Manchester United power into the FA Cup Fourth Round win 1-0 Watford win

Despite creating a host of chances on the night, it was to captain for the night Scott McTominay’s early goal proved the key difference between the teams.

The hosts were on top from the start in this one as Dan James’s drive tested Daniel Bachmann before McTominay bulleted home Alex Telles’ corner.

That early goal opened the game at both ends with Hornets defender Adam Masina denied by David De Gea before Eric Bailly skidded a header just wide.

United continued to dominate things after the break with Bachmann called into action to deny Juan Mata and Mason Greenwood.

United talisman Marcus Rashford did almost make the game safe in the final minutes but Bachmann was there once again to keep the score down.

Full Time from Old Trafford it’s Manchester United 1 Watford 0

West Ham bring in Craig Dawson

The capture of the 30-year-old, who could make the switch permanent next year, ends manager David Moyes’ search for cover at centre-half.

Moyes said: “It’s no secret that we have been trying to add more quality to the squad in defensive positions, not only for the longer-term but also to ensure we are well protected right now, and the opportunity bring in Craig on loan was an addition that will make the group stronger through this period.

“I know he will be a great addition to the dressing room – he is a committed and determined character. I look forward to working with him for the rest of the season.”

Dawson made 184 Premier League appearances for the Hornets, who were relegated last season, and could make his Hammers debut at Tottenham on Sunday.

He said: “I’m delighted to be here and really looking forward to being back in the Premier League and working with the manager and group of lads.

“I’m really excited and looking ahead to the game at the weekend. I can’t wait to get started and share my experience.

“We’ve got a lot of experienced lads here anyway and to be joining this group of players is an exciting prospect, so I can’t wait.

“It’s a talented group and I can add competition to that back line, so hopefully I can slot straight in with the lads and help them improve their game as well.

“West Ham is obviously a massive club and London Stadium is a great home stadium and hopefully the fans are back soon cheering us on.”

Moyes is still on the look-out for attacking reinforcements and has been linked with Brentford’s Said Benrahma and Josh King of Bournemouth.

Palace eyeing shock swoop for Sarr claim reports

With the transfer window set to close on October 16th, clubs are lining up last ditch deals in order to strengthen their squads for the season ahead.

Newspaper The Sun claim that Palace are eyeing a club-record £30m to bring Watford winger Ismaila Sarr to Selhurst Park.

Sarr has been attracting interest from the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, so any Eagles swoop for the winger would be considered a huge coup.

However, Watford are said to be wanting closer to £40m for the Senegal international – the same price they paid Rennes for him last summer.

If £30m sounded unlikely to you, then £40m would almost certainly be out of the question for Palace, particularly with Roy Hodgson admitting he is pleased with the club’s transfer business so far this window.

Watford may be tempted in to a cut-price deal the closer the deadline gets, however, with the Hornets already having a bloated squad on Premier League wages.

Everton agree £25m Doucoure deal with Watford

It’s understood the two clubs reached an agreement for the 27-year-old earlier this week, with the player set to travel to Everton’s Finch Farm training ground for a medical.

Doucoure had been a Watford player since 2016, making more than 100 Premier League appearances for the Hornets.

The Frenchman was one of the more impressive performers at Vicarage Road last season, a campaign which ultimately ended in Watford’s relegation from the top flight.

Now Doucoure becomes a part of Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton project, with the Italian manager known to have lofty ambitions at Goodison Park.

Napoli midfielder Allan and Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez are both expected to follow Doucoure through the door on Merseyside in the coming days.

West Brom linked with Watford star Troy Deeney

Slaven Bilic is on the hunt for experienced players ahead of their return to the big time, and Deeney could be an option after declining a contract extension with the Hornets.

Deeney has been vital to Watford in recent years, but his frustration at their relegation was plain to see on the final day of last season.

Watford are unlikely to terminate his contract to facilitate a move, and reports from the Daily Mail claim the Baggies will have to pay £5m to bring him back home to Birmingham.

Abdoulaye Doucoure could be on his way out of Vicarage Road

Watford have rejected Everton’s initial bid for midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. The Hornets want £25m for the Frenchman which the Toffees may well meet.

Corriere Dello Sport in Italy reports that Serie A side Sassuolo are interested in Watford playmaker Roberto Pereyra.

The Argentine made 28 appearances for Watford in the Premier League this season, and despite dropping out of the Premier League, Pereyra’s playmaking ability in the middle of the park has seen him being credited with interest from several Italian clubs.

Ignacio Pussetto is on the verge of sealing a return to Udinese just seven months after joining Watford in a £7 million deal
In that time he has played only 67 minutes of game time. That’s over £100,000 per minute played – even before his wages.

That’s a lot of money per minute, which the club may never recoup.

Vladimir Ivic set to take over at Watford

The Hornets controversially sacked manager Nigel Pearson with two games to go at the end of last season, with Hayden Mullins subsequently unable to save them from the drop.

With the growing mess continuing with Pearson’s exit, the Pozo family have moved quickly to get their house in order ahead of the new Championship season.

Ivic is a free agent after leaving Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv last month and he is expected to sign a three-year deal at Vicarage Road next week.

The Serbian has established a good reputation, with two league titles in Tel Aviv, following a successful stint in charge of Greek club PAOK Salonika.


