Norwich City 0-2 Watford: Hornets’ first win of season lifts them off bottom

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Gerard Deulofeu’s goal was the second fastest by an away team in the Premier League this season

Watford earned their first Premier League win of the season as they moved off the bottom of the table at the expense of opponents Norwich.

The Hornets’ victory, their first in the top flight since April, means they leapfrog Southampton and the hosts, whose own winless run has now stretched to a seventh game.

Gerard Deulofeu’s goal after 76 seconds after some lax defending from Emiliano Buendia set Watford on their way and Andre Gray’s close-range flick from a Deulofeu cross secured the points.

But they had to survive for 25 minutes with 10 men after Christian Kabasele was dismissed for his second yellow card.

That provided the hosts with some impetus in the closing stages but Quique Sanchez Flores’ side held firm to earn a first league victory since his return to the club.

The Hornets, who have struggled for goals this term, displayed a clinical streak that has until now been absent, scoring with their only two efforts on target.

Norwich have now gone 10 Premier League home games without keeping a clean sheet – a run stretching back to their previous campaign in the top flight – and hold the worst defensive record in the division.

Deulofeu stars on positive night for Watford

Watford’s season has so far followed a familiar pattern of failing to convert chances in front of goal before being punished at the other end.

So this was a welcome reversal of fortune for Sanchez Flores, who had overseen four draws and three defeats in his seven matches in charge since replacing compatriot Javi Gracia in September.

The Spanish boss will also have been encouraged by being able to name Troy Deeney in a Hornets squad for the first time since August.

And while the physical presence and bustling firepower that the 31-year-old can provide may yet prove pivotal if Watford are to turn their season around, Deulofeu’s pace was crucial in East Anglia.

Dispossessing Buendia, Deulofeu drifted into the Norwich penalty area from the right unopposed and drilled a low left-foot shot past Canaries goalkeeper Tim Krul into the bottom left corner from 15 yards.

While he clearly has the capacity to frustrate his team-mates at times, by failing to track back or make runs in behind opposition defences, the former Barcelona and Everton forward then created Watford’s second.

Latching on to a ball down the left channel, the 25-year-old teased Max Aarons before picking out Gray, whose attempted backheel deflected off Jamal Lewis into the bottom left corner.

More to follow.

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