Three goals and three points for the Whites!
Leeds United 3 (Raphinha 21’, Rodrigo 73’, Harrison 85’)
Watford: Foster (GK), Louza, Pedro (King 81’), Kamara, Sissoko (C), Femenia, Samir, Sarr, Kabasele, Hernandez (Dennis 39’), Kucka (Kayembe 72’). Subs not used: Bachmann (GK), Cleverley, Masina, Cathcart, Kalu, Sierralta.
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling, Koch, Cooper (C), Raphinha (Summerville 82’), Llorente, Dallas, Rodrigo, James (Greenwood 67’), Harrison, Klich (Phillips 59’). Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Struijk, Gelhardt, Hjelde, Cresswell, Kenneh.
Venue: Vicarage Road
Referee: Andre Marriner
Booked: Louza, Sissoko (Watford)
Jesse Marsch’s side put in a superb display away at Watford in the Premier League, winning by three goals and in doing so, claiming an important three points! Goals from Raphinha and Rodrigo were followed up with another for Jack Harrison late in the game.
Under the beaming sunshine at Vicarage Road, the game got underway with both teams in search of three points which would be important in the league standings, as the season conclusion edged ever closer.
The first goalkeeper to be called into action was Ben Foster. The Watford number one dived to his right to collect Raphinha’s header, after the Brazilian had connected with a cross from the right of the pitch.
When Watford had their first big chance of the game, it was from a free-kick. Juraj Kucka broke forward from midfield and it was deemed that he had been fouled just outside the box. Imran Louza shot left-footed, with the ball going inches wide of the top corner.
Just after the 20-minute mark, the Whites were ahead! Brilliant work from Dan James created the opportunity as he twice refused to give up the ball and with his second black it found Raphinha.
The Brazilian composed himself and curled into the back of the net from outside the box - via a slight touch on the inside of the post - to put Leeds one goal up and in doing so, score his 10th goal of the season.
There had been very few chances to speak of other than the opening goal in what had been a tight first half. The Hornets were forced into a change before the whistle, with Cucho Hernandez going off and being replaced by Emmanuel Dennis.
Two late set-plays in the half from the hosts put Leeds under pressure. On both occasions there were yellow shirts flooding the box, but Meslier stood tallest and brilliantly cleared under pressure.
The whistle to end the opening 45 blew with Marsch’s side one goal ahead at the break, thanks to Raphinha’s opener.
HALF TIME: Watford 0-1 Leeds United
Neither team went to their benches during the break meaning the players that finished the first half were present when the second 45 got underway.
Very little came in the way of clear cut chances inside the opening 10 minutes of the half, but the pace of the game had improved and both teams were attacking with plenty of options in the final third.
With half an hour remaining, Kalvin Phillips was introduced in place of Mateusz Klich at the heart of the United midfield.
A huge chance came to Watford, but thankfully wasn’t taken. The lively Joao Pedro played Ismaila Sarr clear through into the box, but the forward blazed his shot over the bar with Meslier rushing out to try and narrow the angle.
Sam Greenwood came on for James with just over 20-minutes to go and the young forward was straight into the action, creating a chance for Phillips who struck low and hard at goal only to see Foster save well with his right hand.
The much needed second goal arrived for Leeds in the 73rd minute. Greenwood’s ball through the middle found Rodrigo and after a mix up in the Watford defence, the Spaniard rounded the ‘keeper brilliantly and fired into the net to double the advantage!
After an excellent hard-working performance, Raphinha was the player to make way as Leeds made their final change. Following his hat-trick for the Under-23s earlier in the week, Crysencio Summerville came on in his place.
Two became three with five minutes left in the game, sealing an important three points for the Whites! Greenwood had been superb since coming on and he played a clever pass to Harrison on the wing. Harrison then had no hesitation in smashing home left-footed into the far corner to make it three!
Marsch’s side saw out the game well and the full-time whistle was greeted with celebrations in the packed out away end after a thoroughly impressive away performance from Leeds United.
FULL TIME: Watford 0-3 Leeds United