Premier League

Watford 0-0 Middlesbrough

There was a mosaic in tribute to Graham Taylor before kick-off

Watford and Middlesbrough played out an uninspiring goalless draw as Hornets fans paid tribute to former manager Graham Taylor, who died earlier this week.

After a first half that only had three shots - the lowest in any match in the Premier League this season - Watford created the best chances in the second period.

On-loan substitute Tom Cleverley hit the post late on, Etienne Capoue shot over and Abdoulaye Doucoure headed wide on an emotional afternoon at Vicarage Road.

Middlesbrough's best chance fell to debutant Rudy Gestede, but he shot narrowly over.

The result means Watford remain 14th, with Middlesbrough in 16th position, four points above the relegation zone.

Tributes to a Watford legend

Minute applause
A minute's applause was held in memory of Graham Taylor before the match

Former England manager Taylor died on Thursday, aged 72, and fans paid their respects to the man regarded as the best Hornets boss of all time.

He took the club from the old Fourth Division to a second-placed finish in the top flight in five seasons, and also led them to the 1984 FA Cup final, which they lost 2-0 to Everton.

Before the game there was a mosaic from the Watford fans spelling out the initials GT and a heart. A minute's applause was also heard before the match and chants of 'only one Graham Taylor' were a frequent part of the afternoon.

The game was also attended by Taylor's wife Rita and daughters Joanne and Karen while at half-time a number of former Watford players went on to the pitch to talk about their memories of Taylor.

Middlesbrough's goalscoring problems continue

Aitor Karanka's side are the lowest goalscorers in the Premier League with only 17 in 21 matches.

They only had one effort on target - a Fabio shot palmed away by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who later suffered a back injury when he landed badly after he punched the ball away from Alvaro Negredo.

Cristhian Stuani wasted another rare chance for Boro as his lofted shot ended on top of the net.

However, Karanka will be optimistic by Gestede's performance when he came on for the last 25 minutes following a £6m move from Aston Villa earlier this month.

Watford also have problems getting goals with captain Troy Deeney - one of three players to be booked along with team-mate Miguel Britos and Watford's Fabio in a late scuffle - now on a run of one goal in 14 games.

He did, however, set up Cleverley with a flick-on after a long throw but the midfielder, on loan from Everton, could only hit the post.

Boro goalkeeper Victor Valdes also did well to save a shot from Doucoure and a header from Stefano Okaka.

Middlesbrough only had five attempts on goal with only one on target (green circle) from Fabio. The other shots came from Cristhian Stuani, Grant Leadbitter and two from Rudy Gestede

Stats - a rare clean sheet for the Hornets

  • Watford have not lost to Middlesbrough in the league since October 2012, seven games without defeat (won four, drawn three).
  • The Hornets ended a run of 10 successive Premier League games without a clean sheet, with their first shut-out since October 2016 (v Hull).
  • Middlesbrough have failed to score in five of their past seven Premier League games, recording just one win in that period (drew two, lost four).
  • Watford have failed to score in the first half in 14 of their past 16 Premier League games.
  • Rudy Gestede has played 32 consecutive Premier League games without a win; the longest ever run in the competition.

Man of the match - Etienne Capoue (Watford)

Etienne Capoue
Watford's Etienne Capoue created four chances with key passes and had two shots on goal

What they said

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri said: "In the second half we had six or seven very good chances and hit the post so we were unlucky but I'm happy with the performance.

"In some of the games we were not lucky at all and today we were very unlucky, the important thing is to keep playing and the victory will come."

On the tribute to former Hornets manager Graham Taylor, Mazzarri said: "It was beautiful, there were a lot of emotions, everyone was emotional.

"We wanted to give this victory to this great person who passed away and that is the only thing we missed."

Watford captain Troy Deeney said: "Today was more about Graham Taylor and not the result. It would have been nice to get a winner and dedicate it to him.

"You could see how emotional everyone was and it showed how much people care about him. Hopefully this game can be remembered for Graham and not the result. The main thing is we didn't lose.

"There are no words that I can use to sum up how great a man he was and we just wish his family all the best at this difficult time."

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka said: "It was not the best game to watch, for us it was a good game and we showed once again we are a consistent team.

"I would like to have had more chances but they are a strong team and we had to defend.

"We will score goals, we have good players and we created chances but sometimes it is difficult if you are playing against a physical team.

"As a coach until the 31st (of January) you are always expecting for something to happen, the aim is to finish the transfer market with a better squad than we have got at the moment."

What's next?

Watford are away at Bournemouth in the Premier League next Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Middlesbrough entertain West Ham at the same time.



  • 1GomesSubstituted forPantilimonat 66'minutes
  • 4Kaboul
  • 5Prödl
  • 3BritosBooked at 90mins
  • 27Kabasele
  • 29Capoue
  • 11BehramiSubstituted forCleverleyat 77'minutes
  • 25HolebasSubstituted forZuñigaat 89'minutes
  • 16Doucouré
  • 9DeeneyBooked at 90mins
  • 33OkakaBooked at 78mins


  • 8Cleverley
  • 15Cathcart
  • 18Zuñiga
  • 19Sinclair
  • 23Watson
  • 24Ighalo
  • 30Pantilimon


  • 26Valdés
  • 5Bernardo
  • 25Chambers
  • 6Gibson
  • 14de Roon
  • 2FabioBooked at 90mins
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 34Forshaw
  • 3Friend
  • 10Negredo
  • 18StuaniSubstituted forGestedeat 65'minutes


  • 8Clayton
  • 11Fischer
  • 12Guzan
  • 19Downing
  • 22Fry
  • 29Gestede
  • 37Traoré
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Shots on Target

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 0, Middlesbrough 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 0, Middlesbrough 0.

Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Stefano Okaka (Watford).


Fabio (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.


Troy Deeney (Watford) is shown the yellow card.


Miguel Britos (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Fabio (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Miguel Britos (Watford).

Attempt saved. Christian Kabasele (Watford) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Etienne Capoue with a cross.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Marten de Roon.

Foul by Fabio (Middlesbrough).

Juan Zuñiga (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


Substitution, Watford. Juan Zuñiga replaces José Holebas.

Attempt saved. Sebastian Prödl (Watford) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Etienne Capoue with a cross.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Víctor Valdés.

Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tom Cleverley with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Adam Forshaw with a cross.

Fabio (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Younes Kaboul (Watford).

Foul by Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough).

Sebastian Prödl (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Etienne Capoue (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Tom Cleverley (Watford) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Troy Deeney with a headed pass.

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.


Stefano Okaka (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

Stefano Okaka (Watford) has gone down, but that's a dive.


Substitution, Watford. Tom Cleverley replaces Valon Behrami.

Foul by Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough).

Etienne Capoue (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christian Kabasele (Watford).

Attempt missed. Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Christian Kabasele with a cross.

Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Younes Kaboul (Watford).

Foul by Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough).

Etienne Capoue (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by George Friend.


Substitution, Watford. Costel Pantilimon replaces Heurelho Gomes because of an injury.


Substitution, Middlesbrough. Rudy Gestede replaces Cristhian Stuani.


As It Stood

5Man City20133441221942
6Man Utd20116331191239
8West Brom218582828029
12West Ham2174102635-925
17Crystal Palace2144133040-1016
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