Brentford condemns Watford to fifth defeat in six to all but secure Premier League status next season

Watford’s losing home run carried on in brutal fashion, as an injury-time winner from Brentford captain Pontus Jansson condemned them to a 10th Vicarage Road defeat in succession

Just moments earlier, at 1-1, Imran Louza had missed a sitter, leading to away fans chanting “that’s why you’re going down” and it was hard to argue. Little did they know that things would get even worse for Roy Hodgson’s men though.

Defensive frailty and missed chances again haunted troubled Watford here.

The final blow just topped it off, after a free kick from Christian Eriksen set it up. Brentford have won all five games that Eriksen has started. This win takes them on to 39 points, cruising to safety and with a possible top-half finish to aim for.

The way these clubs are finishing the season – one desperate and sinking, the other swaggering at times and secure – highlights how differently they have handled the Premier League this season.

Last season, Watford saw off Brentford on the way to automatic promotion from the Championship, while Thomas Frank’s men later went up through the play-offs.

Watford though, unlike Brentford, are going down grimly, perhaps due to lack of quality rather than effort.

Struggling Watford have lost five in six now, while Brentford have won five in six, including three successive wins, having seen off Chelsea and West Ham too.

Eriksen gave an early sign of his threat, as the Dane curled an effort just wide for Brentford – then, at the other end, Ismaila Sarr wastefully headed over a close-range chance.

Brentford were given the lead by another Denmark midfielder named Christian though – Norgaard – who steered in after a flick-on by Norway defender Kristoffer Ajer, inside the six-yard box, from Ethan Pinnock’s long throw-in.

Again, the Watford defending needed to be better – while Brentford had struck after enjoying the bulk of possession and profiting from their long-throw threat again.

Watford struggled to create chances for the remainder of the first half but Brentford survived a scare just before half-time when Ajer almost scored an own goal, slicing wide a clearance from Kiko Femenia’s delivery.

Vicarage Road has been subjected to a lot of footballing pain this season so it was no surprise to hear boos around the ground as the half-time whistle went – but that first half was just a taste of the suffering that was to come.

Ivan Toney could have quickly made matters worse for them but failed to connect cleanly, after Eriksen teed him up from a free-kick, early in the second half.

Hodgson’s players, though, finally gave their fans reason to cheer when Emmanuel Dennis produced a fine, angled finish after Sarr flicked on captain Moussa Sissoko’s cross. It was initially ruled out for a linesman’s offside flag – but Var overturned.

Watford looked re-energized at that point and Samir shot wide – but Toney also threatened with an audacious, 40-yard lobbed attempt.

Dennis then had his near miss, hitting the woodwork, and Louza blew his chance after Josh King’s initial shot had hit the post – before Jansson left the home crowd looking depressed and deflated.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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