Late Deeney brace fires Watford to victory

Watford stunned Aston Villa with a remarkable 3-2 victory at Vicarage Road on Saturday, the result going their way thanks to a brace from Troy Deeney in the dying minutes of the match.

  • Watford 3 Aston Villa 2
  • Watson strikes the crossbar from 25 yards
  • Clark scores from a corner
  • Abdi levels the score just before the break
  • Aye restored Villa’s lead after the break
  • Deeney grabs a brace in stoppage time

Match summary

The first half started slowly with neither team showing much skill in the final third. Then on 25 minutes the match came alive with a great save from Mark Bunn which lead to a long range shot from Mark Watson hitting the crossbar.

Aston Villa scored soon after through Ciaran Clark – his header from a corner beating Heurelho Gomes.

With two minutes left on the clock before half-time, right after hitting the post for a second time, Almen Abdio equalised with a superb free-kick.

Jordan Ayew gave the visitors the lead again soon after the start of the second half after combining with Gestede. The latter wasted an opportunity for a third soon after – shooting over the bar.

Villa continued to look dangerous and on 62 minutes Kevin Toner headed an excellent free-kick wide of the upright.

Watford were given a lifeline with 18 minutes left when Aly Cissokho brought down Ikechi Anya with a very poor challenge.

Watford threw all they had at the Villa defence and their unrelenting pressure resulted in a fantastic two-minute brace from Troy Deeney – both in stoppage time.

SNAPSHOT: @t_deeney celebrates as his double earns #watfordfc all three points in a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa!

A photo posted by Watford FC (@watfordfcofficial) on

Full report

It was a match that would have already-demoralised Aston Villa supporters shaking their heads in disbelief. Even with only 10 men on the field for 17 minutes, their embattled team looked likely to take the full three points for only the fourth time this season. 

Unbelievably they were not even going to get a single point, as Troy Deeney, a player who was once on their books, broke their hearts with an injury-time brace.

The game started slowly – a pace that would continue throughout the majority of the first half. Deeney found Villa keeper Mark Dunn with an early flicked header but that, along with a half-hearted penalty appeal form Odion Ighalo, was the only bit of excitement for the opening quarter.

Watford finally found their feet – and the crossbar – in 25th minute. Ighalo made some space for himself after being put through at a tight angle. His shot was saved by Villa keeper Mark Bunn, but the ball came to Ben Watson whose thunderous shot from 25 yards out struck the crossbar.

The opening goal came soon after, albeit at the other end of the pitch. A mere minute after Jordan Ayew’s effort missed the upright by some distance the visitors won a corner from which Ciaran Clark headed home.

The home side continued to look relatively inept in front of the goal but eventually, soon after Villa’s Ayew met Cissokho’s cross and struck the crossbar, Almen Abdi equalised for them.

Villa restored their lead three minutes after the restart as the excellent Jordan Ayew finished past Heurelho Gomes after playing a beautiful one-two with strike partner Rudy Gestede.

The visitors could have had a third mere minutes after via some good interplay from the same two players who crafted the previous one. This time, however, Gestede fired over the crossbar.

Troy Deeney almost had his side level on 69 minutes, was it not for some great defending from Ashley Westwood who cleared the ball off the line from the striker’s header.

From that moment the match opened up somewhat and when Cissokho saw red after an ugly tackle on Ikechi Anya, the home side would have felt that an equaliser was imminent.

It did come, but not until the first minute of stoppage time, Deeney guiding the cross from Steven Berghuis home from close range.

The Villa fans were shocked at conceding so close to the final whistle, but their shocked turned to absolute disbelief as the same player found himself in too much space in the box after a chipped ball fell at his feet. Deeny made no mistake, slotting the ball into the bottom-right corner to hand his side a memorable come-from-behind victory.