Premier League
Watford3Aston Villa2

Watford 3-2 Aston Villa

Troy Deeney
Troy Deeney also scored the decisive goal when Watford won 3-2 at Villa Park in November

Troy Deeney's two late goals denied Aston Villa what would have been only their fourth league win of the season.

Ciaran Clark nodded home Villa's opener from Ashley Westwood's corner, and Almen Abdi equalised for Watford with a curled free-kick just before half-time.

Jordan Ayew's low drive restored Villa's lead, but Aly Cissokho was then sent off with 17 minutes to play.

Deeney rose to head home Steven Berghuis's 90th-minute cross, before slotting in a loose ball in the box.

Relegated Villa were minutes away from victory, but the Premier League's bottom club fell to a particularly galling 11th consecutive loss.

Three points for 12th-placed Watford, meanwhile, means they are mathematically assured of their Premier League safety.

Villa making more history (the wrong kind)

The last time Villa won was at home to Norwich on 6 February, the 2-0 victory being one of very few positives in what has been a truly miserable season.

Saturday's defeat at Vicarage Road equals their longest losing run of 11 matches, set during the 1962-63 season in the old First Division.

The fact they had grown into the game to lead twice deservedly will make this result especially hard to take for the Villa fans who were there.

The 2,000 or so who travelled south saw Ayew hit the post with a header in the first half, before his brilliantly-taken second was scored after a lovely one-two with Rudy Gestede, who himself should have added a third but ballooned over from inside the box.

Jordan Ayew's goal
Villa scored just after the break to restore their load and it was a superbly-worked team goal, with Ayew providing the finish from outside the box

But after Cissokho was sent off for a professional foul on Ikechi Anya, Deeney powered his side to a dramatic victory and ensured the away side suffered the familiar feeling of defeat in a new and agonising manner.

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Deeney is Watford's (and Flores'?) saviour

A defeat by Villa, just under a week after losing to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-finals, would have been hard for manager Quique Sanchez Flores to explain when he sits down to discuss his future at the end of the season.

If results go their way, the Hornets could finish as high as ninth in the table - a year on from their promotion from the Championship - but there is uncertainty over whether Spaniard Flores will keep his job.

This was Watford's second win in nine league games, and it was earned through two late moments of quality from Deeney after being outplayed for much of the afternoon.

Ben Watson cannoned against the bar with a volley before Villa took the lead and Abdi's equaliser was excellent - but in the second half, they were second best.

Had Villa not been stretched by the sending off of left-back Cissokho, this result may have been very different.

Man of the match - Troy Deeney (Watford)

Troy Deeney
The big performance came from Deeney. He was about as average as most of his fellow Watford players until the final stages, when his dramatic late double turned the afternoon on its head

What they said

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Watford's survival 'amazing' feeling for Flores

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores: "It was important because now mathematically we are [safe] in the Premier League and for Watford that is amazing.

"We deserved to win the match. We had control but we conceded two silly goals and had to work pretty hard. We have to fight against these sort of teams.

"The speculation [about my future] in many ways is not good for the players. The players always want to focus on the main target and the main target is the match.

"Speculation is not important. What was important was to be competitive."

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Eric Black rues 'correct' red card in Villa loss

Aston Villa caretaker-boss Eric Black: "The players have been criticised, and justifiably so, but not today. Ultimately of course you need to win games but there was a lot to be encouraged by.

"It's a fantastic football club with fantastic supporters and maybe it's just one little step towards getting the supporters back on side.

"I thought the effort of the players was outstanding, they showed desire and hunger but the sending-off changes the whole context of the game.

"At 2-1 up, I thought we looked like the team who were going to score again. The key moment is the sending off."

The stats you need to know

  • Watford have secured two league wins in a single season against Aston Villa for the first time since 1969-70.
  • Troy Deeney is the second Watford player to score over 10 Premier League goals (11), after Odion Ighalo managed it earlier this campaign (14).
  • Villa have led in just eight Premier League games this season, winning just three of those matches (D2 L3).
  • Almen Abdi is the first Watford player to score directly from a free-kick in Premier League history.
  • Jordan Ayew scored away from home for the first time since December for the Villans.

What's next?

Aston Villa play at home to Newcastle next Saturday, while Watford travel to Liverpool for their next match on Sunday.

Line-ups

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 14ParedesSubstituted forBerghuisat 57'minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 15Cathcart
  • 3Britos
  • 21Anya
  • 22AbdiBooked at 82mins
  • 4Suárez
  • 23Watson
  • 7JuradoSubstituted forAmrabatat 71'minutes
  • 9Deeney
  • 24Ighalo

Substitutes

  • 2Nyom
  • 5Prödl
  • 11Amrabat
  • 16Aké
  • 17Guédioura
  • 18Pantilimon
  • 20Berghuis

Aston Villa

  • 31BunnBooked at 77mins
  • 6Clark
  • 16Lescott
  • 46Toner
  • 21Hutton
  • 15Westwood
  • 7BacunaBooked at 41mins
  • 8GueyeBooked at 45minsSubstituted forSinclairat 88'minutes
  • 43CissokhoBooked at 73mins
  • 19J AyewSubstituted forSánchezat 79'minutes
  • 39Gestede

Substitutes

  • 1Guzan
  • 4Richards
  • 9Sinclair
  • 17Veretout
  • 24Sánchez
  • 25Gil
  • 40Grealish
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
20,653

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home18
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 3, Aston Villa 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 3, Aston Villa 2.

Foul by Odion Ighalo (Watford).

Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Watford 3, Aston Villa 2. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Ben Watson (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa).

Foul by Almen Abdi (Watford).

Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Watford 2, Aston Villa 2. Troy Deeney (Watford) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steven Berghuis with a cross.

Attempt missed. Steven Berghuis (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Scott Sinclair replaces Idrissa Gueye.

Foul by Miguel Britos (Watford).

Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Alan Hutton.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

Booking

Almen Abdi (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Almen Abdi (Watford).

Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ben Watson (Watford).

Kevin Toner (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Carlos Sánchez replaces Jordan Ayew.

Booking

Steven Berghuis (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Steven Berghuis (Watford).

Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Mark Bunn (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Almen Abdi (Watford).

Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Rudy Gestede.

Attempt blocked. Almen Abdi (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Almen Abdi (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Dismissal

Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) is shown the red card.

Ikechi Anya (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa).

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Almen Abdi.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Nordin Amrabat replaces Jurado.

Offside, Aston Villa. Rudy Gestede tries a through ball, but Jordan Ayew is caught offside.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Ben Watson.

Offside, Aston Villa. Mark Bunn tries a through ball, but Jordan Ayew is caught offside.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester352210363333076
2Tottenham351912465263969
3Arsenal361910759342567
4Man City35197966343264
5West Ham351514660431759
6Man Utd34178942301259
7Liverpool341510958451355
8Southampton351591149371254
9Stoke36139143852-1448
10Chelsea341211115346747
11Everton351014115549644
12Watford35128153642-644
13West Brom361011153246-1441
14Bournemouth36118174363-2041
15Swansea351010153449-1540
16Crystal Palace36109173646-1039
17Newcastle3689193964-2533
18Sunderland35711174058-1832
19Norwich3587203561-2631
20Aston Villa3637262772-4516
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