Watford 2-1 Newcastle United: Deeney double gives Hornets a vital win
WATFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Troy Deeney of Watford celebrates after scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Newcastle United at Vicarage Road on July 11, 2020 in Watford, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Watford took a huge step towards Premier League survival, as they came from behind to defeat Newcastle.

The Magpies took the lead on 23 minutes as Dwight Gayle poked home from close-range.

Watford equalised early into the second-half through Troy Deeney from the penalty spot, as Kiko Femenia was brought down by Matt Ritchie.

The Hornets completed their comeback on 82 minutes as they were awarded another penalty, Javier Manquillo bundled down Ismaila Sarr and referee Craig Pawson had no other choice than to point to the spot.

Deeney made no mistake from the penalty spot again to send his side six point clear of the relegation places.

Before the match begun, both sides observed a minute of silence in tribute of former Newcastle manager and England 1966 World Cup winner Jack Charlton, who sadly passed away on Friday at the age of 85.

  • Story of the game

The first chance of the game fell to Newcastle on three minutes, as Allan Saint-Maximin whipped the ball into the box, but the delivery was too fast for Miguel Almiron to get on the end of it.

Newcastle had a golden chance to take the lead as Jonjo Shelvey's corner fell to Almiron at the back post, but Watford keeper Ben Foster was equal to it and made a fine save.

Danny Welbeck, who was the hero for Watford in midweek with his overhead kick goal against Norwich, should have notched the Hornets in front - but his effort from Kiko Femenia's cross hit the post, and was hooked away by Jamaal Lascelles on the goal-line.

Newcastle took the lead on 23 minutes, as Matt Ritchie's corner was flicked on by Federico Fernandez which fell to Dwight Gayle who had the simple task of tapping the ball home from a few yards out.

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The Magpies pushed on from taking the lead, and should have doubled it when Gayle found Saint-Maximin in space on the right-hand side - he got one-on-one with Ben Foster, but the Watford keeper made an excellent save with his feet to deny the Frenchman.

Adam Masina punted the ball long, it was headed down by Danny Welbeck and played wide to Ismaila Sarr - he crosses the ball towards the former England international was unable to get any power on his headed effort.

The last chance of the half fell to the home side, a goalmouth scramble on the edge of the box came out to Abdoulaye Doucoure, but his shot was blocked and cleared up the pitch by Almiron.

Just before the half-time whistle, Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles was booked for a challenge on Doucoure.

Newcastle started the second-half well, as Saint-Maximin robbed Troy Deeney of the ball, he managed to cross the ball towards Almiron, but the delivery was too high.

Saint-Maximin's cross went all the way to the left-hand side of the pitch, and found its way to Matt Ritchie - he got the ball back into the box, but Dwight Gayle's headed effort flew over the bar.

On 51 minutes, Kiko Femenia got into the box after evading Federico Fernandez's challenge, but Matt Ritchie brought down the Spaniard and a penalty was awarded.

Watford got their equaliser from the spot, as Deeney smashed the ball down the middle and sent Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka the wrong way.

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Just a few minutes later, Deeney should have given Watford the lead after Will Hughes managed to deflect Fernandez's pass towards their captain - but his effort was tame and Dubrakva was able to meet his shot comfortably.

Watford continued their search for the lead, as Sarr found a ball through to Deeney who was able to correct his feet - he found Welbeck in space, but Newcastle get plenty bodies in front of the shot and it bundled over for a corner.

On 63 minutes, Javier Manquillo was booked for a foul on Welbeck.

Newcastle did have the ball in the net, as Saint-Maximin played on after the linesman flagged for an offside - VAR did eventually deem that the Frenchman was offside.

Joelinton was introduced into the game on 72 minutes, replacing Matt Ritchie.

Federico Fernandez booked for a foul on Sarr, shortly after Joelinton's introduction to the game.

Steve Bruce made a double change on 78 minutes, bringing on Nabil Bentaleb and Emil Krafth in place of Gayle and Danny Rose.

Watford were awarded a penalty with just ten minutes to go of normal time, as Manquillo bundled Sarr to the ground.

It was Troy Deeney's job, once again, to dispatch the penalty - and his did with ease, as he smashed the ball down the middle to give Watford a precious 2-1 lead.

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A flurry of substitutes followed for both teams, Watford brought on Tom Cleverley and Andre Gray for Deeney and Welbeck - Newcastle took off Jamaal Lascelles and brought on Valentino Lazaro.

Steve Bruce changed his formation in a bid to snatch a point, but it was all in vein as Nigel Pearson's Watford held on and recorded a vital win, which should be enough to keep the Hornets in the Premier League for another year.

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  • Takeaways

Despite being second best throughout the first-half, Watford deserved to take all three points due to their performance in the final 45 minutes.

Manager Nigel Pearson seemed to have told his players during the half time team talk, to press higher on the frail Newcastle defence - and in particular, targeting Newcastle's Jamaal Lascelles, who was booked just before the break.

The plaudits have to go to Troy Deeney for, once again, coming up big for Watford when they needed him the most.

In his post-match interview, he revealed that he was asked to be substituted because of a knee injury.

The match winner said that he was having injections prior to games, in a bid to be involved during Watford's intense Premier League survival scrap.

This victory today has put them six points clear of relegation, and it seems that Aston Villa and Bournemouth will be joining Norwich in the Championship next season.

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Newcastle boss Steve Bruce will be wondering how his side threw that game away.

The first half was so promising - they dominated the early exchanges, Allan Saint-Maximin was as bright as ever and the midfield pair of Jonjo Shelvey and Fabian Schar dictated the play.

It looks like Newcastle were told to drop back, in an attempt to grind out a 1-0 win.

The plans unravelled after two silly penalties were given and in the end, the Magpies were fortunate that the game ended only with a one goal deficit.

The Toon fell back into their old ways, and that second half showing was far too similar to the 5-0 drubbing at Manchester City.

The players looked like they had no interest in rising to the task of a Watford team, who simply wanted it more than their opponents.

Regardless of Premier League survival already being achieved, Newcastle must improve against Tottenham on Wednesday if they are serious about finishing in the top ten.

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