Watford vs Brighton: The Seagulls continued to soar and entrench themselves in the top half of the Premier League table with a 2-0 victory over the Hornets at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
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Neal Maupay opened the scoring with a stunning strike just moments before halftime, with Ismaila Sarr set to return after missing 10 games on the other side of the intermission, and it proved a timely blow. Adam Webster added the late insurance goal in the 83rd to extend Brighton’s unbeaten run to seven games (3W-4D-0L).
Watford vs Brighton final score, stats, results
Final score: Watford 0, Brighton 2
Goal scorers: Watford (None), Brighton (Maupay 44′, Webster 83′)
Shots: Watford 9, Brighton 11
Shots on target: Watford 1, Brighton 6
Possession: Watford 35%, Brighton 65%
2 things we learned – Watford vs Brighton
1. A long time coming: Saturday’s victory, which was anything but easy for Brighton, mirrored so many games from the last two seasons in which the Seagulls were thoroughly dominant in possession and created a high number of low-percentage scoring chances, but never put one away and so they dropped points when they had no business doing anything but winning. Graham Potter deserves loads of credit for never altering course when other managers would have scrapped years of work and progress once the outside world began to question his methods. The gulf in class between Brighton, in 9th (top half), and Aston Villa, at the very top of the bottom half, feels much larger than the six points which currently separate them.
2. Save us, Sarr: Between the knee injury he suffered on Nov. 20 and international duty fo the Africa Cup of Nations, Watford played 10 games without star forward Ismaila Sarr before he returned to the team on Saturday. The Hornets won zero of the 10, scored seven goals in that time and looked a virtual lock for relegation. On Saturday, Roy Hodgson’s side managed to hold firm at 0-0 for 41 minutes and give themselves a chance — albeit a slim one, a chance for Sarr to save them. That’s the story of the rest of Watford’s season, and perhaps their time in the Premier League. Do Sarr, Emmanuel Dennis and Joshua King have enough games left to re-find their early-season form and reel in two of the sides currently above them?
Man of the Match: Neal Maupay – The Frenchman was denied by a fantastic Ben Foster save early in the game, but he kept battling the entire Watford defense one-on-four and eventually got his goal.