HALF-TIME REPORT: Watford on verge of one of the biggest FA Cup upsets in recent memory at Manchester City

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Latest Sport
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Group Sports Editor

Don’t say it too loud but Watford are on the verge of one of the biggest FA Cup upsets in recent memory as they lead high-flying Manchester City 2-0 at half-time at the Etihad.

Man City made a few changes but still fielded a starting XI which would terrify most Premier League defences as they looked to continue their record of averaging four goals a game at home.

Instead, Watford, who are currently 15th in the Championship and have won just two of their last 16 games in all competitions, lead City 2-0 thanks to goals from Fernando Forestieri and Troy Deeney – and deservedly so.

Injuries and facing one of the most difficult tasks in English football saw Beppe Sannino change the Hornets’ usual 3-5-2 formation, as he instead opted for a 3-4-2-1 line-up. Cristian Battocchio and Sean Murray were the only fully fit centre midfielders with first team experience and they started in the centre of the park. Daniel Pudil and Davide Faraoni were wing backs with Ikechi Anya and Forestieri playing behind Deeney up front.

Watford started superbly and had two glorious chances before they even took the lead.

Faraoni picked out the run of Anya on six minutes and the Scotland international beat Costel Pantilimon to lob the ball over the goalkeeper but was then clattered by the Man City shot-stopper.

The Hornets arguably should have gone ahead when they countered four-on-two but Forestieri’s through ball for Faraoni was over-hit and Pantilimon gathered.

Manchester City had several shot blocked and Joleon Lescott sent a shot over with the score 0-0 but when the Golden Boys took the lead on 21 minutes, you couldn’t argue it was against the run of play. There wasn’t much on when Faraoni passed to Deeney with the striker’s back to goal but his first-time, reverse pass released Forestieri and he slotted into the bottom corner.

It then became 2-0 on the half-hour mark when Anya set up Deeney and he finished well at the near post.

Man City went close when a quick free-kick released Sergio Aguero and Jonathan Bond saved at his near post but the visitors were good value for their lead at the break.

Manchester City line-up: Pantilimon; Richards, Demichelis, Lescott, Kolarov; Navas, Rodwell, Toure, Lopes; Aguero, Dzeko.

Subs: Hart Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, Nastasic, Clichy, Fernandinho, Jovetic.

Watford line-up: Bond; Faraoni, Doyley, Angella, Ekstrand, Pudil; Anya, Battocchio, Murray, Forestieri; Deeney.

Subs: Almunia, Hoban, O'Nien, Abdi, Fabbrini, Cassetti, Ranegie.

Referee: Kevin Friend.

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Comments (10)

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4:51pm Sat 25 Jan 14

bigdave8 says...

Unlucky boys . Still very proud . Great effort
Unlucky boys . Still very proud . Great effort bigdave8
  • Score: 6

4:57pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Dino1982 says...

Very proud display!

We had them worried!

Scoreline was possibly a little faltering.

Well done to the whole team and good work Beppe!
Very proud display! We had them worried! Scoreline was possibly a little faltering. Well done to the whole team and good work Beppe! Dino1982
  • Score: 4

7:29pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Wswilly3 says...

City just toyed with the Hornets..... Like a spider attracting the vermin. When by we're ready.
City just toyed with the Hornets..... Like a spider attracting the vermin. When by we're ready. Wswilly3
  • Score: -9

7:36pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Wswilly3 says...

Class told in the end. Laughable that some people thought City would be beaten by he Hornets What a hoot and ever so stupid...... A great gulf in class and genuine pedigree...... Another four goals and should have been far more ......... Even Man United would have beaten Watford ......well maybe a draw and Watford win on penalties.
Class told in the end. Laughable that some people thought City would be beaten by he Hornets What a hoot and ever so stupid...... A great gulf in class and genuine pedigree...... Another four goals and should have been far more ......... Even Man United would have beaten Watford ......well maybe a draw and Watford win on penalties. Wswilly3
  • Score: -10

8:43pm Sat 25 Jan 14

HorshamHornet says...

Wswilly,

You are a complete Pr**K

Go back to moss side numpty
Wswilly, You are a complete Pr**K Go back to moss side numpty HorshamHornet
  • Score: 3

9:39pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Wswilly3 says...

That's a compliment thanks. Horshamhornet..... Complete ...wow
That's a compliment thanks. Horshamhornet..... Complete ...wow Wswilly3
  • Score: -3

9:39pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Wswilly3 says...

That's a compliment thanks. Horshamhornet..... Complete ...wow
That's a compliment thanks. Horshamhornet..... Complete ...wow Wswilly3
  • Score: -3

11:06pm Sat 25 Jan 14

EltonForever says...

Wswilly3 wrote:
That's a compliment thanks. Horshamhornet..... Complete ...wow
I am constrained from saying anything abusive or malicious so I won't bother. However, I am not forbidden from saying anything that is true......

You are a complete .............

WFC are an honest hard working club and the gulf in class, as you put it, was not as large as you think, according to the objective reports.

Dream on!
[quote][p][bold]Wswilly3[/bold] wrote: That's a compliment thanks. Horshamhornet..... Complete ...wow[/p][/quote]I am constrained from saying anything abusive or malicious so I won't bother. However, I am not forbidden from saying anything that is true...... You are a complete ............. WFC are an honest hard working club and the gulf in class, as you put it, was not as large as you think, according to the objective reports. Dream on! EltonForever
  • Score: 3

7:53am Sun 26 Jan 14

Wswilly3 says...

Well said Elton. But I don't know what I am ... Was it a complete genius?
Well said Elton. But I don't know what I am ... Was it a complete genius? Wswilly3
  • Score: -2

10:21am Sun 26 Jan 14

chadderton orn says...

What game was wswilly watching. First half we battered them i thought we was at the vic you could here a pin drop it was that quiet .Thats how rattled city were I live in oldham and the city fans i know say we got them out of jail This guy must be one of those fans that sit in the pub saturday afternoon watching sky sports and knows nothing about football.
What game was wswilly watching. First half we battered them i thought we was at the vic you could here a pin drop it was that quiet .Thats how rattled city were I live in oldham and the city fans i know say we got them out of jail This guy must be one of those fans that sit in the pub saturday afternoon watching sky sports and knows nothing about football. chadderton orn
  • Score: 3

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