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    Aston Villa 2-3 Watford: Hornets heap more pressure on Villa

    By Alex Easley
    Troy Deeney celebrates Watford's third goal and winner at Villa Park.
    Watford beat Aston Villa 3-2 in an enthralling encounter at Villa Park to leave the home side bottom of the Premier League table.

    The Hornets took the lead in the 17th minute through Odion Ighalo’s close-range finish, before Micah Richards’ header brought Villa level with four minutes to go before half-time.

    Scottish defender Alan Hutton’s own goal put the visitors back in front after the break and ex-Aston Villa youth player Troy Deeney headed Watford into a two goal cushion.

    Jordan Ayew halved the deficit late on, but with 10 minutes of additional time thanks to an injury to Heurelho Gomes, they could not find the equaliser.

    The defeat leaves Remi Garde’s side propping up the Premier League with a joint-record low of five points from 14 games, while Watford moved up to 11th.

    Villa were without Jack Grealish, who was dropped by the club as a punishment for his off the field behaviour after he was photographed partying following the 4-0 defeat by Everton, but the hosts still created plenty of chances in the opening period.

    Ayew forced a save out of Gomes after 12 minutes after being out through on goal, before Watford opened the scoring.

    Ighalo slotted the ball past Brad Guzan after Ben Watson’s deflected shot fell somewhat fortuitously eight yards out.

    Guzan then saved from Etienne Capoue from 12 yards after Carlos Sanchez had given the ball away, while Scott Sinclair’s curling effort was put wide by Gomes at the other end.

    Villa got their equaliser in the 41st minute through Richards, who scored his first goal for the club from Jordan Veretout’s free-kick by heading into the top corner leaving Gomes no chance, however Richards was slightly offside when Veretout initially kicked the ball.
    Micah Richards scored his first goal for Aston Villa to level the score at 1-1 before half-time.
    The second half started quieter, but Watford were back in the lead on 69 minutes, Hutton sliding the ball into his own net from Deeney’s through ball as Ighalo attempted to get ahead of the defender.

    Brazilian keeper Gomes then collided with Craig Cathcart in the area, and was treated with oxygen and brought off on a stretcher after play was stopped for eight minutes.

    He was subsequently taken to a hospital in Birmingham after complaining of severe neck pains, but did not lose consciousness, and was allowed to return home with the squad following a precautionary scan.

    Deeney, who was a boyhood Birmingham City fan, made it 3-1 with five minutes to go when he got above Ciaran Clark to head into the bottom corner past Guzan after Ighalo’s effort looped into the air.

    Ayew fired sweetly into the bottom corner from 18 yards in stoppage time to halve the deficit, but it proved to only be a consolation as Watford held on for the fifth win of the season.


    Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Richards, Clark, Richardson, Gana, Veretout, Sanchez, Gil, Ayew, Sinclair

    Subs: Traore, Gestede

    Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Britos, Cathcart, Ake; Capoue, Watson; Paredes, Deeney, Abdi; Ighalo

    Subs: Arlauskis, Guedioura, Anya

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Troy Deeney
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    Item Reviewed: Aston Villa 2-3 Watford: Hornets heap more pressure on Villa Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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