As It Happened: Watford 2-1 Norwich City in Premier League
Photo by Adam Millington/VAVEL UK


19:56a year ago

Thank you and goodbye!

That’s it for VAVEL UK’s love coverage of this Premier League match between Watford and Norwich City — we hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned on the site for more live text commentaries and further analysis and reaction to all top flight matches in this gameweek.
19:55a year ago


Possession: 43%-57%

Shots: 9-12

On target: 4-3

Corners: 4-3

Fouls: 11-15

19:55a year ago


That is a simply massive result for Watford.

The Hornets were given an early scare with Buendía's quick-fire opener, but it was shortly cancelled out by Dawson.

The moment of the match came in the second half when Welbeck scored an utterly spectacular acrobatic effort. One can only imagine the raptures in the stands had fans been allowed into Vicarage Road today.

A huge, huge three points in the relegation battle.

19:52a year ago


95' Cleverley takes the yellow for Watford.
19:51a year ago


94' Buendía is booked for leaving a leg on Doucouré.

Seconds remain on the clock...

19:48a year ago
91' There will be four minutes of stoppage time.
19:45a year ago


88' Godfrey is booked for a cynical challenge on Cleverley.
19:44a year ago


86' Chalobah comes on for Capoue for the Hornets.
19:43a year ago
85' That was the moment for Norwich... squandered.

The cross from Lewis is flicked on expertly by Drmic, but Idah mistimes his lunge and watches the ball go well wide of the post from just a few yards out.

19:40a year ago


83' Pukki and Hernández are replaced by Drmic and Martin respectively.
19:39a year ago
82' Femenía's in need of treatment after a nasty blow to the face courtesy of a collision with Idah.
19:35a year ago
78' The cross fell perfectly onto the head of Vrancic, but the effort went high and wide of goal.
19:35a year ago
78' It's Norwich's turn to have a go from a set-piece situation. Buendía to whip it in from the left.
19:33a year ago


75' A potential change of shape for the visitors sees Idah replace Stiepermann.
19:31a year ago
73' Watford earn a free-kick in a promising position off to the left, though Sarr does look in some discomfort following the challenge by Vrancic.
19:29a year ago
71' Norwich are desperately trying to get the ball into Pukki's feet, to little avail thus far. The club's top scorer this season has been isolated throughout the entire match here.
19:24a year ago
66' Deeney heads the ball down for Cleverley on the edge of the area. The Englishman hits it cleanly, but Krul had no trouble saving it.
19:16a year ago


60' Hughes makes way for Cleverley for the hosts.
19:16a year ago
58' Pukki is set in on goal by a clever pass from Stiepermann, but Masina steps in at the vital moment to clear the danger.
19:14a year ago



Sarr is unleashed down the right. His deflected cross looks to be too high for Welbeck, but the forward performs a spectacular overhead kick to see the ball nestle right in that top corner.

A vital, vital goal, and what a way to get it, too.

19:12a year ago


55' McLean comes on for Tettey.
19:12a year ago
54' Three bites at the cherry for Norwich; none result in a goal.

Hernández and Aarons take two quick-fire and powerful strikes at goal before Buendía fires way over the bar. Good chances for the visitors.

19:09a year ago
51' There's a slower tempo to this half so far; both teams are still digesting the thoughts of their respective managers and are obviously desperate to ensure they do not concede the next goal.
19:04a year ago
47' The first chance of the half sees Pukki glance an awkward header well wide of goal.
19:03a year ago


46' Watford restart proceedings here.
19:00a year ago
The game's about to get back underway.
18:50a year ago


Possession: 47%-53%

Shots: 6-3

On target: 2-2

Corners: 3-2

Fouls: 5-7

18:49a year ago


That's it for the first 45 minutes here at Vicarage Road as Buendía's early goal was cancelled out by a header from Dawson at the other end moments later.

An entertaining game for the neutral, but nail-biting stuff for fans of these two teams, neither of which will make any progress in their respective bids to survive with this result.

Perhaps the best of the action is still to come; a frankly huge second half awaits.

