Premier League

Burnley 0-0 Watford: Roy Hodgson secures first Watford clean sheet on frustrating night

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Wout Weghorst
Burnley have now drawn 0-0 five times this season

Roy Hodgson said his return to the Premier League as Watford manager was a "baptism of fire" after his side secured a point in his first game at bottom side Burnley.

Watford remain in the relegation zone after the goalless draw but former England manager Hodgson believes he has the "knowhow to help them" stay in the top flight.

Hodgson has never suffered relegation from the Premier League.

"I was more than prepared to walk away for longer than seven months but [they] convinced me I could do a job for them," said Hodgson.

"I had that stress before, but the way we work, I felt we could have an effect and give us a chance to stay up. But I've had a baptism of fire like the players.

"We have to keep Watford in the league. That's how it is and that's what we'll work towards."

Watford came closest to breaking the deadlock at Turf Moor just before half-time, when Clarets skipper Ben Mee almost turned the ball into his own net from a corner.

Burnley's best chances came after the break when Maxwel Cornet forced a decent save out of Ben Foster with a curling shot and £12m new-boy Wout Weghorst fired wide after being set-up by James Tarkowski.

But, in their first home game since the middle of December and only their 19th game of the season - the latest any side has reached the halfway point of a Premier League campaign - Sean Dyche's Burnley still lack conviction around the penalty area and have recorded a solitary win all season.

They are now three points behind fourth-bottom Norwich, albeit with three games in hand, and boos accompanied the final whistle.

Watford are two points better off from two extra games and Hodgson can take comfort from the clean sheet, his side's first in 31 Premier League matches.

Roy's return

Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson's last game in charge of Crystal Palace was a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield

As the opening period drew to a close, the TV cameras panned on to Hodgson.

He was stood in his technical area, the rain swirling around him, utterly drenched. His glasses were steamed up, his hands were stuffed into his pockets.

At the age of 74, Hodgson had no need to put himself through a foul Lancashire evening. He didn't need to join a 17th club in his stellar career.

But football is Hodgson's life. The former England boss thrives on the challenge and he even joked afterwards that he did not notice the horrific weather conditions.

"I was aware of the wind and rain because of how it was affecting the game. It was only at half-time when I came in and saw how wet I'd got that I realised how much it was raining!" he added.

He will be delighted with the clean sheet, even if he failed to join the company of Xisco Munoz, who remains alone among Watford's last 11 managers to win his first game.

Watford did have chances. Joao Pedro should have done better with a second-half header that went straight to Nick Pope, who was tested to a far greater degree by Tom Cleverley's long-range effort in the final stages.

In Moussa Sissoko and Edo Kayembe, Watford were able to gain control in midfield, which meant Burnley were never able to generate a head of steam that might seriously threaten a home win.

Burnley lack cutting edge

Premier League table
Watford moved above Newcastle on goal difference following the draw at Burnley

Dyche can only hope the Weghorst and Cornet combination eventually click into gear as the lack of goals is a clear threat to their five-year stay in the top flight.

In patches, both looked decent, without truly getting on top of the Watford backline.

And Burnley's hopes were not helped by repeatedly gifting their opponents possession with poor passing under minimal pressure.

Mee was particularly wasteful, which was not the way he would have wanted to mark a decade of outstanding service.

He came perilously close to turning the ball into his own goal and was relieved that first, Aaron Lennon stopped the ball, before his central defensive partner Tarkowski cleared it.

Substitute Jay Rodriguez steered a header wide of the far post in the latter stages, although by then, it appeared both sides had settled for a point.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Pope
  • 14Roberts
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 6Mee
  • 23Pieters
  • 17LennonSubstituted forRodriguezat 66'minutes
  • 18Westwood
  • 16StephensBooked at 45mins
  • 11McNeil
  • 20Cornet
  • 9Weghorst


  • 2Lowton
  • 4Cork
  • 13Hennessey
  • 19Rodriguez
  • 22Collins
  • 25Norris
  • 26Bardsley
  • 28Long
  • 37Thomas


Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Foster
  • 21Femenía
  • 15Cathcart
  • 22Samir
  • 14Kamara
  • 33Kucka
  • 19Sissoko
  • 39KayembeSubstituted forCleverleyat 70'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 12Sema
  • 10João PedroSubstituted forHernándezat 83'minutes
  • 7KingBooked at 20mins


  • 2Ngakia
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 6Louza
  • 8Cleverley
  • 11Masina
  • 17Fletcher
  • 26Bachmann
  • 27Kabasele
  • 29Hernández
Craig Pawson

Match Stats

Home TeamBurnleyAway TeamWatford
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Burnley 0, Watford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Burnley 0, Watford 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by James Tarkowski (Burnley).

  4. Post update

    Joshua King (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Booking

    Tom Cleverley (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Dwight McNeil (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Tom Cleverley (Watford).

  8. Post update

    Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Maxwel Cornet (Burnley) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Wout Weghorst (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Craig Cathcart (Watford).

  12. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Nick Pope.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tom Cleverley (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Cucho Hernández.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cucho Hernández (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Hassane Kamara.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joshua King (Watford) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Kiko Femenía with a cross.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Wout Weghorst (Burnley).

  18. Post update

    Joshua King (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Cucho Hernández replaces João Pedro.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Westwood (Burnley).

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Saturday 5th February 2022

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