Watford 2-0 West Brom: M'Baye Niang boosts Hornets' survival hopes
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 04/04/17 10:32pm
M'Baye Niang scored one and set up another to help 10-man Watford beat West Brom 2-0 on Tuesday and take another step towards Premier League survival.
The on-loan AC Milan forward put the Hornets ahead in the 13th minute with a brilliant strike from outside the box.
He then provided a fine assist after half-time for Troy Deeney to become the first Watford player to score in four successive home matches in the top flight.
Miguel Britos was sent off in the 65th minute after getting a second yellow card for bringing down Salomon Rondon, but the Hornets held out for a win that moves them 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
They also move up to ninth in the Premier League, a place behind West Brom, who were unable to reproduce the same kind of performance that saw them take four points from Arsenal and Manchester United in their last two matches.
While Deeney returned to the Watford starting line-up along with Sebastian Prodl, the Baggies started with the same side that drew at Old Trafford on Saturday.
That, perhaps, contributed to their slow start, as they struggled to get on the ball in the opening half an hour.
Nacer Chadli did have an early chance when he flicked a shot across an open goal from a tight angle after his initial shot rebounded up off Heurelho Gomes.
But it was the Hornets who took the lead after 13 minutes as Deeney headed down for Niang, who cut inside and then fired a fantastic shot into the far corner.
The hosts looked buoyed by the goal and they controlled the game until late in the half, when Chadli hit the post for West Brom with a 25-yard free-kick.
Watford were forced into a change before half-time as Prodl went off with injury, while the visitors brought on Matt Phillips at the break.
But the Hornets doubled their advantage early in the second half, with Niang playing a brilliant first-time pass from halfway to split the West Brom defence and Deeney finishing past Ben Foster to score his 100th league goal for the Hornets.
Chadli had a chance to cut the deficit shortly afterwards but he volleyed wide from Chris Brunt's pass over the top.
Watford were then reduced to 10 men as Britos was shown a second yellow card for bringing down substitute Rondon as they tussled for the ball.
While Walter Mazzarri fumed on the touchline, the Hornets defended resolutely to see out the win.
Rondon headed on to the roof of the net and Allan Nyom saw a late volley blocked but otherwise West Brom struggled to create clear chances on a disappointing night for Tony Pulis' side.
West Brom: Foster (5), Dawson (4), McAuley (4), Evans (5), Nyom (5), Brunt (5), Livermore (4), Fletcher (5), Chadli (4), Robson-Kanu (5), McClean (4).
Subs: Morrison (5), Rondon (5), Phillips (6).
Watford: Gomes (8), Cathcart (7), Prodl (6), Britos (4), Holebas (6), Capoue (6), Doucoure (7), Cleverley (7), Amrabat (6), Deeney (7), Niang (8).
Subs: Mariappa (5), Success (5), Janmaat (6).
Man of the match: M'Baye Niang.