WatfordWatford1BlackburnBlackburn Rovers0

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."



Formation 3-5-2

  • 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


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


Formation 4-4-2

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


  • 3Spurr
  • 7King
  • 10Cairney
  • 13Eastwood
  • 15Baptiste
  • 19Taylor
  • 39Gestede
Andy Madley

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamBlackburn
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 1, Blackburn Rovers 0.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jason Lowe.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

  10. Post update

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

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Daniel Tözsér replaces Miguel Layún.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Joshua King replaces Jay Spearing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Miguel Layún.

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Juan Carlos Paredes.

  18. 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.

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jay Spearing.

As It Stood

10Sheff Wed2991282226-439
12Nottm Forest29910104042-237
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