Norwich City 0-2 Watford - Canaries fall to the bottom of the table after defeat to Hornets
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City will spend the November international break rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table after being beaten 2-0 by Watford at Carrow Road.
Goals from Gerald Deulofeu and Andre Gray saw the Hornets collect their first three points of the season.
There may have been fireworks in the city centre prior to kick-off but there was a distinct lack of explosiveness in the way City operated.
Despite the 2-0 defeat City suffered on Saturday at Brighton, Farke opted to field the same XI at Carrow Road, with the desire to witness improvement palpable from the stands.
At the Amex Stadium, City failed to impose their offensive game onto their opponents as Teemu Pukki cut an increasingly isolated figure as the Canaries prioritised being solid at the other end of the pitch.
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With this match possessing the potential to set the mood music that would echo throughout the international break, City couldn't afford any errors as they sought to prove their Premier League credentials.
For the Hornets, they travelled to Carrow Road searching for their first Premier League victory of the season. They've already rolled the dice by replacing Javi Gracia with fellow Spaniard Quique Sanchez Flores.
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Watford made three changes to the side beaten by Chelsea last weekend, with talisman Troy Deeney only fit enough for the bench. Will Hughes, Jose Holebas and Etienne Capoue returned for the visitors with ex-Barcelona forward Gerald Deulofeu spearheading their attack.
After just 76 seconds, it was Watford who drew first blood as Deulofeu put the visitors ahead with virtually the first attack of the game.
Emi Buendia was the culprit, as he conceded possession attempting to execute a drag back inside his own half; he was robbed by Deulofeu who personified composure as he rolled it beyond Tim Krul to make it 1-0.
Merely moments later, the visitors should have had a second after more impressive dribbling from Deulofeu led to a corner for the Hornets.
Hughes swung it in from the left and found the head of the unmarked Dutch defender Janmaat, but he failed to hit the target.
City's poor start was resulting in numerous chances for Watford with an attack on the 12th minute being worked nicely to the left-hand side. The ball eventually fell to Deulofeu but his effort went across the face of goal.
The Canaries began to impose themselves onto this fixture, with Hernandez threaded through by McLean on 17 minutes but his attempted cross to Pukki was cleared by the recovering Craig Cathcart.
Some fine work by Marco Stiepermann saw Hernandez race through on goal, only to be denied by Ben Foster who raced out to deny the Cuban winger getting a shot away.
The offensive passages of play for City continued, with Pukki keeping an attack alive before some impressive wing-play from Aarons found Hernandez again, but the winger failed to hit the target.
Both sides seemed incapable of defending, with individual errors from both teams leading to turnovers.
The frenetic nature of this game continued, with both attacking with purpose but seemingly incapable of halting attacks from source.
City's wingers weren't providing the defensive cover they required to prevent Watford's attacks.
Janmaat found himself in acres of space on the right but his cross evaded everyone in the penalty area. Holebas recycled possession well, finding Andre Gray in the area who turned to get his shot away but Godfrey's heroic block ensured it deflected wide.
City continued to huff and puff without reward, with Watford's defensive shape holding firm.
In possession, City's pedestrian nature was allowing the Hornets to deploy a compact, low block without any penetration from City operators.
After 52 minutes, Watford doubled their advantage as Deulofeu dinked in a cross for Gray, who made an excellent run off Jamal Lewis before improvising a back heel into the net.
The disjointed nature of City's midfield was leading to individual mistakes in possession which contributed to the attacks the visitors were able to construct.
Cantwell's introduction sparked City creating their first effort of the half, with his pass to McLean leading the Scot to tee up Lewis, whose effort was denied by the fingertips of Foster.
Drmic's first involvement saw him chasing down Kabasele, who needlessly shoved the Swiss forward to receive his second yellow card.
After the Hornets were reduced to ten men, City's intensity increased with McLean's powerful strike from range denied again by Foster.
Cantwell was beginning to dictate proceedings against a Watford side with their backs against the wall. A lovely whipped cross was almost turned into the net by Janmaat, who was fortunate to see his clearance go past the post.
The attacking emphasis City had to display left them vulnerable defensively, with Gray's chip on the 82nd minute floating over Krul but also the crossbar.
City's lack of quality and cutting edge saw them fall to their seventh game without a win. Only two goals, both of which were late consolations, in those games illustrates the abject nature of their current performances. They are sinking without trace.
- Norwich City (4-1-4-1): Krul; Aarons, Tettey (c), Godfrey, Lewis (Vrancic, 81); Trybull; Buendia (Cantwell, 62), McLean, Stiepermann (Drmic, 62), Hernandez; Pukki. Subs not used: Fahrmann, Byram, Amadou, Srbeny
- Bookings: Vrancic
- Goals: None.
- Watford (3-5-2): Foster; Dawson, Kabasele, Cathcart; Janmaat, Capoue (c), Doucoure, Holebas (Masina, 89), Hughes; Deulofeu (Mariappa, 70), Pereyra (Gray, 30). Subs not used: Gomes, Deeney, Chalobah, Femenia
- Bookings: Kabasele, Hughes
- Red Card: Kabasele (Second bookable offence, 66)
- Goals: Deulofeu 2, Gray 52
- Added on time: 3 mins/ 5 mins
- Attendance: 27, 074
- Referee: Andre Marriner (B'ham)
- VAR: Andy Madley (West Yorks)