Championship
Watford2Middlesbrough0

Watford 2-0 Middlesbrough

Watford striker Troy Deeney and Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate
Troy Deeney is eighth in the list of Watford's all-time top goalscorers

Troy Deeney became the first Watford player to score 20 goals in three successive seasons as Middlesbrough lost their place at the Championship summit.

Captain Deeney, 26, finished from a narrow angle after controlling Adlene Guedioura's cross from deep.

Strike partner Odion Ighalo made it 2-0 with a left-foot drive from 18 yards.

Guedioura came close to adding a third but his volley was well saved by Dimi Konstantopoulos.

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Jokanovic on Watford v Middlesbrough

The win took Watford top of the table temporarily but they were displaced themselves by new leaders Bournemouth, who beat Birmingham, and Norwich, who defeated Sheffield Wednesday.

Boro started the day as leaders and were seeking a victory that would have put them four points clear at the top - temporarily at least - but managed just two shots on target.

Aitor Karanka's team have the best defence in the Championship but had two new faces in the back four with loan signings Dwight Tiendalli and Fernando Amorebieta making their debuts.

Wing-back Ikechi Anya capitalised on a slip from full-back Tiendalli to force Konstantopoulos into a smart stop after exchanging passes with Odion Ighalo on the edge of the area.

Watford's all-time leading goalscorers
Luther Blissett - 186Charlie White - 88
Tommy Barnett - 163John Barnes - 85
Ross Jenkins - 142Maurice Cook - 81
Cliff Holton - 105Troy Deeney - 80

After five goals in the previous six meetings against them, Middlesbrough should have been well aware of Deeney's potency but some poor defending allowed the striker to give Watford the lead.

Jonathan Woodgate misjudged Guedioura's cross from deep and Deeney brought the ball under control at the back post before beating Konstantopoulos from a tight angle.

Deeney, who moved to Vicarage Road from Walsall in 2010, has now scored 80 goals for Watford.

His exploits this season have been supported by strike partner Ighalo and the Nigerian scored his 19th of the season to double the hosts' advantage.

Only Bournemouth have scored more Championship goals than Slavisa Jokanovic's side and they were rewarded for maintaining their attacking approach after Middlesbrough had dominated possession at the start of the second half.

Ben Watson won possession close to the left touchline and played the ball infield to Ighalo. The striker checked on to his left foot and fired into the top corner from the edge of the area, despite Konstantopoulos getting a hand to the ball.

Guedioura came close to adding a third for Watford but saw his dipping volley spectacularly saved by Konstantopoulos in the closing stages.

Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic:

"I must be happy. It's a good result for us. We played a very good game today and, like always, I will try to prepare for what is in front of us.

"I think my team played a very good game against a strong team like Middlesbrough. We stopped them and we found the space to start to play the football we strive for. We attacked very well and we defended very well and in my opinion we made one completely good game."

"We played tactically very good football. We interpreted our situation very well, when to defend all together and when to choose the moment to attack, and how we're going to attack. I must be happy because my players understand what we expect."

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka:

"It's frustrating because we played against a team which is in our same position but after the game you can feel and you can see the difference in both teams.

"We didn't play well because we played against a team which, without a lot of chances, scored two goals and that's the difference when you have three strikers who have scored more than 50 goals in a season.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult game but after this game I told the players we are having a miracle. To play against teams like Watford, Bournemouth, who have been working with the same manager for four or five years, against Norwich players who were Premier League last season, we are doing amazing."

Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes
Watford have won seven of their last nine games at Vicarage Road
Middlesbrough's Patrick Bamford and Watford's Gabriele Angella
Middlesbrough have won just one away match since 10 February

Line-ups

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 15CathcartSubstituted forConnollyat 60'minutes
  • 4Angella
  • 31Hoban
  • 14Paredes
  • 5GuédiouraBooked at 70minsSubstituted forLayunat 90+2'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8Tozser
  • 23Watson
  • 21Anya
  • 9Deeney
  • 24IghaloSubstituted forVydraat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Munari
  • 7Layun
  • 18Pudil
  • 20Vydra
  • 22Abdi
  • 30Bond
  • 39Connolly

Middlesbrough

  • 13Konstantopoulos
  • 32TiendalliSubstituted forKalasat 63'minutes
  • 39Woodgate
  • 29Amorebieta
  • 3Friend
  • 8ClaytonSubstituted forForshawat 84'minutes
  • 7LeadbitterBooked at 90mins
  • 27Adomah
  • 10TomlinSubstituted forKikeat 62'minutes
  • 20ReachBooked at 26mins
  • 23Bamford

Substitutes

  • 6Gibson
  • 9Kike
  • 12Ripley
  • 18Whitehead
  • 21Vossen
  • 26Kalas
  • 34Forshaw
Referee:
Mike Jones
Attendance:
19,656

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home13
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 2, Middlesbrough 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 2, Middlesbrough 0.

Booking

Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

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

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

Foul by Miguel Layún (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Miguel Layún replaces Adlène Guédioura.

Attempt missed. Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Heurelho Gomes.

Attempt saved. Kike (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Forshaw with a through ball.

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

Adlène Guédioura (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

Offside, Watford. Troy Deeney tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Adam Forshaw replaces Adam Clayton.

Attempt missed. George Friend (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Adam Clayton.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by George Friend.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Adam Reach.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Dimitrios Konstantopoulos.

Attempt saved. Adlène Guédioura (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Troy Deeney with a headed pass.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

Attempt blocked. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Matej Vydra.

Attempt missed. Kike (Middlesbrough) header from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Tomas Kalas with a cross.

Attempt missed. Adam Reach (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kike.

Attempt missed. Adam Reach (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

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

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

Booking

Adlène Guédioura (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Matej Vydra replaces Odion Ighalo.

Foul by Adam Reach (Middlesbrough).

Matthew Connolly (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Watford 2, Middlesbrough 0. Odion Ighalo (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Ben Watson.

Attempt missed. Gabriele Angella (Watford) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

Attempt blocked. Ben Watson (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Ben Watson (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Tomas Kalas replaces Dwight Tiendalli.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bournemouth412211887434477
2Norwich412210979433676
3Watford412371182483476
4Middlesbrough412291060322875
5Derby4120111073452871
6Wolves4120111062491371
7Brentford412171370551570
8Ipswich4119111161461568
9Nottm Forest411513136558758
10Blackburn401512135450457
11Charlton401315124952-354
12Sheff Wed411315133743-654
13Cardiff411313154954-552
14Leeds411410174654-852
15Birmingham401214144760-1350
16Bolton411310185058-849
17Huddersfield411212175169-1848
18Brighton411015164348-545
19Reading39129184362-1945
20Rotherham411013184262-2043
21Fulham40127215172-2143
22Millwall40812203565-3036
23Wigan41811223555-2035
24Blackpool40412243179-4824
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