Three goal Hornets beat United...
WATFORD 3 (Abdi 9, Anya 32, Deeney 66), UNITED 0.
Watford: Almunia, Angella, Cassetti, Ekstrand (Merkel 90), Faraoni, Murray, Tozser, Abdi (McGugan 85), Riera (Pudil 85), Anya, Deeney. Subs. Bond, Belkalem, Ranegie, Hoban.
United: Butland, Wootton, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Mowatt (Stewart 46), Brown, Tonge, Hunt (Smith 67), Poleon, McCormack (White 82). Subs. Cairns, Zaliukas, Pugh, Murphy.
Referee: G Ward
Booked: Cassetti (Watford), Wootton, Hunt (Leeds).
Att: 16,212 (1,789 Leeds)
United manager Brian McDermott made two changes to his starting line-up for the trip to Watford. Alex Mowatt came in for the injured Sam Byram and Dominic Poleon was handed his first league start since Sheffield Wednesday at home on August 11, Matt Smith was placed on the bench.
The home side started the brighter and threatened early on through Davide Faraoni. The midfielder found himself in space in the United box and it took a great block by Stephen Warnock to stop his strike on goal. Moments later Jason Pearce denied Akechi Anya with a great tackle on the edge of the box.
Watford dominated the early stages and were in front in the ninth minute when Almen Abdi headed the ball home from an Anya cross.
United enjoyed good spells of possession after going behind without really penetrating Watford's backline. The home side were using their pace in the attacking areas to constantly look dangerous going forward.
United's first chance of the game came on the half hour mark when Ross McCormack shot from distance. The United striker spotted the home keeper off his line and went for a speculative chip but Manuel Almunia backtracked fast enough to collect the ball.
Moments later the home side doubled the advantage. Anya turned from provider into goalscorer when he headed Watford's second of the game after he connected with a cross from the right hand side of the penalty area.
United came out firing in the second half and a half-chance fell Noel Hunt's way but the striker's shot hit the side netting. Half time substitute Cameron Stewart also shot for goal in the opening minutes but his effort went over the bar.
A lively opening to the second half continued when the home side came close to a spectacular third goal. Daniel Tozser tried his luck from distance and his attempt went the wrong side of the upright.
Moments later Stewart once again created the space to strike but his effort was straight into the arms of Almunia.
The home side added a third goal in the 66th minute when Troy Deeney battled his way through the United defence and smashed the ball into the roof of Jack Butland’s net.
In the closing stages of the game Poleon used his pace and strength to break free from his defender and it took a good save from Almunia to deny the striker.
Moments later Butland made a great save to thwart Deeney after Anya counter-attacked and slipped him in with just the keeper to beat.