Watford cruise past Reading

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:40

Watford cruise past Reading

Goals from Almen Abdi, Matej Vydra, Troy Deeney and Fernando Forestieri ensured the Hornets remained level on points with Middlesbrough and Bournemouth at the top of the table, but Slavisa Jokanovic’s men moved into the automatic promotion places having scored more than Boro.
Watford would have been looking to make a strong start against a weakened Reading – Steve Clarke having made nine changes with Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final replay against Bradford very much in mind – and they did exactly that, taking the lead after just 53 seconds.
After being challenged on the edge of the area with his back to goal, Deeney showed desire and no little ability to win the ball back and work it through to Abdi, who cleverly steered a shot beyond Mikkel Andersen with the outside of his right foot.
The scorer’s game was to be ended by injury soon after but the Hornets almost doubled their advantage in the eighth minute when right-back Marco Motta hit a superb half-volley from long range that beat Andersen but crashed back off his crossbar.
Watford were very comfortable and but for the athleticism of Andersen they would have doubled their lead in the 28th minute. However, the goalkeeper produced a superb reflex stop to keep out an acrobatic effort from Forestieri that bounced down into the ground after the substitute had been picked out by an Adlene Guedioura cross.
But it looked to be only a matter of time before the Hornets did score a second and that arrived six minutes before the interval when Forestieri showed good close control before sliding the ball through to Vydra, who fired high past Andersen at his near post.
Watford needed only one more goal to move above Middlesbrough and into second place on goals scored and it took only three minutes of the second half for it to arrive.
Forestieri and Vydra combined to very neat effect around the edge of the Reading area before the latter reached the byline and played the ball across for Deeney to net his fifth in as many games and 17th of the season.
Such are the fine margins at the top of the Championship though, the Hornets were back down to third in the 70th minute after Reading pulled a goal back when Vydra made a hash of his attempted clearance from a corner and substitute Jem Karacan guided a fine long-range effort past Heurelho Gomes.
But it was Watford who scored the game’s final goal five minutes from time to move back up to second when Forestieri fired a left-footed finish beyond Andersen after being set away by Deeney.

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