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Watford v Southampton Live Commentary, 30/10/2021

FT
0 - 1
WAT
SOU
C. Adams (20)
Vicarage Road

Commentary

That's all from us, we hope you enjoyed the game. We'll see you at the next one, goodbye!
With that win, Southampton leapfrog Watford in the table and are now two places above them, in 14th. For the Hornets, they're just three points off the bottom three, and with their next five games being against Arsenal, Manchester United, Leicester, Chelsea, and Manchester City, it'll be a near-miracle if they haven't slumped further down the league by the end of that period.
Although their attack was the difference in this game, it's worth noting how well Mohammed Salisu did at the back for Southampton in this game. Although he lost control of Ismaila Sarr later in the second half and was booked, he still finished the match with a team-high four tackles, six clearances and three interceptions, showing that he was imperative in ensuring that the Saints' forward players were never without the ball for too long.
It's all over, and Southampton have their second win of the season! As with their first against Leeds, the Saints were the better team for large spells of that match, and although Watford did improve in the second half, their potency let them down and they couldn't find an equaliser as the away side held out for the win. In truth, Southampton should've won by more, but three points is three points, and that's exactly what they have to propel themselves further away from the bottom three!
FULL-TIME: WATFORD 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON.
90' + 3' Sissoko drives forward and feeds King, but King can't find his captain's continuing run and moves the ball to the right. Salisu dispossesses him, and the Watford striker fouls him in frustration for a Southampton free-kick!
90' + 1' We're into four minutes of stoppage time, and they're going to be nail-biting minutes for both sets of players and fans!
Lyanco
Oriol Romeu
Southampton
90' Romeu comes off as Southampton add Lyanco as a defensive reinforcement.
89' Another Watford cross is headed away by Salisu and Diallo's clearance isn't convincing. Masina strikes a half-volley on the turn that trickles agonisingly wide to the left of the Saints goal!
88' WHAT A SAVE!!!! Watford work the ball back into the box and Fletcher turns and shoots. It's on target, but McCarthy stops the shot with one hand from close range!!! That's Watford's best chance so far, and what a save to keep the scores at 1-0 to Southampton.
88' Cleverley does well to the ball and feeds King, but his cross into the box is over everyone's heads and the chance is gone!
86' Kucka and Adams collide as the Watford midfielder backs into him from an aerial ball. He's already been booked, so Kucka needs to be careful he does nothing else that rash in the last five minutes.
85' King holds up the ball on the edge of the Southampton box, but doesn't choose the best running options and his ball to Masina is intercepted by Livramento.
83' Watford's growth into the game in this second half has been in large part down to Sarr, whose game-high nine crosses have all been dangerous, and from good positions.
A. Fletcher
J. Ngakia
Watford
82' Ashley Fletcher is the latest Watford substitute to be introduced, and the striker comes on for right-back Jeremy Ngakia.
I. Diallo
J. Ward-Prowse
Southampton
80' Captain Ward-Prowse comes off for Southampton, and Ibrahima Diallo will replace him.
78' Armstrong and Sissoko go head-to-head inside the box, and the Southampton substitute forces the Watford captain into conceding a corner.
J. Kucka
Yellow Card
Watford
76' Kucka cuts down Redmond as the Saints winger looks to break, and is booked.
76' We've got less than 15 minutes to go, and if it stays like this, Watford will have won just one of their last 14 league meetings with Southampton. They haven't beaten them since September 2017.
74' Sarr has another chance to cross and does so. Cleverley is the target, but the substitute can't get around Bednarek and the crossing chance goes begging.
74' A Walker-Peters ball towards Adams catches the striker out, but he recovers to cross past the face of goal. Unfortunately though it finds no one and Watford recover.
72' Sarr gets around the outside of Salisu again, and his cross at pace looks for the runs of both King and Sema before being plucked out of the air by McCarthy!
71' A long ball into the Southampton box is met by Livramento, who attempts to head the ball back to McCarthy but the ball goes behind for a needless Watford corner!
