Watford 2-1 Newcastle: Odion Ighalo fires Hornets to victory
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 23/01/16 7:27pm
Odion Ighalo and Craig Cathcart scored as Watford halted a run of four straight Premier League defeats with a 2-1 victory against Newcastle.
Striker Ighalo put the Hornets in front less than a minute after half-time, then set up Cathcart for their second just before the hour mark.
Jamaal Lascelles headed Newcastle back into the game with just under 20 minutes left, but it ended up being just a consolation as Steve McClaren's side failed to climb out of the relegation zone, while Watford rise back into the top half.
Newcastle started the better side, but it was Watford who had the first real chance of the game and it took a brilliant double save by Rob Elliot to keep the home side out.
Ighalo fed strike partner Troy Deeney in the box, and his effort was brilliantly kept out by the Newcastle keeper, before he got straight back up to deny Etienne Capoue from close range.
A few minutes later it was Heurelho Gomes' chance to save his team, as he made a slightly unorthodox stop with his feet to stop Aleksandar Mitrovic's low drive from the edge of the area after a great move by Newcastle.
There was very little else in the way of goalmouth action in an otherwise quiet first 45 minutes, but the second period got off to a flying start as Ighalo put Watford ahead within 60 seconds of the restart.
Deeney picked up the ball in the centre circle before popping a pass in behind Newcastle's defence for his strike partner, and, despite there being shades of offside as he ran through, Ighalo kept his cool to take the ball round Elliot before slotting home his 14th goal of the season.
Watford were well on top at this stage and Ighalo did brilliantly again to make their second for Cathcart after 58 minutes. The Nigerian smartly controlled a cross in the six-yard box before touching it back into the path of his team-mate, who made no mistake in volleying past the helpless Elliot.
Newcastle, so used to falling behind this season, rallied well and pulled a goal back in the 71st minute as Lascelles met Jonjo Shelvey's corner.
McClaren's side then pushed for an equaliser as Watford started dropping deeper and deeper, but they failed to make another breakthrough to the delight of the home fans at Vicarage Road.
Watford: Gomes (6), Paredes (6), Britos (6), Cathcart (7), Ake (6), Capoue (7), Watson (7), Behrami (6), Jurado (6), Deeney (7), Ighalo (8)
Subs used: Nyom (n/a) Abdi (5), Amrabat (n/a)
Newcastle: Elliot (7), Janmaat (5), Lascelles (6), Coloccini (5), Mbemba (5), Sissoko (6), Saivet (5), Shelvey (5), Aarons (5), Wijnaldum (5), Mitrovic (5)
Subs used: Gouffran (5), Perez (5), Riviere (n/a)
Man of the match: Odion Ighalo