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Watford Player Ratings Following Victory at Cardiff City

Watford Player Ratings

Watford’s 2-1 victory against Cardiff City lifted the Hornets back into second place – level on points with third-placed Swansea City. See how the Hornets’ players fared in the Watford Player Ratings below.

Watford Player Ratings Against Cardiff City

Match Summary

Mick McCarthy’s men started the match on the front foot, earning a corner kick within the first 30 seconds of the match. A common theme throughout the match, the Bluebirds primarily attacked the box through set-pieces and long throws.

As Watford’s momentum started to grow, Cardiff swooped in and took the lead through a counterattack. Francisco Sierralta was unfortunate to turn a cross headed to Kieffer Moore into the back of the Hornets’ net.

Captain Nathaniel Chalobah ensured the deficit did not last. The following minute, the former Chelsea player scored a goal of the highest quality. A swift movement to switch the ball from his right foot to his left and back onto his right was followed by an arrowing shot into the keeper’s bottom right-hand corner.

The Hornets dominated the rest of the first half. The second half saw a changing in complexion, as neither side looked like they wanted to take the upper hand. Both teams had half-chances, but neither made clear-cut opportunities. Then, in the 93rd minute, Ismaila Sarr was taken down just outside of the box. The following minute, Adam Masina ended Watford’s curse of five years without scoring a direct free-kick curse. The celebrations on the bench epitomized how much the victory against a previously unbeaten in 11 Cardiff meant.

Watford Player Ratings

Daniel Bachmann: The Austrian shot-stopper did not have a whole lot to do, but sufficiently did we he had to do. He had one shaky moment of miscommunication with William Troost-Ekong which could have punished Watford more if Bachmann did not tactically take down the opposing player.

Rating: 6.5/10

Kiko Femenia: One of the Hornets’ players of the season, the Spaniard put in another solid performance. Tried to provide an attacking threat down the right, but Ismaila Sarr was not making the typical overlapping runs. The cross from the goal did come from the right, however, so perhaps Femenia would have wanted to sit deeper in the Hornets’ previous attacking movement (though he cannot be blamed for the goal).

Rating: 6.5/10

Francisco Sierralta: The own goal to his name does not fairly sum up the Chilean’s performance. The 23-year-old expertly dealt with the Moore threat all match. Considering Cardiff thrive in the air, Sierralta performed well to ensure his own-goal was remedied by commanding the aerial battles. Besides, if Sierralta left the ball on his own-goal, Moore had an open net to fire at.

Rating: 7/10

William Troost-Ekong: Will be pleased with his partner’s performance, as he himself struggled in the air. He had a couple of near-costly miscommunications with Bachmann and mistimed some aerial challenges. Was in no-man’s-land when the cross came in for the host’s goal but did improve in the second half.

Rating 5.5/10

Adam Masina: If Watford achieve promotion, Adam Masina’s free-kick winner will be pin-pointed as one of the key moments. The timing of the goal makes the contribution even more special for Hornets’ fans. Besides the goal, Masina had a decent performance, firing some threatening balls into the box. He did have a few sloppy passes as well, but, in the end, he more than redeemed any little mistakes he made.

Rating: 7.5/10

Philip Zinckernagel: The January signing will be relishing the increased opportunities he is receiving. The Dane had a somewhat positive first half, looking confident and creative in possession. Zinckernagel was quiet and could not replicate in the second half.

Rating: 6/10

Will Hughes: One of Watford’s most important players, Will Hughes did not have one of his better performances. However, the standard he sets for himself is naturally high. Three fouls and a 47th-minute yellow card sum up how he did not become the “engine” he typically likes to be for the full match. Still, he sat in front of the backline well – and average by his standards is still well above par for most.

Rating: 6.5/10

*Nathaniel Chalobah: Following a two-match ban, Chalobah returned in impressive fashion. Showed tremendous talent, poise, and composure to fire the Hornets level just after falling behind. He both went forward and defended well, though perhaps will have wanted to make as much of an impact in the second half as he did in the first. Still, an overall man-of-the-match showing from Chalobah.

Rating: 8.5/10

Ismaila Sarr: Like Hughes, Sarr, one of the club’s most important players, did not have the strongest of outings (which will not alarm Watford, considering a victory without two key players notably shining shows a lack of reliance on a couple of individuals). Sarr was hitting the ground far too easily at times, but he did well to draw contact in the 93rd minute when the Hornets needed it the most.

Rating: 6/10

Ken Sema: Like Sarr, Sema did not have his strongest of outings. Watford did not give Sema as much of the ball as he might have liked. He did well when on the ball, so it is his lack of involvement that summarizes his performance and rating.

Rating: 6/10

Joao Pedro: The 19-year-old sensation did well in the first half to get on the ball and move around the Cardiff backline. The club’s top-scorer was rather unfortunate his acrobatic attempt did not find the back of the net. Pedro’s influence in the second half decreased a bit.

Rating: 6.5/10

Note: All substitutions came in the last 20 minutes of the match, with none having enough of a contribution to conclude a fair player-rating.


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