SOCCER

Tau-less Brighton silence Troost-Ekong, Dennis & Etebo’s Watford


Despite the presence of the Nigerian internationals, the Hornets crumbled to their first defeat of the season against the Seagulls

Brighton and Hove Albion continued their fine Premier League start with a convincing 2-0 victory over Watford on Saturday evening.

First-half goals from Shane Duffy and Neal Maupay propelled the Seagulls past the Hornets inside the American Express Community Stadium.

Both teams came into the fixture having recorded victories their last time out. Brighton secured a 2-1 away win at Burnley, while Xisco Munoz’s side defeated Aston Villa 3-2 at the Vicarage Road.

Parading the Nigerian trio of William Troost-Ekong, Emmanuel Dennis and Peter Etebo, Watford showed promises after the blast of Anthony Taylor’s whistle, but it was the hosts who took the lead in the tenth minute through Duffy.

The Republic of Ireland defender headed a perfect Pascal Gross’ corner-kick past goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.

Despite their advantage, Graham Potter’s men continued to probe the visitors’ backline in search of more goals.

Nonetheless, their persistence paid off four minutes before the half-time break as Maupay doubled their advantage.

Man-of-the-match Yves Bissouma picked the pocket of Tom Cleverley in Watford half, before setting up the French forward who beat Bachmann in goal.

The hosts could have gone three goals up shortly after the restart, albeit, substitute Aaron Connolly blazed his effort wide from just six yards out.

With no goals in the remaining minutes played, Potters’ men secured all points at stake to equal their longest unbeaten run (six matches) on home soil since their return to the EPL.

Troost-Ekong, Dennis and Etebo were in action for Watford from start to finish alongside Ismaila Sarr (Senegal) and Adam Masina (Morocco).

Meanwhile, Masina’s compatriot Imran Louza played no part in the defeat, while Ghana prospect Kwadwo Baah was an unused substitute.

On the other hand, Brighton paraded Mali international Bissouma for 90 minutes, while Zambia ace Enock Mwepu was introduced for Leandro Trossard in the 72nd minute. South Africa international Percy Tau was not listed by manager Potter.

The Hornets would be hoping to bounce back to reckoning when they travel to London for their next league outing against Tottenham Hotspur on August 29. Five days earlier, they lock horns with Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road in an English League Cup fixture.


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