Premier League
14 January 2017
Game week
0 - 0
0 - 0
Vicarage Road Stadium (Watford)


Minute   Description
90'+4 Middlesbrough a launch a lofted pass up to Gestede on the edge of the Watford penalty area, but the striker is unable to reach the ball and loses out to Kaboul, who then fires it up the right flank and in search of a yellow shirt.
90'+2 And deny also receives a late yellow card for his part in the post-challenge fracas.
After trudging halfway down the pitch, Fabio is also booked after receiving a stern talking to from the referee.
90'+1 It's all kicking off! Britos flies into Fabio and catches the Brazilian with a dangerous sliding challenge, resulting in an angry reaction from the Middlesbrough man. After a bit of pushing and shoving, the Uruguayan is eventually shown a yellow card.
Kabasele goes close! A swinging cross from Kaboul flies into the Middlesbrough penalty area and finds Kabasele in a great position in front of goal, but the Belgian is unable to beat Valdes, who denies him with a diving save to his right.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be four minutes of added time.
89' Watford have made a late change, with Holebas making way for Juan Zuniga.
88' And now Prodl goes close! The resulting corner is curled into the middle of the penalty area and finds Prodl in a wonderful position in front of goal, but the defender is unable to make decent contact with the ball and Valdes is just about able to collect it.
87' Fantastic opportunity for Deeney! The captain breaks through the disjointed Middlesbrough defence before going one-on-one with Valdes, but the goalkeeper quickly closed down the striker and saves a poked shot with an outstretched leg.
86' Fabio gets himself into a great position thanks to poor Holebas defending and whips a wonderful cross into the Watford penalty area, but just as it's about to reach Negredo, Prodl rises high and nods the ball away from the Spaniard at the vital moment.
84' Once again, Friend breaks down the left wing on a rare run forward as he tries to get Middlesbrough into the game, but he easily loses out to Kabasele on the edge of the hosts' penalty area. It's all Watford at the moment as they continue to boss the contest.
82' Cleverley hits the post! A low cross is fired into the heart of the Middlesbrough penalty area and finds Cleverley, who spins quickly and shoots only to see his effort bounce off the far post. It rolls out to Capoue, who immediately fires a follow-up shot towards goal, but his strike flies just a yard or so wide of its intended target. Watford are getting closer...
80' Gestede, who hasn't been presented with many chances since coming on, does well to wriggle away from three Watford players before shooting from 25 yards out, but his curling effort ends up clearing the top of the crossbar after beating Pantilimon.
78' Yellow card Stefano Okaka Big call by the referee! Okaka breaks into the right-hand side of the Middlesbrough penalty area and battles with George before going down under a challenge from the defender. The Watford players and fans all immediately scream for a penalty, but the referee isn't at all happy with the behaviour of the Italian and instead books him for going down too easily. Controversial!
77' Tom Cleverley receives a rousing round of applause from the Watford fans as he makes his way on to the pitch to replace Behrami and make his first appearance for the club.
75' Friend bursts down the left wing as he tries to latch on to a lofted pass forward, but he's unable to get the better of Kaboul and loses out to the defender. Watford have certainly been the better of the two sides today, but they just can't seem to break down Middlesbrough's back line.
73' What a chance for Doucoure! Once again, Kabasele causes all sorts of problems over on the right wing before sending a great cross right on to the head of Doucoure, but the Frenchman is unable to find the back of the net and instead sends his headed effort agonisingly wide of the near post.
71' Kaboul sends Forshaw flying to the ground with a poor challenge, resulting in a free-kick for Middlesbrough over on the left wing. A looping cross is fired in to Leadbitter and over towards Gestede, but it's poorly hit by the midfielder and sails straight into the hands of Pantilimon.
69' A poor clearance from Valdes can only find Capoue, who bursts forward before being bundled over by a poor challenge from De Roon, resulting in yet another free-kick for Watford in a promising position. Capoue's cross finds Prodl, who then nods the ball over to Deeney, but the captain is unable to reach it and Middlesbrough are just about able to hold on.
67' Kabasele gets himself into a good position deep down the right flank before winning Watford a corner. It's taken short before Holebas tries to pick out Kaboul with a cross over to the far post, but the Greek defender's pass is poor and sails past the outstretched foot of the Frenchman.
