Watford made sure that they were able to continue their 100% start to the season as they cruised past a lacklustre Reading side.
Javi Gracia made 11 changes to his Starting XI that beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the Premier League, whilst Royals manager Paul Clement made eight changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at the weekend.
Throughout the game, the high-flying Hornets never looked in doubt over whether they would beat Championship side Reading. A couple of chances in the first-half from Watford saw what should have been the lead early on, but in the end, it didn't matter, as good play from Nathanial Chalobah - starting for the first time since 2017 after his long injury - and Adam Masina - playing in his first ever competitive Watford match - helped set up Isaac Success, who rounded the keeper and tapped in to the net to make it 1-0 to Watford in the 37th minute.
Reading did not threaten for the rest of the first half, and Watford came out strongly in the second - having a good chance to go 2-0 up inside a minute. A few more chances and almost all of the ball being played in the Reading half eventually led to a clearance from a corner by the Reading back-line, which fell into the path of Domingos Quina. Quina, Watford's £1 Million signing from West Ham, smashed the ball from 30 yards out into the top-right corner and give Watford an unassailable lead.
Since the Portuguese's goal on the 62nd minute, neither side threatened much more, even though Reading attempted to go more attacking. The only time the Royals came close to the Hornets' goal was near the end; when some smart defending saw multiple shots blocked. In the end, however, it was a very comfortable performance from Watford, who progressed into Round 3 of the Carabao Cup.
Quina steals the show
Apart from his thunderbolt to give Watford a two goal cushion, Quina was superb all around the pitch on the night. It is clear to see that the youngster has a massive career ahead of him; and for only £1 Million on deadline day, the Portuguese is looking like a steal for the Hornets.
He looked extremely comfortable out on the turf and led the Watford midfield alongside the returning Chalobah. Some key passes were made from the 18-year-old and he always seemed to want to press further forward. On occasion when he did lose the ball, he looked keen to win the ball back and, on most times, did so. He can quite clearly take a shot at goal as well, with his second-half rocket. But going even further, Quina was turning the Reading players and making them run circles around him. His pace, his accuracy, his skill - it is something to be admired.
To think that the man is only 18 years of age is also incredible. After watching his performance last night, people can only dream of what he will be like in a few years time. Should Watford keep him for a few years, he could become a key player. If not then, in today's market, he could eventually be sold for a lot of money.
Domingos Quina looks like a quality midfielder that has many different traits about him which could be used to the club's advantage. Hopefully, he can start a few Premier League matches this season to see how he can fare against the bigger teams.
Whilst it is nice to praise the Watford players, many of them clearly were not in full gear last night - and there was no need for them to be either. Reading didn't challenge the Hornets for 85 minutes of the match. They looked poor all around the field and none of their players showed much creativity at all.
Even when Reading did begin to slowly come forward, the ball was either intercepted in the midfield area or was blocked as they attempted to put the ball into the box.
It is easy to see why Reading are struggling in the English second tier and have not won once in their opening six matches. They seemed lacklustre, slow and always seemed to be chasing the ball off of Watford. A tough season lies ahead for Clement.
Great start continues for away side
With that being said, this was a Watford backup XI; entirely. None of the players that featured last night had started earlier in the season for the Hornets, and they all seemed very keen to prove themselves. Marc Navarro, Ben Wilmot and Nathanial Chalobah were amongst the best performers for the high-flying side on the night.
There are still a few bones to pick at the winners last night. One being that Watford felt slightly slow-paced on the night. Sometimes, the players on the wings - Kiko Femenia especially - felt slightly slow going forward and from time to time played it back when they could have easily gone forward. It is something small to pick at, and with a weaker 11, it is hard to criticise them. Nearly everything else about the team and Gracia's management was spot on.
Watford are looking quality. Playing what was almost a reserve team was a risky move from the manager, but it certainly paid off and showed some strong and youthful players that we can play should one of our first team players get injured. It is nice to see Gracia keen to play with the youth as well. He must be applauded.
Reading will try and bounce back from yet another loss when they play Sheffield Wednesday at home once again, meanwhile, Watford will host Tottenham where one team's 100% record will be broken.
Watford have also been drawn against Tottenham in Round 3 of the cup.