18:44a year ago
46' There will be two added minutes at the end of this half.
18:43a year ago
42' Again, it's Sarr floating in a fabulous cross from the right wing. It meets the late run of Doucouré, but the Frenchman's header soars just over the crossbar.

Very fine margins indeed; that was a chance that really should have been taken.

18:41a year ago
40' It's all happening down the right for Watford.

Sarr and Femenía play an incisive one-two to move up the flank, but the cross from the latter lands straight in the palms of Krul.

18:37a year ago
37' Norwich have had a fairly lengthy spell of possession, culminating in a poor effort from Pukki from the edge of the area. They're struggling to break down the low block deployed by their hosts.
18:33a year ago
33' Hughes' corner ricochets around the Norwich box and Deeney seems to have the chance to swing his leg at it, but Klose just about manages to steer the ball away.
18:31a year ago
30' Conversely, Hernández has given Femenía a nightmarish afternoon so far, forcing a multitude of mistakes and fouls from the Spaniard thus far.

The more Norwich exploit the Cuban's ability, the better their chances of getting anything from this game.

18:27a year ago
26' Sarr is increasingly proving such a threat down the wing. Again, Hughes sets him free, but again, the cross from the Senegalese international meets a Norwich player.

If Sarr perfects that final ball, Watford will strike gold.

18:23a year ago


23' Hughes receives the yellow for tugging the shirt of Stiepermann.
18:23a year ago
22' Sarr wrestles away from Lewis on the right flank and makes way for the byline, but his cut-back is intercepted in the nick of time by Godfrey.

A vital intervention, for Deeney was lurking just behind the centre-back.

18:20a year ago
20' Something's improved about Watford's performance since their most recent outing at Chelsea on Saturday.

Their passing is sharper, their pressing is more effective, their movement is more purposeful. Now they must turn those positives into a result here.

18:16a year ago
15' There's been a scrappy spell of seemingly endless throw-ins deep in the Norwich half, but play has now moved on.

It's still Watford on the front foot.

18:12a year ago
12' Yep, this game has really sprung into life now. Watford have responded well to the goal they conceded and are applying a good spell of pressure on the Norwich goal.
18:11a year ago


11' Tettey receives a booking for pulling the shirt of Welbeck.
18:10a year ago


10' Back to square one for the hosts!

Capoue floats the free-kick towards the back post to meet the run of Dawson, whose deft header gives Krul no chance.

18:09a year ago


9' Lewis is the first player to go into the book for hauling back Sarr. Watford can whip in a free-kick from deep on the right flank.
18:08a year ago
7' We could be in for a super match of football here.

Watford cannot afford to do anything but attack now - this is at minimum a must-not-lose for the Hornets - and that will inevitably open the door for chances at the other end too.

18:05a year ago


4' What a moment for the visitors!

Hernández steps infield and passes across the box to Buendía, who shifts the ball onto his weak foot and coolly sends the ball to the far post and past Foster.

A huge, huge moment in this relegation battle.

18:03a year ago
3' Buendía forces a save from Foster, but it was comfortable enough for the goalkeeper.
18:02a year ago
2' Hernández wins a free-kick for the visitors in quite a promising position just left of goal.
18:00a year ago


1' The game begins courtesy of Teemu Pukki's kick-off.
17:56a year ago
Kick-off is imminent as the teams begin emerging onto the Vicarage Road pitch.
17:21a year ago

Norwich City team

Krul; Aarons, Godfrey, Klose, Lewis; Vrancic, Tettey; Buendía, Stiepermann, Hernández; Pukki.

Substitutes: McGovern, Rupp, Trybull, Drmic, McLean, Duda, Idah, Thomas, Martin.

17:19a year ago

Watford team

Foster; Femenía, Kabasele, Dawson, Masina; Capoue, Hughes; Sarr, Doucouré, Welbeck; Deeney.

Substitutes: Gomes, Mariappa, Cleverley, Chalobah, Cathcart, João Pedro, Gray, Pussetto, Pereyra.