S. Armstrong
M. Elyounoussi
Southampton
70' Stuart Armstrong will come on for Southampton, as Elyounoussi comes off.
68' Armstrong cuts inside and has the ball in the box. He carves out a chance to shoot and does so, on target, but it's deflected behind with Foster beaten!
68' Sarr cuts inside again and feeds Masina. From range, he crosses a great ball into the box that is just too high for King to connect properly and the ball skids behind!
66' Masina does well to dispossess Elyounoussi but is clipped by the winger as he wins the ball and goes to ground, winning a free-kick.
65' WIDE!!! Redmond has too much time and space as he drives forward and shoots from the edge of the box. Foster is rooted to his spot once again, but luckily the ball deflects off Cathcart and goes behind for a Southampton corner!
63' Ward-Prowse whips in a Southampton corner towards Bednarek, but the defender can't get enough power behind his header and it's dealt with easily enough by Watford.
61' Watford scored more goals in their 5-2 win against Everton last time out than they had in their previous seven league games combined (4), and their lack of attacking chances, compared to Southampton's, suggests that they need to create more to score at least once in this match.
59' Livramento and Sema collide in the air and the Southampton right-back comes off worse. The clash sees the full-back holding his head and he's down receiving treatment.
J. Ward-Prowse
Yellow Card
Southampton
58' Sarr cuts inside and sets off once again, and gets out of a few attempted challenges before Ward-Prowse catches him late and forces the Watford winger to ground. Sarr gets another Southampton player booked as their captain receives a yellow card.
56' Kucka again carves out space for himself to shoot. This one is low and on target, but drags along the wet grass of Vicarage Road and McCarthy gets down to his left to hold the ball.
M. Salisu
Yellow Card
Southampton
55' Sarr looks to get away from Salisu, but is clattered and brought down by the Saints defender on the right-hand touchline. Salisu is rightfully booked as a result.
53' Walker-Peters has been excellent from left-back in both attack and defence. He's won possession a team-high eight times, and also leads his team for passing accuracy, with an impressive 94.7 per cent accuracy inside the Watford half.
51' ANOTHER MISS!!!! Elyounoussi does well to win a header that sets up Armstrong, who, with a beautiful first-time finish, shoots at goal on the half-volley, but it just drifts wide once again!!!! The Saints striker must be praying that he finds the net after all these missed chances.
50' A loose ball falls to Kucka who surges towards goal, and he smashes the ball towards goal on the half-volley, but it swerves wide and over the bar.
49' Sema and Livramento are battling for the ball already, and the Watford substitute brings down the Southampton full-back near his own corner flag.
48' Ngakia plays in Sarr down the byline, but Walker-Peters does very well to recover and win the ball back from the Watford winger.
46' We're underway for the second half at Vicarage Road, and the home crowd expects a response from the Hornets!
T. Cleverley
João Pedro
Watford
46' The booked Pedro also comes off, replaced by Tom Cleverley.
K. Sema
J. Hernández
Watford
46' Two half-time subs made by Claudio Ranieri, the first sees Ken Sema come on for Hernandez.
The teams are back out for the second half, and the home side need to step up if they're to wrestle back control of this game!
Armstrong, with an assist and two key passes, was arguably the more impressive of the two Southampton strikers in that first half, but all of his game-high four shots being off-target gives an insight into why this game, dominated by the away side, is still so close on the scoreboard.
Well, Southampton fans won't have wanted that half to end!!! The away side were on top for virtually all of that first period, and but for misses by Armstrong and the goalscorer Adams, could be heading into the interval with a lead far healthier than just 1-0. Watford were lucky to have survived that onslaught and only conceded once, but unless they step up and match the energy the Saints are playing with, the scoreline might not be this tight for too much longer.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: WATFORD 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON.
João Pedro
Yellow Card
Watford
45' + 2' Pedro collides with Romeu and stands on the Spaniard's ankle. It's quite a violent-looking challenge, and the Watford man is booked.
