/10
The Hornets current player of the season is yet to hit the heights that he has so often shown in yellow and black. The Frenchman is not getting on the ball enough to dictate play and I’ve found his defensive enforcement to be too hit and miss when letting runners get in between the lines. The team has lacked rhythm in recent games and Capoue is fundamental in how the club perform. With this lack of conviction moves aren’t flowing and while it was certainly a steady performance, it was without the added value that Capoue often provides.
Will Hughes – 7.5/10
Faultless attitude and worth ethic, Hughes will be a Watford favourite at present due to being the main man in terms of showing the right qualities for surviving. He was a bright light in a dark first half, always showing himself for the ball and trying to be brave to make things happen. He excelled at getting Watford in good areas in the second half, the way he commanded the situation in the closing stages was fantastic as he both won and kept the ball very neatly.
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 5/10
Doucoure is not a number 10, and it shows. His early form in this role was great and the energy he added was a big reason for the revival under Pearson but as time goes on we are now seeing that he is not technically gifted enough to link the play well enough. He showed some real touches of class in moments but overall he lost the ball too many times and his decision making was lacking.
Ismaila Sarr – 6.5/10
A woeful first half from Watford’s key threat as he couldn’t seem to put a pass together and made several poor decisions. He really stepped up in the second period though, finding some much better positions on the pitch and finding his teammates constantly. His smart piece of play to roll Manquillo before he was fouled resulted in the match winning penalty.
Danny Welbeck – 6.5/10
A pleasing performance from the former Arsenal man. He was again one of the few players to come out with much credit in the first half. He helped Masina out well to reduce the threat of Saint-Maximim and was unlucky to see a shot come off the post when he concentrated well and struck neatly at the back post but without much luck. He supported Deeney well and took care of possession and importantly looked bright and fast.
Troy Deeney – 5.5/10
The match winner but I have no idea how to rate Deeney here. I thought he was absolutely woeful all match, constantly losing possession of the ball and failing to provide any threat to Newcastle. That being said he’s delivered from 12 yards twice under pressure and you can’t take that away from him to his credit. Following this he missed a sitter when the score was at 1-1 with the goal at his mercy, he also was presented with another opening when Watford countered but Deeney never looks like he’s going to score unless it’s from the spot.
What do you make of these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image credit Evening Standard