14:07a year ago

Stay tuned

That’s it for now, but the live text commentary will resume around one hour before kick-off as we bring you the team news.
14:06a year ago

How to watch

This fixture will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Pick (Freeview channel 11) for UK-based supporters, though you can of course follow the action here on VAVEL UK with minute-by-minute updates on all the goings on during the match.

You can also catch the highlights on BBC One’s Match of the Day, which will air at 22:45 BST tomorrow evening; alternatively, a short highlights package will become available on the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel once the game has finished.

14:06a year ago

Daniel Farke quotes

“It seems like none of the teams at the bottom are capable of getting points. We’ve lost our last five, so it’s not up to us to say we’ll win our next five. It’s important to show our pride with good performances and to win as many points as possible.

“Watford looked pretty solid and compact against Chelsea, despite the result. They have many experienced players who play with commitment. When they defend deep, it’s difficult to create chances against them, but they’re also struggling to get the right results.

“They need to win this game to achieve their targets, but we want to be there with a good performance and to make their lives as difficult as possible.”

14:06a year ago

Nigel Pearson quotes

“We’ve got to be at our best and we can’t underestimate the fact that they have got some good players.

“As an attacking force they are quite creative. They don’t have the visible pressure but it’s still mathematically possible for them to get out of it so you can’t underestimate anybody.

“We have a healthy respect for them but, for me, it’s about what we do ourselves. It’s important for us to get the performance right and build on some positive things from the other night.”

14:06a year ago

Norwich City team news

Todd Cantwell will be a miss for the Canaries, sidelined with a hamstring problem. Alex Tettey and Kenny McLean are both doubtful.

Christoph Zimmermann, Sam Byram, Grant Hanley and Moritz Leitner remain out of action.

14:06a year ago

Watford team news

The Hornets have no fresh injury concerns to contend with.

Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success are long-term absentees.

14:05a year ago

Match facts

Watford have not completed a league double over Norwich since they did so in the Championship back in 2005/06.

The Canaries lost in their most recent trip to Vicarage Road in 2015, but had enjoyed three unbeaten visits in all competitions prior to that.

14:05a year ago

Last meeting

The most recent encounter between the two sides took place in November, when bottom-of-the-table Watford travelled to Carrow Road in search of their first league win of the 2019/20 campaign.

And the Hornets got off to the perfect start in Norfolk when Gerard Deulofeu nicked the ball off Emi Buendía, surged forward and finished coolly past Tim Krul to send the visiting support into raptures. The lead was doubled in the second half through an audacious and somewhat fortune flick by Andre Gray, and the two-goal advantage would provide enough to carry Watford to a vital three points.

14:05a year ago

Norwich City's form

It’s a similar story for the Canaries. With not a single point picked up since the restart, many are beginning to write off the newcomers as certainties to drop straight back down to the second tier.

Saturday’s narrow defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion was a real blow, and Norwich will realistically have to take all three points at Vicarage Road in order to give themselves even the slimmest chance of survival.

Norwich currently sit 20th in the Premier League table.

14:05a year ago

Watford's form

The restart has been far from kind to the Hornets; one point, two goals scored and eight conceded in four games makes for grim reading as the Hertfordshire outfit look to secure a sixth consecutive season of top flight football at Vicarage Road.

Last time out, Watford were simply outclassed by a Chelsea side pursuing Champions League qualification, though it is also true that the visitors shot themselves in the foot somewhat at Stamford Bridge, especially when Etienne Capoue clumsily conceded the penalty which gifted the Blues their second of three goals. They can ill afford to make such costly errors here.

Watford currently sit 17th in the Premier League table.

14:05a year ago


With this season’s Premier League champions already crowned, extra focus can now be afforded to what has been yet another enthralling relegation battle.

This is 17th versus 20th. This is a team fighting to stay afloat against another striving to reach the shore of survival from the depths of almost certain despair. This is millions in prize money, broadcast revenue and sponsorship earnings on the line. This is, frankly, as big as it gets.

14:04a year ago

Hello and welcome!

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK’s live text commentary of this matchday 34 fixture in the Premier League, Watford vs Norwich City. Stay tuned for a comprehensive preview followed by live updates from when the match kicks off at 18:00 BST.