45' We'll play an extra two minutes of added time, at the end of this fast and furious 45 minutes.
44' Armstrong turns creater as he crosses for the incoming Elyounoussi, but Masina gets across to head the ball away, and is injured in the resultant coming together with the Southampton winger.
42' OVER!!!! Walker-Peters skillfully glides into the box, and cuts the ball back to Armstrong. But, from an even closer position, can't get the shot on target once again as he blazes the ball over the bar!!!
40' Watford have a spell of possession on the right, and Sarr is the dangerman once again, with Walker-Peters' only way of stopping the winger being in the concession of a corner.
38' Whilst they're lucky to still only be 1-0 down, Watford will know that Southampton are still beatable at this stage. The Saints have dropped 64 points from winning positions under Ralph Hassenhuttl, including in their last game against Burnley.
36' CLOSE!!! Armstrong has another chance to shoot from just inside the box, but this one curls just around the outside of the left post again!! It's a good job too, for Watford, as Foster was planted to the spot.
35' Walker-Peters and Sarr compete for the ball on the byline, and the Southampton defender does well to get his bodty across and prevent the conceding of a corner!
34' WHAT A MISS!!!! Romeu slips a great throughball to Armstrong. He crosses for Adams, who has an empty net to head into, but his downward header strikes the ground and bounces over the bar!!! It was much, much easier for Adams to score, but he can't get his second and Watford survive once more!
32' OFF THE LINE!!!!! King latches onto another long ball from Foster and crosses towards the box. It meets Sarr at the far post, whose shot on the angle is deflected off McCarthy, who can't stop the ball heading into the net!!! Luckily, Walker-Peters gets back to clear the ball off the goal-line, and Southampton survive by the skin of their teeth!!!
31' Another Walker-Peters cross is headed away, this time by Cathcart, but Hernandez brings down Livramento as the Southampton full-back attempts to regather the ball, gifting the away side another free-kick.
30' Livramento runs rampant down the right once again, and this time is able to get a cross into the box. It's towards Armstrong, who has to backheel the ball forward to Adams, but there's not enough power on the pass and Watford are able to clear.
28' Redmond drifts in-field and sends Livramento on a run. As he nears the box and looks to cross, Masina slides in and wins the ball, but still at the expense of a throw-in from a dangerous position.
26' After losing 5-0 to Liverpool in Claudio Ranieri's first home league game, Watford could lose back-to-back Premier League games at Vicarage Road for the first time since November 2019 if the scores remain the same. Meanwhile, that Adams goal is the 21st that Watford have conceded at home in their last ten games.
24' Southampton continue the impetus as Walker-Peters crosses into the box. Armstrong is lurking again as Troost-Ekong heads clear for Watford, and they're struggling to keep up with the Saints at the moment.
22' Watford look to reply straight away, and Masina's ball into the box is met by King. His header isn't direct or powerful enough, though, and the ball goes behind for a goal-kick.
A. Armstrong
Assist
Southampton
20' That build-up play between the two strikers was superb, and for a partnership that hasn't been that fruitful for Southampton, they've both started this game so, so well.
C. Adams
Goal
Southampton
20' GOOOOALLLLL!!!! WHAT A FINISH!!!!!! It's an absolute cracker from Che Adams and Southampton lead 1-0!!! The Scotland striker is forced into running the ball away from goal under pressure from Troost-Ekong, but makes himself time to turn and shoot, and his shot from the edge of the area flies past Foster into the top corner!! It's a great, great goal, and just what Southampton's bright start deserves.
19' McCarthy tries a similar kick out from the corner, but Ngakia does well to evade the pressure of the incoming Armstrong inside the Watford half.
18' Foster's kick out from his own box is gargantuan, and it finds Hernandez sprinting down the left wing. He looks to get around Salisu, and wins a corner in the process.
16' CLOSE!!!! Walker-Peters and Redmond link up down the left, and the full-back's cross is straight onto the head of Armstrong. He's got the goal at his mercy but heads the underside of the ball and it flies over the bar! That was a real chance for Armstrong, and he'll be disappointed that he's missed it.
