Championship
RotherhamRotherham United1WatfordWatford4

Rotherham 1-4 Watford: Hornets continue automatic promotion form at struggling Millers

Francisco Sierralta heads in Watford's opening goal against Rotherham
Francisco Sierralta (far left) headed in Watford's first goal in a commanding display at Rotherham

Watford strengthened their grip on second place in the Championship as they scored four goals against relegation-threatened Rotherham.

Francisco Sierralta gave the Hornets the lead with an early header, before Ismaila Sarr's instinctive finish and Ken Sema's volley put them on course for a fourth successive win before half-time.

Rotherham saw a Michael Smith penalty saved by Daniel Bachmann early in the second half before Freddie Ladapo gave the hosts hope of a comeback with a superb solo run and strike.

But that proved to be short-lived as substitute Dan Gosling netted Watford's fourth from the restart as he swept in the rebound after Andre Gray's shot was saved by Jamal Blackman.

Watford have won eight of their past nine matches while Rotherham's first return to action in 13 days, after having to postpone their past three fixtures because of a coronavirus outbreak, left them still third from bottom.

The Millers, whose manager Paul Warne was also absent from the touchline while he continues to self-isolate as a result of the three cases recorded, have won just once in their past seven games.

Watford's hold on second place, meanwhile, was boosted as fellow promotion contenders Swansea City lost at Bournemouth and Brentford were held to a draw at Derby County.

Xisco Munoz's side started quickly at the New York Stadium, with Sierralta making amends for an own goal he netted at Cardiff on Saturday by heading in at the right end from Philip Zinckernagel's cross.

Sarr doubled the lead midway through the first half, reacting quickest to a Nathaniel Chalobah shot that Blackman failed to push away from danger. Rotherham's appeals for offside went unnoticed as Sarr fired into the roof of the net.

Just before the break, Sema put the visitors in command with a neat piece of control on his chest and knee from Zinckernagel's low corner before striking a handsome low volley on his left foot into the bottom right corner.

Rotherham spurned the chance to claw themselves back into the game early in the second half when top-scorer Smith failed to convert from the spot after being fouled by William Troost-Ekong.

Ladapo did find the back of the net though with his second sumptuous strike in as many games from outside the box, but Watford punished their hosts for a fourth time almost straight away.

Midfielder Gosling was presented with a simple finish with his first touch to put the result beyond doubt.

Rotherham United assistant manager Richie Barker told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"It was a very difficult night, but I'm disappointed in the manner of the goals and disappointed to concede from second phases of set play.

"But in terms of the difficulty of the past two weeks, the fact that we've even got the game ahead and played it and the players gave everything that they've got, we could've come away with something had chances fallen for us at one stage.

"We knew how Watford would play, but everything just felt a bit alien tonight. It's been a long period of time without the lads being able to train properly.

"Getting the game completed and getting some minutes into people is one thing tonight and we just have to move on and we'll have to move on quickly."

Watford manager Xisco Munoz:

"We are building something and, while I was happy with this game and it was an amazing performance, we can still perform better.

"We had situations in the game where we weren't in control and you have to deal with different styles of play in the Championship.

"We also scored four goals, but could have had more and we've got to continue with our hard work through the week in training, because we are very ambitious."

Line-ups

Rotherham

Formation 3-5-2

  • 27Blackman
  • 20Ihiekwe
  • 6Wood
  • 21MacDonald
  • 22OlosundeSubstituted forGilesat 72'minutes
  • 26Barlaser
  • 4MacDonaldSubstituted forSadlierat 73'minutes
  • 25Crooks
  • 8WilesSubstituted forHardingat 55'minutes
  • 24SmithSubstituted forJozefzoonat 79'minutes
  • 10LadapoSubstituted forHirstat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Johansson
  • 9Hirst
  • 17Sadlier
  • 19Harding
  • 28Jozefzoon
  • 30Giles
  • 34Gratton
  • 35Hull

Watford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Bachmann
  • 21FemeníaSubstituted forGrayat 53'minutes
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 31Sierralta
  • 11Masina
  • 14ChalobahSubstituted forGoslingat 67'minutes
  • 19HughesSubstituted forSuccessat 80'minutes
  • 7ZinckernagelSubstituted forC Sánchezat 68'minutes
  • 23SarrSubstituted forNgakiaat 53'minutes
  • 10João Pedro
  • 12Sema

Substitutes

  • 1Foster
  • 3Ngakia
  • 15Cathcart
  • 16Gosling
  • 17Lazaar
  • 18Gray
  • 22Success
  • 28C Sánchez
  • 44Hungbo
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson

Match Stats

Home TeamRotherhamAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home11
Away16
Shots on Target
Home4
Away10
Corners
Home5
Away8
Fouls
Home12
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rotherham United 1, Watford 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rotherham United 1, Watford 4.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kieran Sadlier (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Carlos Sánchez (Watford).

  5. Post update

    Daniel Barlaser (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Andre Gray (Watford) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Masina with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Carlos Sánchez (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by George Hirst (Rotherham United).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andre Gray (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Isaac Success.

  10. Post update

    Offside, Watford. Jeremy Ngakia tries a through ball, but Andre Gray is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Jeremy Ngakia (Watford).

  12. Post update

    George Hirst (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Isaac Success (Watford).

  14. Post update

    Angus MacDonald (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Isaac Success replaces Will Hughes.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Rotherham United. Florian Jozefzoon replaces Michael Smith.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Rotherham United. George Hirst replaces Freddie Ladapo.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matt Crooks (Rotherham United) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Daniel Barlaser with a cross following a corner.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Jeremy Ngakia.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Andre Gray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich36247553262779
2Watford37219752262672
3Swansea36209745281769
4Brentford361910764382667
5Reading361871150381261
6Barnsley36187114539661
7Bournemouth3716111055371859
8Middlesbrough37168134638856
9Cardiff3715101254371755
10Millwall36111693533249
11Stoke371213124142-149
12Bristol City36153183948-948
13Luton36138153041-1147
14QPR351210133540-546
15Blackburn36128164941844
16Preston37135193948-944
17Nottm Forest361011152935-641
18Huddersfield36118174051-1141
19Derby371010172741-1440
20Coventry36911163248-1638
21Birmingham36811172646-2035
22Rotherham3395193647-1132
23Sheff Wed3597192545-2028
24Wycombe3668222458-3426
View full Championship table

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