66' Gomes still seems to be struggling after clashing with Negredo, and he's eventually forced off to be replaced by Costel Pantilimon.
65' Middlesbrough have made their first substitution of the game, with Stuani making way for Rudy Gestede, who comes on to make his first appearance for his new club.
64' Capoue goes close! Watford come back once again through Kabasele, who flies down the right flank on a marauding run. His cross finds Deeney and is nodded back to Capoue, who takes a quick touch on the edge of the box before curling a lovely shot just an inch or two wide of the far post.
63' The ball pinballs around the Middlesbrough penalty area after another dangerous cross is flung into the box. The visitors are initially able to deal with the danger before Kaboul bursts towards the byline before trying to set up Kabasele, but the Belgian loses out at the last moment and is unable to get a shot away from close range.
61' Behrami battles his way down the right wing, but he's unable to beat Friend and has to settle for a throw-in. It's sent short to Kaboul, who then tries to skip past Negredo, but the defender's first touch is poor and he then gives away a free-kick with a clumsy push.
59' Chance for Leadbitter! Stuani twists and turns over on the left-hand side of the Watford penalty area before beating Kabasele with a thumping low cross, but Leadbitter's first-time volley fails to hit the target and sails comfortably wide of the goal.
58' After a few minutes receiving treatment from the Watford medical staff, Gomes is finally able to get back to his feet and the game gets underway once again. It's Prodl who takes the goal-kick though, as the Brazilian goalkeeper still seems to be in some discomfort.
56' Gomes seemed to receive a blow to the back whilst punching the ball away from danger, and it's left him in a heap on the floor and in serious discomfort. He's still on the ground and it remains to be seen whether he'll be able to continue.
55' Forshaw and Fabio link up well over on the right flank before the wing-back curls a brilliant cross into the middle of the penalty area, but just as it looks as if it's going to find the head of Negredo, Gomes rushes out to punch the ball away from the striker.
53' Another dangerous ball is flung into the Middlesbrough penalty area before falling at the feet of Deeney. The captain takes a quick touch before spinning and trying to test Valdes, but De Roon rushes forward before throwing his body in the way of the strike.
52' Negredo, who has been presented with very few chances in front of goal, breaks into the right-hand side of the penalty area before spinning and finding Fabio. The Brazilian is in a pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area and immediately shoots, but his thumping strike is parried away by Gomes.
50' And now Okaka goes close! Ben Gibson and Okaka battle for the ball over on the right wing, and it's the latter who comes out on top before being dragged to the ground by the defender. The resulting free-kick is swung into the penalty area and finds Okaka, but the Italian's downward header is well saved by Valdes.
48' What an opportunity for Kabasele! A curling cross from Holebas takes Friend by surprise and bounces past the defender before falling to Kabasele, who is all alone at the far post, but the Belgian also isn't expecting the ball to reach him and is unable to move his body quick enough to hit the target with his header.
46' And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
It's been a somewhat underwhelming opening 45 minutes, with both sides looking slightly tentative in their attacking play. For Watford, Okaka and Deeney have linked up well on a few occasions, but both have so far failed to receive the service needed if they're to break down the Middlesbrough defence. As for Middlesbrough, they scored through Stuani only to have the goal correctly ruled out for offside, and since then they've failed to create too many chances, resulting in them spending the majority of the first half on the back foot.
45'+1 Middlesbrough are presented with one final opportunity to fire the ball into the Watford penalty area after winning a free-kick just inside the hosts' half of the pitch, but Leadbitter's cross fails to find a blue shirt and is instead headed away from danger by Kaboul.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be just one minute of added time.
44' Okaka shows great strength once again before teeing up Kabasele over on the right flank, but the latter slightly rushes his first-time cross and is unable to pick out Deeney in front of goal. Okaka has proven to be a handful so far, with most of the Middlesbrough back line struggling to deal with his strength.
43' Another determined Watford attacking move results in a free-kick, this time over on the left wing. This time it's Holebas who swings a cross into the heart of the Middlesbrough penalty area, but once again the set-piece is well dealt with by the visitors.
