Post by Football News on Sept 23, 2017 13:08:44 GMT
Southampton 0 - 2 Watford
Daryl Janmaat thunderbolt wraps up Watford victory over Southampton
Away team scorers Abdoulaye Doucoure 38 Daryl Janmaat 66
Long-range strikes from Abdoulaye Doucouré and Daryl Janmaat ended Southampton’s unbeaten start to the season and lifted Watford into the top four. The goals secured a 2-0 victory for the upwardly mobile Hornets in a game where Saints’ struggles in front of goal continued.
Doucouré pounced shortly before half-time from outside the penalty area and Janmaat hit a second-half cracker four minutes after coming on as a substitute. Meanwhile, Southampton drew a blank for the third time in their four Premier League matches this season.
“Obviously I’m not happy with our performance said the Southampton manager, Mauricio Pellegrino. “But to score goals is not just for the strikers.”
His side have issues to address at the back, too. There was again no Virgil van Dijk in the squad – the club captain is now building up his fitness after failing to secure a move to Liverpool – so in his absence another Dutch centre-back, Wesley Hoedt, was handed his debut.
Hoedt was kept busy early on by Watford’s bustling striker Andre Gray, while the Brazilian youngster Richarlison was proving a handful down the left. Richarlison created the first decent opening, midway through the first half, when he evaded two defenders before seeing his shot deflected wide by Jack Stephens.
Neither goalkeeper had been forced into action until seven minutes before half-time, when Southampton only half-cleared a ball into their penalty area. It fell to Doucouré 20 yards out and the French midfielder lashed a volley past Fraser Forster into the bottom corner.
Forster did make a save moments later, at his near post to deny Richarlison and Doucouré side-footed narrowly over as Watford finished the half on top. There were boos from some of the Southampton faithful as their side trudged off – harsh given they were previously unbeaten this campaign.
The home side staged a brief revival after the interval but failed to make the most of their chances: Sofiane Boufal sliced his shot over and Nathan Redmond hit the side-netting.
A Watford defence already hit by injuries was stretched further when Younès Kaboul and Kiko Femenía both limped off on the hour, but rather than knocking the visitors out of their stride the changes paid immediate dividends as one of the substitutes, Janmaat, expertly found the net from 25 yards.
“It can happen in football,” said Marco Silva. “The first goal was a moment when we worked really hard. And the second goal is a great finish, a moment sometimes you might not expect.”
Pellegrino sent on Shane Long and Charlie Austin in desperate search of a goal but the only cheers from the home crowd were the ironic ones that greeted Southampton’s first shot on target, from Cédric Soares, which came in stoppage time.
“I am here because the team was in trouble last season,” said Pellegrino. “If everything was perfect there would be a different manager here.”