Championship
Watford1Blackburn0

Watford 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

Odion Ighalo
Watford striker Odion Ighalo joined the Hornets from Udinese permanently in October 2014

Watford striker Odion Ighalo scored his 12th goal of the season to give the Hornets victory over Blackburn.

The Nigerian, signed permanently from Udinese in October after an initial loan, struck seven minutes from time.

Jordan Rhodes and Craig Conway both had chances for Blackburn but could not find a way past Heurelho Gomes.

Watford remain in the last Championship play-off place, on 50 points - three above Norwich in seventh.

However, Blackburn's hopes of making the play-offs look slimmer as they are a further 11 points back in ninth.

The home side had been marginally the better side in the first half at Vicarage Road and almost punished Rovers on the counter attack.

Ikechi Anya led the charge downfield and he slipped in Miguel Layun, who saw his effort superbly pushed behind by Rovers goalkeeper Jason Steele.

In-form Ighalo
Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has scored nine goals in his past six Championship matches for Watford

Layun took the resulting corner himself and his deep delivery picked out Gabriele Angella at the back post, but the Italian defender's header did not trouble Steele.

Blackburn had opportunities of their own, when Rhodes hit an angled half-volley just wide while Chris Brown went close with a header from a free-kick.

Gary Bowyer's side were in the ascendency after the restart as Watford struggled to get going.

Rhodes headed a Marshall cross over, Craig Conway shot wide and it took a superb save from Gomes to prevent Blackburn from taking the lead in the 72nd minute.

The Brazilian initially started to come as Jordan Lowe clipped a ball into the area but as substitute Rudy Gestede headed down, the keeper started to retreat, and instinctively pushed Rhodes' strike behind.

Watford had offered little going forward in the second period, but the instinctive finishing of Ighalo, who scored four in their 7-2 win over Blackpool last month, was the difference.

Layun's corner bounced around the area until it sat for Ighalo, who hooked his effort at goal and even though Steele was able to get a hand on it he could not prevent the ball crossing the line.

Watford manager Slavisa Jokanovic:

"Heurelho Gomes made some spectacular saves but this is part of his job.

"We are fighting, we are now suffering altogether. We know if we arrive at the end of the game with a clean sheet and we can make a chance, we can win the game.

"My team didn't play a brilliant game, we had many difficulties and we didn't play the game Blackburn played today. They didn't surprise us but we were strong enough to resolve the problems."

Blackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer:

"We didn't take our chances, we weren't ruthless enough with that and we didn't defend the scruffy corner well enough.

"Overall, performance-wise, we were by far the better team and what it does do is it gives us, if you take the emotion out of it, the confidence that we're not going to be too far away.

"A lot of people talk about the gap, the points, but if we perform like that from now until the end of the season we'll be very close."

Line-ups

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 15CathcartBooked at 28mins
  • 4Angella
  • 31HobanSubstituted forVydraat 60'minutes
  • 14ParedesBooked at 20mins
  • 7LayunSubstituted forTozserat 89'minutes
  • 23WatsonSubstituted forAbdiat 74'minutes
  • 3MunariBooked at 45mins
  • 21Anya
  • 9Deeney
  • 24Ighalo

Substitutes

  • 8Tozser
  • 11Forestieri
  • 12Doyley
  • 18Pudil
  • 20Vydra
  • 22Abdi
  • 30Bond

Blackburn

  • 30Steele
  • 6Lowe
  • 5Hanley
  • 4KilgallonBooked at 55mins
  • 14Olsson
  • 32Conway
  • 29Evans
  • 25SpearingBooked at 19minsSubstituted forKingat 87'minutes
  • 12MarshallSubstituted forCairneyat 67'minutes
  • 9BrownSubstituted forGestedeat 67'minutes
  • 11Rhodes

Substitutes

  • 3Spurr
  • 7King
  • 10Cairney
  • 13Eastwood
  • 15Baptiste
  • 19Taylor
  • 39Gestede
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
15,011

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamBlackburn
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home10
Away20
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away10
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 0.

Offside, Watford. Almen Abdi tries a through ball, but Odion Ighalo is caught offside.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jason Lowe.

Attempt blocked. Matej Vydra (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Corry Evans.

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

Gianni Munari (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Daniel Tözsér replaces Miguel Layún.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Joshua King replaces Jay Spearing.

Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers).

Odion Ighalo (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Miguel Layún.

Attempt blocked. Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Juan Carlos Paredes.

Goal!

Goal! Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 0. Odion Ighalo (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gabriele Angella following a corner.

Attempt missed. Gabriele Angella (Watford) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jay Spearing.

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

Heurelho Gomes (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Heurelho Gomes.

Attempt saved. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Juan Carlos Paredes (Watford).

Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Craig Conway.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Almen Abdi replaces Ben Watson.

Attempt blocked. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Kilgallon.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Heurelho Gomes.

Attempt saved. Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Heurelho Gomes.

Attempt saved. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.

Attempt saved. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Tom Cairney replaces Ben Marshall.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Rudy Gestede replaces Chris Brown.

Foul by Chris Brown (Blackburn Rovers).

Miguel Layún (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bournemouth29176662293357
2Derby29176656263057
3Middlesbrough29168546192756
4Brentford2916494537852
5Ipswich29149646291751
6Watford29155957332450
7Norwich29138854342047
8Wolves2912983437-345
9Blackburn29109103839-139
10Sheff Wed2991282226-439
11Birmingham2991193240-838
12Nottm Forest29910104042-237
13Reading29107123543-837
14Huddersfield29107123948-937
15Cardiff2998123743-635
16Fulham29105144250-835
17Bolton2997133443-934
18Rotherham29712102836-833
19Charlton2961582638-1233
20Leeds2988133040-1032
21Brighton29611123239-729
22Millwall2969142747-2027
23Wigan29410152739-1222
24Blackpool2948172254-3220
View full Championship table

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