15' Pedro slips a great cross through towards King, but the Norway striker can't get a proper connection on the ball and it flies straight behind his trailing leg.
14' King looks to break forward for Watford, before he's stopped in his tracks and dispossessed by Salisu.
12' There's a bouncing ball in the Watford box that is won by Adams, before Elyounoussi lashes the ball into the side netting. It's deflected on the way behind though, and Southampton have a corner.
10' Livramento looks to get around the outside of Hernandez to cross from the byline, but the Watford winger brings him down, giving the away side a free-kick for Ward-Prowse to cross in.
8' Southampton haven’t lost an away league match against Watford since September 2007 in the Championship, winning three, and they've started the more brightly of the two sides at Vicarage Road in this match.
6' It's Hernandez who strikes the free-kick, which takes a deflection as it passes through the wall. The shot is still on-target, but there's no pace on the ball and McCarthy can gather with ease.
5' Sarr gets into space and sets off towards the box. Romeu doesn't have the pace to catch the Hornets' winger and brings Sarr down in a very dangerous position for Southampton to defend.
4' The frantic start to the game continues as Walker-Peters cuts inside down the left and feeds Armstrong. The striker has time to pick his spot and shoots from the edge of the box, but it curls just around the left and goes wide!
3' Redmond's causing problems again and forces Kucka into a clearance. It's not far though, and Romeu hits the rebound towards goal. Troost-Ekong gets in front of him and Watford clear once more!
2' Watford's formation now resembles more of a 4-4-1-1, with Pedro shadowing King and Sissoko moving into a midfield two alongside Kucka.
1' The last post is played as the stadium falls silent, but the atmosphere picks up once more as Southampton kick us off, and the game begins!
1' CLOSE!!!! It's nearly a comical own goal by Watford!!! Redmond capitalises off a deflected Ngakia clearance and crosses into the box. Cathcart sicks out a leg, that sends the ball goalwards and Foster is forced to get down low to his right to prevent a goal straight from the off!
Vicarage Road is packed to the rafters ahead of this game, as the players make their way onto the pitch!
Captain James-Ward Prowse returns to the starting XI from Southampton, having completed a three-match ban for a red card against Chelsea on October 2nd. However, their Chelsea loanee Armando Broja, who scored the winner against Leeds, misses out through an ankle injury.
Josh King, fresh off a hat-trick against former club Everton, leads the line once more, and Claudio Ranieri has shown further intent to attack in this game by starting Brazilian forward Joao Pedro in midfield, in place of the more defensive-minded Ozan Tufan.
SOUTHAMPTON SUBS: Fraser Forster, Lyanco, Shane Long, Romain Perraud, Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Tella, Ibrahima Diallo, Theo Walcott, Yan Valery.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Alex McCarthy; Tino Livramento, Jan Bednarek, Mohammed Salisu, Kyle Walker-Peters; Mohamed Elyounoussi, James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Nathan Redmond; Che Adams, Adam Armstrong.
WATFORD SUBS: Daniel Bachmann, Danny Rose, Imran Louza, Tom Cleverley, Ken Sema, Nicolas Nkoulou, Dan Gosling, Ashley Fletcher, Ozan Tufan.
WATFORD (4-1-4-1): Ben Foster; Jeremy Ngakia, William Troost-Ekong, Craig Cathcart, Adam Masina; Moussa Sissoko; Ismaila Sarr, Joao Pedro, Juraj Kucka, Cucho Hernandez; Joshua King.
Southampton, meanwhile, were denied a second successive win in the league by drawing 2-2 with Burnley, and thus have just one win, in their game previous against Leeds, to their name this season.
Hosts Watford are heading into this game on a high, having battered eighth-placed Everton 5-2 at Goodison Park in their last game, which was newly-appointed manager Claudio Ranieri’s first win in charge.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this game in the Premier League, between Watford and Southampton.