41' A great curling cross from Bernardo picks out Forshaw, who is in a promising position just outside of the Watford box. The midfielder quickly tries to chest the ball down before looking to shoot, but his first touch is slightly too heavy and it denies him the opportunity to do so.
39' Watford patiently work their way into the Middlesbrough half of the pitch before winning themselves a corner over on the right flank. Capoue does well to fire a looping cross into a dangerous position inside the penalty area, but there's nobody there to meet it and Bernardo is easily able to clear the danger under no pressure whatsoever.
37' Stuani almost makes it 1-0! A long throw-in finds Negredo on the edge of the Watford penalty area, and he quickly nods the ball over the hosts' defence and into the path of Stuani. The striker's flick completely fools the Watford defenders and presents Stuani with a great chance to beat Gomes, but his side-footed volley loops over the goalkeeper and on to the roof of the net.
35' After starting the game the brighter of the two sides, it's now Middlesbrough who find themselves on the back foot. Watford have started pressing well in the middle of the pitch, whilst several long balls forward have caused plenty of problems for the visitors.
33' Vital interception by Calum Chambers! Okaka makes a brilliant run into the penalty area after out-muscling De Roon before firing a low pass across the face of goal and towards Deeney, but just as it looks as if the captain is about to put his side 1-0 up, Chambers dives in to stop him from doing so with an important block.
32' Once again, Watford cause problems for Middlesbrough with another dangerous cross into the penalty area. This time it's Holebas who thumps a lofted pass over to the far post and towards Okaka, but the Italian is unable to guide his headed effort towards goal and fails to get the better of Valdes.
30' A lovely lofted pass forward from Capoue finds Kabasele, who had made a great run into the Middlesbrough penalty area. The Belgian rises high and meets the ball before going down under a challenge from Friend, but the referee waves away the half-hearted protests from the home fans.
28' Kaboul embarks on a rare run down the right wing before swinging a cross into the box that finds Okaka. The striker is easily able to get a head on the ball and quickly nods it over to Deeney, who is in a great position in front of goal, but Valdes rushes out to punch the ball away from danger before it can find the Watford captain.
26' Chance for Doucoure! Watford work the ball around wonderfully before Doucoure unleashes a thumping low strike from just outside of the Middlesbrough penalty area, but Valdes quickly dives to his left to deny the midfielder with a smart save.
24' After dealing with the danger, Watford quickly hit Middlesbrough on a determined counter-attack. Two crosses are flung into the penalty area before the ball eventually falls into the feet of Troy Deeney at the near post, but the captain is slightly offside and the linesman's flag is swiftly raised as a result.
23' Fabio gets himself into a good position over on the right flank and quickly curls a cross into the Watford box and towards Negredo, but it's slightly mishit and fails to find the striker, with Sebastian Prodl instead managing to get a head to the ball.
21' Watford push forward down the right wing and do well to win themselves a throw-in in a promising position. It's Kabasele who launches the ball into the penalty area and finds Stefano Okaka, but the Italian is unable to find a team-mate in front of goal and Middlesbrough are easily able to hold on.
19' Capoue flies into the back of Forshaw and pushes the midfielder to the ground, resulting in a free-kick for Middlesbrough just inside the Watford half of the pitch. The visitors send it short before Bernardo launches a lofted pass up towards Stuani, but the Uruguayan is unable to beat his marker in the air.
17' Fabio pushes forward once again before thumping a cross off the back of Holebas and out for a first corner of the game. Leadbitter steps up and sends the ball into a dangerous position inside the box, but it's well cut out by Doucoure before it can find a blue shirt.
15' Middlesbrough, who have arguably started the better of the two sides, get themselves into a good position once again through Friend. He cuts inside from the left and tees up Forshaw, who then fires a lofted pass over to Fabio, but Capoue beats the Brazilian in the air to head the ball out for a throw-in.
13' Watford patiently work the ball around before Jose Holebas plays a nice one-two with Capoue over on the left flank. The wing-back then skips past Fabio and sends a looping cross into the heart of the penalty area, but it's easily cut out by Valdes.
11' Cristhian Stuani scores, but it's quickly ruled out! A wonderful cross is fired into the Watford box and finds Alvaro Negredo in a promising position. The striker rises high and meets the ball well before nodding it down to Stuani, but as soon as the Uruguayan spins and fires a thumping shot past Heurelho Gomes, the linesman's flag is raised for offside.
