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Watford 1 – 2 Brentford


Pontus Jansson’s last-minute winner handed Brentford a 2-1 win at Watford that inflicted a 10th consecutive league defeat at home to Roy Hodgson’s side, who remain six points from safety.

Emmanuel Dennis had brought Watford level 10 minutes into the second half after Christian Norgaard’s 15th-minute opener.

The home side then came close to winning in the 92nd minute as Imran Louza put on the rebound after Josh King’s shot hit the post.

But in the last minute of stoppage time, Jansson dramatically headed Christian Eriksen’s free-kick to snatch victory for the Bees – their third straight win in the top flight for the first time since September 1946 – as the Thomas Frank’s team was moving. up to 11th place in the table.

Team News

  • Emmanuel Dennis replaced injured Cucho Hernandez as the only change for Watford since last weekend’s loss to Leeds
  • Brentford captain Pontus Jansson has returned in place of Mathias Jorgensen as the only change from last weekend’s win over West Ham.

Watford’s late loss leaves them second with just six games remaining, while 18th-placed Burnley and 17th-placed Everton are both two games short.

The loss also sees Watford become the third team to lose 10 consecutive top-flight home games, after Birmingham City in February 1986 and Sunderland in August 2005.

Watford are closing in on an immediate return to the Championship

A glorious afternoon of weather at Vicarage Road greeted the players as Watford hoped things would be brighter on the pitch, following a run of four defeats in their last five games.

But any optimism was subdued just 15 minutes as Brentford midfielder Norgaard headed home after Ethan Pinnock’s long throw-in which was kicked in by Kristoffer Ajer at the near post.

Picture:
Brentford’s Christian Norgaard scored the opening goal at Vicarage Road

But Watford equalized 10 minutes into the second half through Dennis, who needed VAR to score his goal.

The Nigerian striker beat Brentford keeper David Raya to the back post after Moussa Sissoko’s cross was acquiesced by Ismaila Sarr, only for the linesman to rule it out for offside. But the goal then stood after a lengthy VAR review.

Watford's Emmanuel Dennis celebrates his equalizer
Picture:
Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis celebrates his equalizer

With five more minutes left at the end of the game, Watford had the chance to take the lead only for King to hit the post and then Louza to put the follow up.

But just three minutes later Watford had to pay as Brentford captain Jansson scored a 95th-minute winner to give the west London side their first league double against Watford since 1976- 77 on the fourth level.

Hodgson becomes first manager to lose PL’s first five home games – Opta stats

  • Watford are only the third team to lose 10 consecutive top-flight home games, after Birmingham City in February 1986 and Sunderland in August 2005 and only the second to do so in a single season (also Birmingham).
  • Brentford have won five of their last six Premier League (L1) games and won three top-flight games in a row for the first time since September 1946.
  • Watford boss Roy Hodgson is the first manager to lose his first five Premier League home games in charge of a club since Chris Ramsey with QPR in 2015.
  • Brentford have scored three Premier League goals this season via throw-in situations, one more than the rest of the division combined, with Christian Norgaard scoring two for the Bees and assisting the other.
  • Christian Eriksen has recorded an involvement in three of his last four Premier League appearances for Brentford (1 goal, 2 assists), with only Ivan Toney (154 minutes) posting a better involvement rate in minutes per goal in the division than the Danish for the Bees this season (163 min).

Hodgson: Brentford beats a slap in the face

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Watford manager Roy Hodgson thinks his side didn’t deserve to lose after conceding a late goal at Brentford and how the team will go forward as they fight to stay in the league.

Watford boss Roy Hodgson:

“I think if we had continued to play through the second half like we played in the first half and we would have lost the game, I would have stayed here to tell you it was fully deserved and that we were nowhere near good enough.

“But with the performance in the second half, I’m fair to say that wasn’t the case. We equalized and came close to getting a winner.

“To lose it with the very last action of the game I thought was a big blow and not necessarily the one the players or the club deserved today, or certainly the fans deserved because for the first time since I’ve been here, we’ve given them something to watch in the second half that they’ve enjoyed.

“When that one didn’t come in [Louza’s late chance], it looked like maybe the chance we could create to get that game-winning goal was going to be Louza’s. The fact that they scored the winning goal was a real slap in the face at the end of the game because I don’t think it was a deserved result.”

Frank: It’s been a remarkable season

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Brentford head coach Thomas Frank said his side showed a lot of strength today after winning 2-1 against Watford and gave us his thoughts on Christian Eriksen’s future.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank:

“It’s been in many ways a crazy season for us, a remarkable season.

“We are now at 39 points, try to stay focused on winning the next game and finish as high as possible.

“We’ve had three last-minute winners this season and that shows two things: we’re incredibly fit and that’s why we keep going throughout the game and the character and mentality of the group of players is remarkable.”

Man of the match – Pontus Jansson

A captaincy performance from Jansson as he led the backline superbly, especially after an early injury to his usual centre-back partner Pinnock, who was replaced by Mads Bech Sorensen.

Then, after fending off Watford’s attacks in the second half, Jansson appeared with the crucial last-gasp winner.

What a return to the starting line-up for the Bees skipper after missing out on victory over West Ham last weekend.

And after?

Watford host Premier League leaders Manchester City at 3pm on Saturday, while Brentford entertain Tottenham on Saturday. Saturday night football at 5:30 p.m. – live Sky Sports Premier League.




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