Hornets sting Canaries and take all three points at Carrow Road
Norwich City 1
Watford ended a run of three successive Premier League defeats with a 3-1 victory at Carrow Road this afternoon over Norwich City – who remain pointless.
Emmanuel Dennis gave the Hornets the lead midway through the first-half, before Teemu Pukki levelled for the hosts.
But two strikes from Ismaila Sarr in the second half ensured the points headed back to Hertfordshire.
It was a quiet start on the pitch, if not in the stands, where you felt Norwich’s fans really knew the importance of this game, even at such an early stage in the season.
The first shot on goal came from Watford on nine minutes when Dennis, played through by a lovely ball by former Spurs man Moussa Sissoko, cut in on his right foot from the left but hit a weak effort that was easily held by Tim Krul.
At the other end Mathias Normann tried his luck from 25-yards but his free-kick never looked likely to bother Ben Foster in the Watford goal.
But on 17 minutes Dennis got in front of the sleeping Max Aarons to plant a header into the corner of the net following a right wing cross from Kiko Femenia.
After 25 minutes Norwich had a chance to equalise when Josh Sargent’s effort was deflected just the wrong side of the post from a Canaries point of view.
Watford constantly looked both the stronger and more dangerous team in the first period, catching the Canaries on the break several times, with the hosts relying on a number of last-ditch tackles and blocks to prevent the Hornets further extending their advantage.
But on 35 minutes, and out of almost nothing, the home side were level through Pukki, who held his nerve to slot past Foster when played through by a ball over the top from Normann.
Watford could have regained the lead four minutes before the break, but Sarr’s shot was weak and straight at Krul.
Norwich started the second half brightly and had a shout for a penalty turned down when Danny Rose took a chance with a forceful shoulder barge on Milot Rashica - referee Robert Jones inexplicably seeing the infringement the other way.
The incident was the second in as many minutes in which Rose was awarded a free-kick when appearing to be the offender – quite how he stayed out of Jones’ notebook is a mystery.
But Watford were back in front on 63 minutes, Josh King’s cross slotted into the bottom left corner by Sarr when unmarked in the six-yard box.
Pukki had a half-chance to equalise minutes later, but pulled his shot wide of the goal – and the Canaries really should have been level soon after when Rashica’s powerful effort was beaten away by Foster.
And they were made to pay when Sarr scored his second 10 minutes from time.
King was played clean through, and although his shot was saved by Krul, Sarr was on hand to tap home.
The Watford fans had to wait to celebrate as VAR checked the initially disallowed strike, but it was clearly onside, and the decision condemned Norwich to their fifth successive defeat.
Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Gilmour, Kabak, Normann (Cantwell, 70), Rashica, Williams, Pukki, McLean, Sargent (Tzolis, 70)
Watford: Foster, Rose, Ekong, King, Cleverley, Cathcart, Sissoko, Femenia, Sarr, Dennis (Sema, 72), Kucka
Referee: Robert Jones