9' What an opportunity for Capoue! A wicked deflection sends the ball spinning up into the air and down to Capoue, who is in a great position inside the Middlesbrough penalty area. He's unable to control the ball, however, and loses out to Victor Valdes with a heavy touch at the worst possible moment.
7' Grant Leadbitter does well to win the ball back for Middlesbrough before setting up George Friend over on the left wing. He charges down the flank on a great run and skips past Christian Kabasele before firing a low cross into the box, but Younes Kaboul is there to meet it at the near post.
5' Valon Behrami is dragged to ground by Adam Forshaw and wins Watford a free-kick in a dangerous position 30 yards away from goal. Capoue steps up and curls a cross over to Miguel Britos at the far post, but the defender is a yard or so offside and the linesman's flag is raised as soon as he makes contact with the ball.
3' A lengthy series of Middlesbrough possession comes to an end after a poor pass from Bernardo can only find Etienne Capoue. The Frenchman immediately bursts towards the penalty area before trying to set up Abdoulaye Doucoure, but Marten de Roon is there to cut out the danger at the vital moment.
1' And we're off! Middlesbrough get us underway, attacking from left to right.
The two sets of players join the fans in honouring the life of Graham Taylor with a minute's applause.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has made four alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with Brad Guzan, Daniel Ayala, Adam Clayton and Adama Traore making way for Victor Valdes, Ben Gibson, Fabio and Adam Forshaw. There’s also place on the bench for new signing Rudy Gestede, who was bought from Aston Villa earlier this month.
Water Mazzarri has decided to make five changes to the Watford side that started the FA Cup victory against Burton Albion, with Heurelho Gomes, Sebastian Prodl, Valon Behrami, Jose Holebas and Stefano Okaka coming into the starting line-up to replace Costel Pantilimon, Craig Cathcart, Brandon Mason, Jerome Sinclair and Odion Ighalo, respectively. There’s also a place on the substitutes’ bench for Tom Cleverley, who recently joined on loan from Everton for the rest of the season.
Middlesbrough substitutes: Guzan, Fry, Clayton, Traore, Downing, Fischer, Gestede.
Middlesbrough XI (5-3-2): Valdes; Chambers, Espinosa, Gibson, Friend, Fabio; De Roon, Leadbitter, Forshaw; Stuani, Negredo.
Watford substitutes: Pantilimon, Cathcart, Zuniga, Watson, Cleverley, Sinclair, Ighalo.
Watford XI (3-5-2): Gomes; Kaboul, Prodl, Britos; Kabasele, Capoue, Doucoure, Behrami, Holebas; Deeney, Okaka.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon…
Middlesbrough have scored the joint-lowest amount of goals in the league this season, but their impressive defensive record (they have conceded the same as both Manchester City and Arsenal) has so far kept them out of the relegation zone. Wins have been hard to come by, however, and with just one in their previous six clashes, a victory today against another side in the bottom half of the table is badly needed.
Watford did taste victory against Burton Albion in the FA Cup last weekend, however, and Mazzarri will be hoping that the win will give his side the confidence needed to put in another good shift here today. It could prove to be a tough afternoon though, as they must now face a Middlesbrough defence that have conceded just once in their previous three games.
After a shaky start, Watford enjoyed an impressive first part of the season thanks to four wins in seven games between the start of September and end of October, but they’ve struggled in recent weeks and currently find themselves winless in five league outings. Stoke City were the latest to cause trouble for Walter Mazzarri’s men, who have managed to score just one goal from open play since the win against Everton on December 10th.
This afternoon’s clash marks the first Watford outing since the sad passing of former manager Graham Taylor, who, during two managerial spells at the club, brought so much joy to this part of Hertfordshire. The Hornets will be looking to honour his memory with a win today as they attempt to climb back into the top half of the table.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Premier League game between Watford and Middlesbrough at Vicarage Road.


M. Britos
G. Friend
Y. Kaboul
S. Prödl
B. Espinosa
B. Gibson
G. Leadbitter
T. Deeney
Álvaro Negredo
V. Behrami
M. de Roon
A. Doucouré
C. Stuani
C. Chambers
J. Holebas
Víctor Valdés
C. Kabasele
E. Capoue
S. Okaka
A. Forshaw

Additional info

J. Moss
A. Holmes
Fourth official
S. Martin


Match Stats

Watford Middlesbrough
26 Attacks (Dangerous) 20
3 Corners 1
15 Fouls 15
18 Free Kicks 17
6 Goal Kicks 7
2 Offsides 3
1 Shots (blocked) 0
5 Shots (off target) 3
5 Shots (on target) 1
1 Shots (woodwork) 0
33 Throw Ins 24

Regular Season

# Team MP D P

Vicarage Road Stadium

Vicarage Road Stadium