Watford 1-4 Huddersfield: Aaron Mooy double fires Terriers to emphatic victory
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 16/12/17 8:34pm
Aaron Mooy scored twice as Huddersfield thrashed Watford 4-1 with both sides finishing with 10 men amid controversy at Vicarage Road.
David Wagner's men took the lead in fortuitous circumstances as Elias Kachunga fired in from an offside position (6), but it was more slack defending which enabled Mooy to tap in a second when unopposed at the far post (23).
Watford were reduced to 10 men after Troy Deeney received a straight red card for a poor challenge on Collin Quaner with the visitors going further in front five minutes into the second half thanks to Laurent Depoitre's emphatic finish.
The Terriers had a man sent off themselves as Jonathan Hogg picked up his second booking for a foul on Richarlison, but after Abdoulaye Doucoure had given his side hope with a brilliant strike, he hauled down Depoitre inside the box to allow Mooy to complete a memorable afternoon for the travelling fans.
Watford: Gomes (5), Janmaat (7), Prodl (5), Mariappa (4), Kabasele (5), Holebas (5), Capoue (5), Carrillo (7), Doucoure (7), Richarlison (6), Deeney (4).
Subs: Pereyra (6), Gray (6), Okaka (n/a)
Huddersfield: Lossl (7), Lowe (5), Schindler (7), Zanka (7), Hogg (5), Hadergjonaj (6), Mooy (8), Quaner (8), van La Parra (7), Kachunga (6), Depoitre (7)
Subs: Malone (6), Williams (6), Ince (6)
Man of the match: Aaron Mooy
The result means that Huddersfield rise to 11th in the table while Watford - who are the first team to be given a red card in three successive Premier League matches since West Ham in August 2015 - remain in ninth position after a fourth defeat in five games.
Silva will have been apoplectic at the start his side made as Huddersfield were rewarded for a courageous opening, but the Portuguese will no doubt point to the match officials' failure to notice two offside calls before Kachunga fired beyond Heurelho Gomes.
Mooy's hooked ball into the box fell at Quaner's feet, who was beyond the last defender, and his shot across goal deflected off Depoitre into the path of the offside Kachunga before being steered into the net.
While Watford had every reason to feel aggrieved about the opener, they only had themselves to blame for Huddersfield's second as a lapse in concentration from Adrian Mariappa enabled Mooy to score his third goal of the season after another ball across from Quaner.
Etienne Capoue came in for the suspended Tom Clverley in one change from the Watford side that were beaten at Crystal Palace. For Huddersfield, David Wagner made four changes. Tommy Smith, Daniel Williams, Tom Ince and Steve Mounie dropped out from the side that were beaten at home to Chelsea with Florent Hadergjonaj, Collin Quaner, Rajiv van La Parra and Laurent Depoitre all starting.
Silva had seen enough, promptly hooking Mariappa in favour of Roberto Pereyra, but his task was made increasingly difficult after a moment of madness from Deeney.
The club captain was having a quiet game and showed his frustration by scything down the lively Quaner on the touchline after 33 minutes, leaving referee Michael Oliver in no doubt the challenge was worthy of a straight red card.
Huddersfield emerged from the interval looking to put the game to bed and, having waited nearly 11 hours for an away goal, the Yorkshire club duly fired in a third of the afternoon after Quaner was too strong for Jose Holebas before the ball fell kindly for Depoitre to lash past Gomes.
Watford had created very little, but they were handed a lifeline as Hogg picked up a second booking for hauling down Richarlison just after the hour mark, and seven minutes later there was renewed belief among the home fans as Doucoure rifled in a terrific half volley from the edge of the penalty area.
But any hopes of an unlikely comeback were extinguished with a minute of normal time remaining as Doucoure brought down Depoitre inside the box, allowing Mooy to step up and stroke his spot-kick beyond Gomes.
Marco Silva: "First I want to congratulate our opponent. They won the match and it was a tough afternoon for us. Until the first goal we didn't perform well, but the game is balanced. After that, everything changed.
"We showed in some moments in the second half we showed that our mentality is strong - even in the bad moments like we had today until half-time.
"We tried to react and our players showed hard work and a strong mentality but we made some mistakes that at this level you can't make. The other things I don't want to talk about.
David Wagner: "We've had the feeling that this has just been around the corner even if the results have not been there. We've stayed calmed and focused and we've made big steps to make improvements in the past couple of months.
"They [the fans] were never driven away because of results so credit to them. I'm proud and delighted for the players and the away support today was absolutely incredible.
"We are in the race, and for sure no one thought we'd be where we are but it's only near the middle of the season, nothing more. We need 12 wins to stay up and we now have six."
- This is the fourth consecutive meeting between these two sides at Vicarage Road that has seen the winning side score exactly four goals - the two Huddersfield wins in this run have both been 4-1.
- Watford have conceded more home goals than any other team in the Premier League this season (20).
- Watford now have exactly the same record after 18 games this season as they did under Walter Mazzarri last season (W6 D4 L8 - 22 points).
- Elias Kachunga's opening goal ended Huddersfield's run of 59 consecutive shots away from home in the Premier League without scoring.
- Watford have been given a red card in three successive Premier League games - the first team to do this since West Ham United in August 2015.
Man of the match - Aaron Mooy
Huddersfield were excellent value for their three points in Hertfordshire and Mooy was at the heart of a courageous and creative display from a side that had gone eight away games without a goal.
The Australia international midfielder was involved in Kachunga's contentious opener before being in the right place to guide in his side's second midway through the first half, but it was his overall display which made him stand out.
The travelling supporters sang his name at regular intervals throughout the match and he capped a fine individual performance by firing in his second from the penalty spot late on.
Watford will look to pick themselves up from their latest setback when they face Brighton at the Amex Stadium next Saturday. Huddersfield travel to St Mary's full of confidence to take on Southampton on the same day.