Watford beat Bristol City 6-0 at Vicarage Road
Breaking a three-game winless run in style, Watford beat Bristol City 6-0 at Vicarage Road.
Goals from Ken Sema, Ismaila Sarr, Will Hughes and Philip Zinckernagel helped the Hornets close the gap at the top of the Championship standings. The Robins slipped to 12th, a ninth defeat in their last 12 games.
Watford boss Xisco Munoz made three changes from the side who drew to Coventry City last weekend. Kiko Femenia replaced Jeremy Ngakia, Hughes came in for Andre Gray and Joao Pedro was preferred to Troy Deeney.
Bristol City manager Dean Holden made three changes from the team who lost in FA Cup action mid-week. Henri Lansbury, Han-Noah Massengo and Antoine Semenyo all came in for the Robins. Nahki Wells dropped to the bench, whilst Alife Mawson and Ashley Williams were left out.
Watford broke the deadlock with their first chance of the afternoon. Firing home from close-range in the second minute, Sema ensured that the Hornets were ahead from the get-go.
The Hornets doubled their lead on the 15-minute mark. Watford’s second shot of the game, star man Sarr could hardly miss as he latched onto a Cleverley pass from just yards out.
Two down, the Robins tried to pull it back with their first effort on goal. Massengo won a 17th minute freekick on the edge of the area, but the resultant set piece was hit straight into the home wall.
Sarr followed and attempted to double his goal tally in the 20th minute. The Senegal international could only drill his shot just wide of Daniel Bentley’s post.
Hughes made it 3-0 for Watford inside half an hour in Hertfordshire. Scoring in the 30th minute, the ball deflected off Taylor Moore and Hughes’ long-shot found its way into the back of the net.
Pedro followed for Munoz’s side and hit the cross bar in the 34th minute. Whiskers away from a fourth Golden Boys goal, Sema secured it moments later.
A second of the afternoon for the Swede, the Watford midfielder blasted the ball past Bentley as he linked up well with Sarr in the 36th minute.
Both managers made changes at the interval. Dan Gosling made his Watford debut as he replaced Nathaniel Chalobah. Taylor Moore made way for former Hornet Adrian Marrippa and Ryley Towler was replaced by Adam Nagy.
Watford started the second half brightest of the two teams. Will Hughes hit wide from the edge of the area in the 50th minute.
It didn’t take long for the Hornets to score a fifth. Sarr picked Massengo’s pocket and calmly slotted home for his second of the day in the 55th minute.
Munoz made his second change in the 60th minute. The Watford boss replaced Sema for Gray and Cleverley for Zinckernagel.
Holden followed and opted to switch Jamie Paterson for Tyreeq Bakinson.
Gosling tried his hand at a first Watford goal in the 64th minute. Heading over the crossbar, the 31-year-old couldn’t convert from the corner.
City made another change in the 73rd minute. Lansbury was replaced by Kasey Palmer.
The hosts made a final substitution in the 75th minute. Ben Wilmot replaced Femenia and Achraf Lazaar made his debut as he replaced Adam Masina.
William Troost-Ekong had a go at writing his name onto the score sheet in the 79th minute. The Nigerian could only head wide from a Zinckernagel cross.
Daniel Bachmann was forced to make a first save of the game in the 82nd minute. A tame Massengo shot was kept out comfortably by the Austrian.
The Robins made a final substitution in the 86th minute. Wells was replaced by Famara Diedhiou.
Watford rounded off the afternoon with a sixth goal. Concluding a dominant performance, Sarr put it on a plate for Zinckernagel who tapped home in the 90th minute.