Memorable Match: Watford 2-0 Norwich City - Deeney and Ighalo fire hosts to victory
Photo by Getty Images/Stephen Pond

Friday evening will play host to Norwich City against Watford. With 20th visiting 19th in the standings at Carrow Road, games at the foot of the table don't come much more important.

Certainly, the result of the encounter will be pivotal in dictating which one of these teams, if either, will be capable of lifting themselves out of the relegation dogfight which intensifies with each passing week.

However, the scene was set slightly differently for the first ever Premier League meeting between the sides in December 2015 — the Hornets were flying in their return season in the top flight, and would continue their ascendency by brushing the Canaries aside 2-0 at Vicarage Road.

Now, under the head coach that orchestrated the victory just under four years ago, Quique Sánchez Flores, Watford will be hoping for a similar outcome in their upcoming trip to Norfolk.

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Hornets begin brightly

A vibrant crowd was treated to their fair share of entertainment in the first half as the hosts claimed the front foot from kick off. Watford moved the ball well and fashioned opportunities for Ben Watson and Nathan Aké to strike at goal, but yet to any avail.

Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd was first forced into action by a teasing cross from Ikechi Anya aimed at the lethal boot of Odion Ighalo — the Nigerian already had eight goals under his belt for the season, and the visiting shot-stopper was doubtlessly grateful to clutch the ball.

Ighalo's ability to cause mayhem was proven on the cusp of the 30-minute mark: he won a penalty, caught in a tangle between Alex Tettey and Sébastien Bassong as he ran at goal. The spot-kick was taken by strike partner Troy Deeney, who became the first Watford player to score in four consecutive Premier League matches.

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Shortly after, Ighalo thought he'd got in on the act when he rounded off a sweeping team move, but he was ruled offside when Allan Nyom's cross was struck.

Visitors profligate, hosts clinical

Norwich had been fortunate to keep the deficit at a solitary goal heading into the break, and they nearly evened the scores when Robbie Brady latched on to Ryan Bennett's lobbed pass, but the Irishman skewed his shot wide.

Having navigated that scare, Watford initiated their search for a second. They came close when Étienne Capoue supplied Ighalo with an exquisite through ball, but the latter failed to make meaningful contact and the Canaries were able to clear.

The Nigerian was again denied by Rudd after exchanging a one-two with Anya, the City academy graduate getting down well to keep his side in the contest.

Watford secured their victory in stoppage time with a goal iconic to the season in which it was scored. Deeney flicked the ball on for Ighalo who shrugged off Bassong and slid the ball under Rudd, finally evading the goalkeeper after countless unsuccessful attempts at his goal.

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The result saw the Hornets continue their surge up the table, their first win of a trio in December which saw Sánchez Flores and Ighalo named Manager and Player of the Month respectively.

At the end of the campaign Watford would finish 13th, and also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, while Norwich were relegated to the Championship where they would remain until the current season.

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