Watford hit back to beat Norwich 3-2

28 November 2023 0 By Total Football News

Yaser Asprilla's goal saw Watford come back from 2-0 down to beat Norwich 3-2 in an entertaining contest at Vicarage Road.

Danny Batth headed home his first Canaries goal before Hwang Ui-jo doubled the lead with a long-range strike.

Watford levelled thanks to two goals in three minutes after the half-hour mark from Ismael Kone and Mileta Rajovic.

Colombia forward Asprilla completed the comeback in the 77th minute with a strike the Canaries insisted should not have stood.

It took Norwich three minutes to take the lead from a corner to the back post from Gabriel Sara.

Batth outjumped a team-mate to head past Hornets goalkeeper Ben Hamer, who will not have been impressed by his static defenders.

Hwang doubled the lead nine minutes later with a cracking finish but again Watford were found wanting at the back.

Ryan Porteous gifted possession to Sara, who set the South Korean up for a 25-yard drive that went over Hamer and dipped under the bar.

It was to be the striker's one and only contribution, however, as he was replaced five minutes later by Ashley Barnes due to injury.

Earlier in the day, Hwang - who had scored the winner against QPR on Saturday - had been dropped from the national team until a police investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct was concluded.

Hamer, in for suspended first-choice goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann, soon had to tip over a header from Shane Duffy as Norwich threatened again.

Watford almost pulled a goal back when George Long fumbled a long-ranger from ex-Canary Jamal Lewis. Kone latched on to the loose ball but the keeper recovered to make a vital block.

Kone made no mistake in the 30th minute, however, with a run and drive from the edge of the box into the far corner for his first Watford goal - and the hosts were level three minutes later.

Lewis made his way into the box on the left and floated over an inviting cross for Rajovic to head home from close range to register his fourth goal in five games.

Hamer did well to deny Adam Idah before Long had to tip over a goal-bound Asprilla drive in the half's final attack.

Long did well to stop Ryan Andrews' deflected cross loop over him in the 53rd minute as Watford carried on where they had left off.

Kone then saw a rocket of a shot smash back off the crossbar from a similar position to his earlier goal, with Long smothering a follow up from Edo Kayembe.

Norwich's resistance ended in the 77th minute when Asprilla showed great skill to take the ball round Long before unleashing a shot that crossed the line before Dimi Giannoulis could block.

Norwich argued that a number of Watford players had been offside when Long parried Wes Hoedt's shot into Asprilla's path but referee Simon Hooper awarded the goal.

Hamer denied Norwich substitute Borja Sainz a late equaliser with another impressive tip over.

The managers

Watford's Valerien Ismael:

"I said afterwards to the guys 'thank you'. I am really proud of the boys. They stayed calm and the most important thing was to stick to the game plan as the game had not started for us. At half-time I told the boys to make sure we finished the job. It was hectic at the end but we deserved to win.

"The more difficult it was the more the players stuck together. It was a great win because of the way we managed the situation."

Norwich's David Wagner:

"They [the fans] have every reason - we are not happy as well. I understand the frustration. It is the unfortunate nature of the game. The supporters show their feelings, which is fine. If we had won it, it would be different. I am focused on the work. I have the main responsibility, I have always said this, but also it is the players who win the games.

"I don't feel I am on trial. I worked my socks off with my team to win this game but it didn't happen. We have to reset ourselves and go again on Sunday."

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