Match Reports

City edged out by Watford at Carrow Road

Norwich City's bid to seal the Sky Bet Championship title was made to wait on Tuesday evening after they were beaten 1-0 by Watford at Carrow Road.

Dan Gosling scored the only goal of the match, sliding home Joao Pedro's cross on the hour mark, as the Hornets closed the gap on the Canaries to five points at the top of the table.

The win strengthened Watford's position in the top two and it looks as if it'll be shoot-out between the current them and Daniel Farke's men for the league title with City at QPR (Saturday, 3pm) next.

The Canaries were forced into one solitary defeat from their weekend defeat to Bournemouth, with Dimitris Giannoulis serving the first of his three-game suspension and being replaced in the starting eleven by Xavi Quintilla.

Watford were made four changes of their own after a disappointing defeat to rivals Luton Town on Saturday with Craig Cathcart, Adam Masina, Tom Cleverley and Gosling coming into the side.

The Hornets started the better of the two sides with their high press causing City problems. A throw-in from the left led to their best chance early on, with Ismaila Sarr lashing high and wide on the half-volley.

The pressure continued from the visitors and they had penalty appeals waved away on 12 minutes when Sarr went down in front of Quintilla, before Gosling fired just over from distance.

It took a while for City to figure out the Watford press and how to play through it, but they did so on 18 minutes and Todd Cantwell managed to test Daniel Bachmann with a dipping, deflected effort. Shortly after, City managed to win the ball via a press of themselves, with Kieran Dowell have a similar deflected effort fizzing over.


City’s improvement in the game continued and Teemu Pukki had a golden opportunity to play a square pass to Todd Cantwell who had a clear path to goal, however he hesitated and was fouled on the edge of the box for which Will Hughes was booked. The free-kick was smashed against the wall by Dowell as City cranked up the pressure.

The warning signs were still there for City at the other end though and the dangerous Sarr was proving a thorn in their side. Twice on the half hour mark he ghosted past Quintilla but Watford were wasteful in front of goal.

On 36 minutes, Tim Krul was forced into a double save to keep the scores level. Ken Sema hit a low drive across which he palmed away, before he got up quickly to react to Sarr’s effort on the rebound.

Watford continued to look the sharper of the two sides as the first-half came to an end, with the score goalless.

The teams traded blows in the early second-half exchanges, with Sarr scooping a cross over from close range and Cantwell jinking his way past challenges before having a deflected effort easily smothered by Bachmann.

Watford took the lead on 57 minutes when City gave the ball away in their defensive third and Joao Pedro rolled the ball across the face of goal for Gosling to slide home from close range.

City changed things up shortly after conceding and Daniel Farke decided to bring on Jordan Hugill in place of Dowell.

The pace of the game slowed with substitutions and stoppages, following injuries sustained by substitutes Hugill and Nathaniel Chalobah, disrupting the flow of the game.

A huge scramble on 79 minutes almost saw City back in the game but a combination of Quintilla, Hugill and Pukki failed to get the ball over the line, with Watford bodies swarming the six-yard area.

A scrappy end to the game followed with City unable to break Watford's resistance and the points heading down south.

Norwich City: Krul (GK), Aarons, Hanley (c), Dowell (Hugill, 65), Cantwell (Vrancic, 90), Quintilla (Hernandez, 80), Buendia, Skipp, Pukki, McLean, Omobamidele (Placheta, 80)
Subs not used: Nyland (GK), Stiepermann, Sorensen, Mumba, Tettey
Bookings: Skipp (62), McLean (73)

Watford: Bachmann (GK), Troost-Ekong, Cleverley (c) (Zinckernagel, 82), Joao Pedro (Gray, 70), Masina, Sema, Cathcart (Kabasele, 83), Gosling (Chalobah, 70), Hughes, Sarr, Sierralta
Subs not used: Elliott (GK), Lazaar, Success, Sanchez, Hungbo
Goals: Gosling (57) 
Bookings: Hughes (27), Masina (49), Cleverley (62)

HT: 0-0 
Venue: Carrow Road
Referee: Tim Robinson

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