Premier League
WatfordWatford1SwanseaSwansea City0

Watford 1-0 Swansea City

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo joined Watford from Udinese in 2014

Odion Ighalo's second-half strike earned 10-man Watford their first Premier League victory of the season at the expense of in-form Swansea.

The Nigeria forward pounced on a headed knockdown from Troy Deeney to fire in from eight yards and score the club's first goal at home this campaign.

Watford were reduced to 10 men when Valon Behrami was sent off after appearing to stamp on Andre Ayew.

Bafetimbi Gomis went closest for the Swans with a shot that was well saved.

Reaction to this match and the rest of Saturday's action

Read how Watford recorded their first win

So why did it fall in place for the Hornets?

Flores hails Watford 'heroes'

It is a cliche, but belief appeared to be the key.

They reduced previously unbeaten Swansea to just eight efforts on goal - four of those off target.

Unsurprisingly, the visitors, who prefer to play a passing game as opposed to the Hornets' more direct approach, had the most possession with 61.8%.

But Swansea were second best in the duels, with Quique Sanchez Flores's men winning 54.8% of those battles in the second half.

This fighting spirit has been typical of Watford this season so far, having held Southampton, West Brom and Everton. The difference at Vicarage Road on Saturday was that they also managed to score.

What did the Watford forwards do right today?

Swans lacked focus - Monk

The focus was on last season's hero Deeney, who scored 21 goals in total to help the Hornets to promotion.

He has yet to get off the mark this season, but played a major role in the goal and had support on Saturday from the scorer Ighalo.

The 26-year-old Nigeria international was impressive as a target man. He caused all sorts of trouble for Swansea's backline, with the usually unflappable Ashley Williams finding it difficult to handle his physical presence and pace.

His 84.6% success rate in distribution was the third best in his team and he won 50% of his duels.

Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo occupied the left of the forward line but as you can see covered much of the final third

Man of the match - Odion Ighalo (Watford)

Odion Ighalo
The Swansea defence were bullied by Odion Ighalo, who was a great foil for Troy Deeney

Manager reaction

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores:

"It was a really big experience to win first match in Premier League. It was a really tough match as Swansea is a good team.

"In the first half we played well and had control. It got complicated after the sending off.

"In the second half we had to defend a lot, I don't like to play like this. I'm really pleased and would like to dedicate this win to the fans."

Swansea manager Garry Monk:

"We got what we deserved. We just didn't perform. We couldn't get into it when the sending off came. We are very disappointed.

"We had a lack of focus on the things we do well. Our job is to come back and put those things right.

"We have no excuses. We were quite sluggish. I have no complaints with the result."

The stats you need to know

  • Odion Ighalo has scored 18 goals in 23 league appearances in 2015 - more than any other player in the top four tiers this year.
  • Iglaho's goal was the 100th Premier League goal scored at Vicarage Road - 3044 days after the 99th.
  • Valon Behrami's red card was his first in 63 Premier League appearances.
  • The Hornets secured their first Premier League win at Vicarage Road since April 2007 (4-2 v Portsmouth).

What next?

Watford, who have risen to 12th, face a trip to Newcastle next week, while Swansea, who fell to sixth, are at home to Everton.

Line-ups

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 2Nyom
  • 5Prödl
  • 15Cathcart
  • 21Anya
  • 22AbdiSubstituted forWatsonat 66'minutes
  • 29CapoueBooked at 90mins
  • 8BehramiBooked at 64mins
  • 7Jurado
  • 9DeeneySubstituted forDiamantiat 84'minutes
  • 24IghaloSubstituted forBerghuisat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 19Ibarbo
  • 20Berghuis
  • 23Watson
  • 25Holebas
  • 32Diamanti
  • 33Dyer
  • 34Arlauskis

Swansea

  • 1Fabianski
  • 26Naughton
  • 33Fernandez
  • 6Williams
  • 3Taylor
  • 24CorkSubstituted forKi Sung-yuengat 66'minutesBooked at 67mins
  • 8Shelvey
  • 10A Ayew
  • 23G SigurdssonSubstituted forMacedo Lopesat 71'minutes
  • 15RoutledgeSubstituted forMonteroat 60'minutes
  • 18Gomis

Substitutes

  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 11Emnes
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 17Macedo Lopes
  • 20Montero
  • 22Rangel
  • 27Bartley
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
20,057

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 1, Swansea City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 1, Swansea City 0.

  3. Post update

    Dangerous play by Eder (Swansea City).

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Federico Fernández (Swansea City) header from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jefferson Montero with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Bafétimbi Gomis.

  7. Booking

    Etienne Capoue (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Steven Berghuis (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Steven Berghuis (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jurado.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Jurado.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Swansea City. Neil Taylor tries a through ball, but Bafétimbi Gomis is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jurado (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Neil Taylor (Swansea City).

  19. Post update

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

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Alessandro Diamanti replaces Troy Deeney.