Watford edge Cardiff in five-goal thriller

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  • Deulofeu, Holebas, Quina score
  • 6th away defeat on spin for Cardiff
  • Watford up to ninth in the table
  • First win in seven for Watford

Watford beat Cardiff City 3-2 at Vicarage Road on Saturday, as the Hornets were in control of the game at 3-0 but then survived a late scare to secure all three points.

Superb goals from Gerard Deulofeu, Jose Holebas and Domingos Quina did the damage, while Cardiff’s Neil Etheridge also made a string of fine stops to keep the score down. But Junior Hoilett curled home a magnificent strike and then Bobby Reid made it 3-2 within a few moments, as Cardiff almost pulled off an incredible late comeback.

With the win Watford climbed to ninth in the table and have 24 points, while Cardiff remain on 14 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Watford started well and Deulofeu had an effort but Cardiff’s defense sat back to soak up the pressure.

The Hornets took the lead as Deulofeu danced past two tackles and slotted home to put the home side 1-0 up.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Cardiff threatened on the break every now and then with Josh Murphy surging down the left whenever he could, but Watford looked comfortable and they were only denied a second after a fine save from Neil Etheridge.

Roberto Pereyra was found on the left side of the box after good work from Deulofeu but his shot was deflected away by Etheridge. Cardiff’s goalkeeper then denied Pereyra superbly with a save from his free kick right on half time.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

At the start of the second half Pereyra was again denied by Etheridge as his side-footed shot was saved, but soon Watford did grab a well-deserved second.

Deulofeu cut in from the left and found Holebas on the edge of the box and the Greek defender curled home a stunner to double Watford’s lead.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Watford wrapped up the lead late on as Quina curled home with another fine finish as the Hornets continued their clinic of wonderful composure around the box. In the process the 19-year-old former West Ham midfielder became Watford’s youngest-ever Premier League goalscorer.

At the other end Hoilett headed just over and the Canadian winger then grabbed a superb goal, which looked like being a consolation, as he bent an effort into the far corner.

But two minutes later Reid tapped home after mayhem in the box following Sol Bamba’s miss to make it 3-2. The Bluebirds pushed hard to find an equalizer but Watford held on in a game of high drama.

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

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Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.