Watford FC 0-4 Bournemouth
This was sixth against seventh at Vicarage Road, yet you wouldn’t have known it had you looked at the scoreline.
For it was a day when everything went right for Bournemouth and everything that could possibly go wrong did so for Watford.
Indeed, it was a Hornets’ horror show!
A fortnight after going down 4-0 at Burnley, here were the Cherries hitting four of their own to consign Watford to a Premier League day to forget.
us had branded this as the battle of the overachievers.
But long before the end – by half-time in fact – the Premier League 2018 odds had been blown out of the water, and the only uncertainty was how many Eddie Howe’s men would score.
Highlights of the game
On the occasion of the 100th Premier League game at Vicarage Road, there’s no doubt the turning point was the 32nd-minute dismissal of home midfielder Christian Kabasele.
At that point, Watford were on top and threatening to equalise the 14th-minute goal they had conceded to David Brooks – the Bournemouth number 20 taping home after Ben Foster had denied Callum Wilson in a lightning-quick counter-attack.
Then Kabasele was shown a second yellow card for bringing down Joshua King in the box and, after dusting himself up, the ex-Man Utd junior stepped up to slot home the spot kick past another former United man.
It was the fifth penalty the Cherries have been awarded so far this season, a league high after only being awarded three spot-kicks during the whole of last season.
Yet there was no disputing the decision.
From that moment Watford looked beaten, Bournemouth had the momentum and the game was won on the stroke of half-time when livewire King headed Callum Wilson’s cross beyond Foster to render Javi Gracia’s half-time team talk meaningless.
Watford’s Troy Deeney reacts after Bournemouth’s Joshua King scores their second goal
It was four within two minutes of the restart as Wilson was left unmarked and controlled Ryan Fraser’s delivery before tapping the ball home.
Watford had been very unlucky to lose late on at Arsenal last weekend, but they, with the possible exception of industrious midfielder Etienne Capoue and second-half substitute Adrian Mariappa, were largely woeful this time.
Premier League 2018 news tells us that before this encounter, only reigning champions Manchester City had allowed their opponents fewer efforts on goal (14) than Watford (19).
In 47 minutes, that had changed dramatically; Watford were going down to back-to-back Premier League home defeats for the first time since May 2017.
In contrast, Bournemouth had victory in the bag. A victory which has given them 16 points from eight games – last season it took them 16 matches to reach that mark.
This was their biggest-ever away win in the Premier League as they moved up to fifth and leapfrog their opponents who slip to ninth in the process.
And after conceding a total of 20 goals in their last nine away league games, Bournemouth also had their first clean sheet in 10 away from the Vitality Stadium.
It was certainly their day in Hertfordshire, and the rows of empty seats in the home ranks were proof on its own.
Eddie Howe is certainly continuing to lift this Bournemouth team beyond the average and excel his already burgeoning reputation.
This was Bournemouth’s first success at Vicarage Road since 1997.
Since returning to the Premier League in 2015, Watford have received more red cards (13) than any other side.
Watford won their first four Premier League games of the season but are now without a victory in their last four.
Watford have lost just two of their last 15 games against Bournemouth in all competitions (won six, drawn seven).
Five of the seven Premier League meetings between these clubs have ended as draws, with the other exception being the Hornets’ 2-0 win at the Vitality Stadium in August last year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Steffen Iversen, John Carew and Tore Andre Flo are the only Norwegians to have scored more goals in the Premier League than King.
The Hornets remain one short of 50 Premier League wins and 200 goals in the division.
If there was any consolation for Watford, it was the return in the closing stages of winger Gerard Deulofeu, after a spell out with an injury.
Watford have a trip to Molyneux and a clash with newly promoted Wolves before welcoming Huddersfield Town to Vicarage Road a week later.
Bournemouth are back at home for a ‘south coast’ derby with Southampton and travel to Fulham a week later.
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