Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries' 3-1 Watford defeat

Norwich City came up short in a 3-1 Premier League defeat to Watford

Norwich City came up short in a 3-1 Premier League defeat to Watford - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Here is Paddy’s verdict on Daniel Farke’s Norwich City, who wanted lift-off but remain stuck on the launchpad after Watford eased to a comfortable Premier League win.

• Tim Krul   6

Let down by those in front of him. Denied Ismaila Sarr a hat-trick with three fine stops, the pick in first half stoppage time when he produced a smothering effort after the two-goal Watford attacker burst clear. 

Day summed up when his initial stop from Josh King rebounded for Sarr to react quickest and slam home the match-sealing third goal. Foiled Sarr in stoppage time. 

• Max Aarons   6

Looked uncomfortable against Emmanuel Dennis’ direct thrust in the opening skirmishes. Wild slash at Teemu Pukki’s angled pass when he advanced to the edge of the Watford area.

Vital interception with King ready to slot in the 24th minute. Let Dennis escape to leap the blindside of Ozan Kabak for the opener. Involved in the early build up to City’s leveller. Tightened up his defensive work after the interval. 

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• Grant Hanley (C)   5

Found badly wanting in the key moments for two goals. Leapt underneath Kiko Femenia’s hanging cross for Dennis’ goal. Then Sarr’s near post movement was too sharp for the second.

Although on both occasions there appeared a distinct lack of communication with new centre back partner Kabak. 

Sarr turned on the afterburners to race clear in first half stoppage time but it was Tim Krul to the rescue. 

• Ozan Kabak 6

Some slack needed on his first competitive club start since April. That and the fact he was pitched in after one full week of training with his new team mates.

Looked confident stepping into midfield with the ball. Aggressive in a lot of his personal duels. One goalsaving block to foil King in the 33rd minute.

But you cannot ignore Dennis got across him for the opener and he was too slow to react to Sarr’s initial trigger move around Hanley for the second goal. No luck either when the VAR officials correctly adjudged he was playing King onside for the third goal.  

• Brandon Williams   5

Not the follow up required to his Arsenal display. Tracked the same man as Milot Rashica to leave Femenia free wide on the right to boom a cross headed home by Dennis. 

Traded blows with Sarr in the first half. You could say honours even but the wide player notched twice after the break. Best attacking moment was latching onto Mathias Normann’s flick to drive to the byline and pick out Pukki for a sight of goal.   

• Mathias Normann  6

Bar failing to find the energy to track King’s run for the second goal an encouraging first outing. All the more galling as he cut out a cross from the same player at his near post three minutes earlier. Best moment was the quality first half pass around the corner for Pukki to slot. 

But in City’s most consistent spell after the interval he did demonstrate his defensive instincts to halt first King and Jeremy Ngakia. Decent on the ball as well in the second half, before his exit, to invite the likes of Williams and Billy Gilmour forward. 

• Billy Gilmour   6

Looked far more comfortable operating further forward, with Mathias Normann offering that protection in behind. Superb first time pass for Pukki in the 67th minute but the Finn miscued badly.

Couple of free kick deliveries that had no takers. Off-balance and under pressure but guided a ball through to Rashica, who went down for a penalty claim after tangling with Danny Rose. Yet to suggest on a consistent basis he can offer that control he was brought in from Chelsea to supply.   

NCFC Extra: Paddy's Pointers after Norwich City 1-3 Watford 

• Kenny McLean  5

Horrid attempt at a clearance sliced up rather than out before Tom Cleverley and King combined to eventually see the ball rebound for Sarr to seal the win.

Another loss of possession in his own half needed Krul to bail him out in stoppage time. Dipping volley from 16 yards blocked in the 51st minute before he dragged a low, left footed shot at Ben Foster. 

• Josh Sargent  6

Promise in a high tempo shift. Certainly made life easier for Pukki. Harried and chased Watford’s centre backs. Seemed caught in two minds when he failed to get a shot away, or control Rashica’s early cross.

Tried to veer around William Troost-Ekong from Pukki’s initial flick but the defender stuck to his task. Another clever combination with the Finn in the 57th minute but Watford’s defence again prevented a strike.  

• Teemu Pukki   6

Vintage Pukki with the spin, perfectly-timed run and composed finish for his second league goal of the season. Far more support than previous weeks.

Hacked over on his left foot in first half stoppage time from Sargent’s retrieval work. Played a one two with the US international but a defender got a vital touch. In behind again in the 67th minute to collect Gilmour’s pass, but miscued his effort. 

• Milot Rashica  5

Just on the periphery throughout. Although thundered a right footed shot straight at Foster from Christo Tzolis' cutback. Planted another header at the keeper from Max Aarons’ cross. Norwich need some end product. 

City substitutes          

• Christos Tzolis (for Sargent, 70)           5

Late cameo. His pace took him to the byline in the 76th minute and the measured cutback invited Rashica to test Foster from 16 yards. 

• Todd Cantwell (for Normann, 70)           5

Couple of intelligent link ups with Aarons. One intricate series of pop passes ended with a cross headed goalwards by Rashica.  

• Adam Idah (for Rashica, 88)           n/a

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