The Hornets maintain their spot above Mauricio Pellegrino’s side in the Premier League table following encouraging win
LONG-RANGE EFFORTS by Abdoulaye Doucoure and Daryl Janmaat downed the sorry Saints.
Neither goalkeeper had many shots on target worth the name to deal with what was a very poor game for long periods.
But Doucoure and Janmaat made theirs count to maintain Watford’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season and inflict a first defeat on a Southampton side who were booed off by their own fans.
Apart from Doucoure’s goal, there was little to enjoy in the first half.
There were no other shots on goal, even though referee Lee Probert awarded a corner for a Richarlison effort which went into the side-netting not long after Watford hard taken the lead.
The home fans were so bored by 35 minutes that they started banging out a rhythm on the cardboard clappers Southampton had put on every seat – including those for the media, with bizarre optimism.
Saints supporters did not like the way in which the game became vaguely interesting, though.
There seemed little on when the ball came to Doucoure just outside the box but he turned and hit a low bouncing shot which zipped past Fraser Forster into the bottom corner.
Southampton deserved the boos which greeted the half-time whistle.
Mauricio Pellegrino had made three changes from the 0-0 draw at Huddersfield, presumably in search of the goals which had eluded in all but one of their four previous games this season. But they created precisely nothing.
Pellegrino hooked James Ward-Prowse at the break and brought on more creativity in the shape of Dusan Tadic.
They had done a bit better, putting pressure on Watford and forcing some last-ditch blocks, before Janmaat was given time to line up a shot from 25 yards which zipped across Forster and in.
Pellegrino threw on Shane Long and Charlie Austin, but to little effect.
Everyone loves a bit of disco, and the Abdoulaye Doucoure song to the tune of Earth Wind and Fire’s ”September” was both appropriate for the time of year and much more entertaining than anything else in the first half.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS– CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- Watford’s victory marks Marco Silva’s first back to back league wins away from home as a maneger for the first time since April 2016, during his time as boss of Greek side Olympiakos.
- The Hornets maintained their impressive clean sheet record today at St Mary’s. They have now kept a clean sheet in their last three Premier League games.
- Today’s fixture marked the fifth consecutive league meeting at St.Mary’s between these sides in which a different manager has been in each dugout – Aidy Boothroyd and Jan Poortvliet in October 2008, Sean Dyche and Nigel Adkins in October 2011, Quique Flores and Ronald Koeman in January 2016, Walter Mazzarri and Claude Puel in August 2016 and Marco Silva and Mauricio Pellegrino this season.
- Southampton were unbeaten in their previous five Premier League matches against Watford, since losing the first encounter 2-3 at Vicarage Road in 1999.
- The Saints have failed to score in nine of their last 13 Premier League matches.
- Nathan Redmond has had a hand in five goals in his last three Premier League games against Watford, netting four times and assisting one.
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