Sunderland 1-0 Watford: Black Cats out of the basement

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  • Black Cats up to 18th
  • Watford’s road struggles continue
  • Van Aanholt scores

Patrick Van Aanholt and Jordan Pickford were the heroes of the home set, as Sunderland tipped Watford 1-0 to climb out of the Premier League basement at the Stadium of Light.

Watford slips to 12th with the loss, 7 points clear of the 17th place Black Cats.

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Troy Deeney chose pass over shot after his scything run set Watford up for a huge chance, but his left-footed cutback didn’t have enough mustard to get past Papi Djilobodji.

The next chance came from the left as well, as Jose Holebas’ clever left-footed pass was just redirected away from the boot of Odion Ighalo. The Hornets were — forgive us — buzzing.

Ighalo worked Jason Denayer to win a free kick on the Sunderland end line, but a lofted offering was left wanting at the back post after hitting two Hornets’ heads on its trip out of play.

At the other end, Victor Anichebe ran settled a long ball down the left and burst around Nordin Amrabat for what led to a Sunderland corner.

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The Black Cats took the lead four minutes after the break. Jason Denayer made a good turn to find Adnan Januzaj, whose quick cut opened him up for a through ball to Defoe. Watford couldn’t clear, and Van Aanholt went to the dirty areas to belt a ball off the post and into the goal. 1-0.

Anichebe just missed 2-0 with a hard curler in the 63rd minute.

Pickford remains a Sunderland standout, making two big saves as the game edged toward extra time. Daryl Janmaat and Ighalo each had low shots stopped by the young keep.

Watford earned a free kick just outside the 18 after a handball on Djilibodji, though it sure looked to have come off a leaping Troy Deeney’s shoulder. Holebas blazed over the bar.

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