Sarr on sale

Watford have said they are willing to let Ismaila Sarr leave Vicarage Road this summer but want more than £40m for the 22-year-old forward.

The Hornets signed the winger’s services from Stade Rennais for around £27m almost a year ago.

In the 28 games he has played so far, he has scored five goals and set up a further six, which is not bad given how poor Watford were last season.

Liverpool, Wolves and Crystal Palace are all interested, with Palace seeing him as a potential replacement for Wilfried Zaha.

The price reflects not just his talents, but also his age and the fact he has 4 years left on his contract.

Watford eye free agent Chey Dunkley

Dunkley was released by Wigan Athletic at the expiry of his contract last month, with the Latics’ season ending in relegation after a controversial 12 point deduction from the EFL due to the club entering administration.

The 28-year-old centre back has impressed at the DW Stadium in his three years there, and will no doubt be looking to find himself another Championship club.

Watford are said to be one of the clubs interested in picking up Dunkley on a free transfer, as the Hornets plan for an immediate return to the Premier League following their relegation to the second tier at the end of the season.

One of Dunkley’s strengths is the ability to be a threat at set pieces – his 34 career goals is a decent tally for a centre back.

However, although linked with a move to Vicarage Road, much like everything to do with Watford at the moment, it is all a bit uncertain.

Watford’s Troy Deeney linked with surprise Spurs move

The Hornets were relegated from the Premier League last month after 5 years in the division, with talismanic skipper Deeney crucial to their promotion to the top flight and subsequent half a decade stay there.

The 32-year-old forward hinted that his time at Vicarage Road may be coming to an end upon the club’s return to the Championship, but not many would have envisioned Deeney being linked to Tottenham.

Newspaper The Sun report that the veteran striker has been of interest to Spurs boss Jose Mourinho as a possible loan option for next season, following Troy Parrott’s loan switch to Millwall.

After 10 years at Watford, it is difficult to imagine Deeney in anything but a yellow Hornets shirt – and although the links to Tottenham come as a shock, strange things do happen in the transfer market, arguably accentuated in these testing times.

Former Watford manager keen on Hornets duo

That’s according to Spanish publication AS, who report the Watford duo are on the list of Gracia’s transfer targets at current club Valencia.

The La Liga outfit represent Gracia’s first managerial role since being releived of his Vicarage Road duties in September 2019.

The Spaniard led Watford to their first FA Cup final since 1984 – albeit ending in a crushing defeat to Manchester City – and the Hornets’ progression to the final was largely thanks to the endeavours of forward Gerard Deulofeu.

Deulofeu is currently recovering from surgery on a ligament injury in his home country and didn’t feature for Watford following the season’s resumption.

With the Hornets now preparing for life in the Championship, the vultures will be circling around their best players, with Kiko Femenia also in the crosshairs.

The 29-year-old right back is also reported to be a target for Valencia as Javi Gracia looks to improve on their 9th placed La Liga finish this season.

Arsenal 3-2 Watford: Hornets relegated from Premier League despite valiant display

The Hornets knew their fate was out of their hands heading into the game at the Emirates Stadium and, despite rallying after slipping three goals behind, they ultimately fell to a 3-2 loss.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit a first-half brace either side of Kieran Tierney’s first Arsenal goal – but Mikel Arteta’s side will have to be better than this showing if they are to beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final next week.

Troy Deeney’s penalty reduced the arrears before the break and former Arsenal man Danny Welbeck pulled another back – but, with Aston Villa drawing at West Ham and Bournemouth beating Everton – Watford finished 19th.

The afternoon could not have started worse for Watford, who conceded a penalty in the opening minute.

Craig Dawson floored Alexandre Lacazette and, after a lengthy VAR review which also contained an offside check, Aubameyang tucked home the resulting spot-kick.

To be fair to Watford, they responded well and came close to an equaliser just before the 15-minute mark.

Ismaila Sarr cut inside from the right and fed Abdoulaye Doucoure, his shot blocked by Rob Holding into the path of Roberto Pereyra, who then drew a smart save out of Emiliano Martinez.

Deeney then headed straight at Holding as the visitors enjoyed a level of success when pushing forward.

But it was at the other end where their top-flight status was unravelling, Tierney’s shot deflecting off Will Hughes to wrong-foot Ben Foster and double Arsenal’s lead before the drinks break.

The third goal looked to have firmly finished off this game as a contest and Watford’s top-flight stay, a throw-in into the visitors’ box allowed to bounce unchallenged before Aubameyang controlled and turned home a fine overhead kick.

But captain and talisman Deeney at least gave Watford hope of a shock comeback, thrashing home a trademark penalty after David Luiz had tripped Welbeck.

There was certainly still some residual hope as Adam Masina fired just over, with Welbeck drawing a fine close-range save out of Martinez.

He would not have a chance soon after though when Welbeck was on hand to steer home Sarr’s low cross and bring Watford to within a goal of Arsenal’s seemingly-unassailable lead.

The same duo combined minutes later but this time Martinez brilliantly denied Welbeck a second from a clever flick.

With Watford taking more risks, they were exposing themselves at the back and needed Foster to be at his best to prevent Aubameyang completing his hat-trick from Eddie Nketiah’s pass.

Watford maintained their threat but could not force an equaliser, which still would not have been enough given Villa’s draw across London at West Ham as Arsenal ultimately finished eighth.