Watford remained unbeaten under new head coach Walter Mazzarri after a decent victory over Union Berlin in Austria, triumphing 3-1.
A native return
Sebastian Prodl returned to make his first start of pre-season in his homeland at centre half. Skipper Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo started again up front to reform the lethal strike partnership that served Watford so well last season.
A relatively quiet start the match was ignited when the Premier League side broke the deadlock after 13 minutes. Ighalo picked up the ball and delivered a low cross that found its way to midfielder Etienne Capoue on the edge of the area. Capoue took a touch before firing a shot into the corner of the net via a slight deflection. This was the Frenchman’s 2nd goal of pre-season following his strike at Stevenage on Thursday evening.
The Hornets nearly made it 2-0 after Ighalo showed great movement to get past the Berlin centre half before his effort was well stopped by the goalkeeper.
Berlin had a decent spell just before the break. Centre forward Nickl was brilliantly blocked by Prodl before the same player had a header saved by Gledirus Arlauskis in the Watford goal.
Watford took control with a second goal just before half time from the penalty spot. Abdoulaye Douccoure was fouled just inside the area which allowed skipper Deeney to step up. He emphatically sent the Berlin keeper the wrong way to make it 2-0.
Deeney had a great chance to make it 3-0 shortly after, but his shot was well saved by the Berlin keeper. Walter Mazzarri made a host of changes throughout the second period, including a return for Craig Cathcart, a run out for first choice keeper Heureliho Gomes and a debut for defender Christian Kabasele.
Berlin pulled a goal back on 70 minutes when centre forward Maxamillian Thiel fired home the ball from close range, giving Gomes no chance.
Academy graduate Charlie Rowan came on for some valuable first team experience on 75 minutes. Alongside him was Camilo Zungia. The Colombian international full back was making his hornets debut after a season-long loan switch from Serie A side Napoli.
Sealing the victory
Stevan Burguis capped off a professional Watford display after good work from full back Jose Holbas. The Dutchman moved into the box before a strong finish gave the goalkeeper no chance.
Watford saw out the rest of the game relatively comfortably and picked up a good result as they look to move forward to the game against Anzhi on Saturday.
Walter Mazzarri will be delighted to maintain his 100% record as Watford coach. He will also be happy that the squad picked up no fresh injuries and put more valuable minutes into their legs.