Watford 3-0 Coventry: £30m summer signing Ismaila Sarr scores on his first start for Hornets as Javi Gracia’s side reach third round of Carabao Cup
- Ismaila Sarr opened the scoring for the Hornets on his first start for the club
- Daryl Janmaat doubled Watford’s lead over League One side in the second half
- Adalberto Penaranda added a third for Javi Gracia’s side to seal the victory
Javi Gracia earned himself some breathing space as Watford finally ended their losing streak, with £30million club-record signing Ismaila Sarr scoring his first goal for the Hornets.
Watford had lost seven games in succession and not kept a clean sheet in 18 outings but were able to see off League One Coventry City on Tuesday night.
The Premier League is ultimately where Gracia will be judged but it was important that Watford rediscovered that winning feeling ahead of facing Newcastle United away this Saturday.
Watford’s Daryl Janmaat celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the Carabao Cup clash
Janmaat curled the ball into the top right corner 11 minutes after the break at Vicarage Road
Watford’s Adalberto Penaranda (left) added a third goal to seal victory for Javi Gracia’s side
Watford: Gomes, Janmaat, Mariappa, Kabasele, Foulquier, Sarr (Dele-Bashiru 72), Quina, Chalobah, Pereyra (Penaranda 64), Success, Welbeck.
Subs not used: Prodl, Deulofeu, Cleverley, Femenia, Bachmann.
Coventry: Wilson, Dabo, Hyam, Rose, Mason (McCallum 46), Eccles (Shipley 64), O’Hare, Kelly, Kastaneer (Godden 61), Bakayoko, Hiwula.
Subs not used: Marosi, McFadzean, Jobello, Westbrooke.
Referee: Gavin Ward
Gracia had admitted following his last defeat that he was feeling the pressure to perform. His players stood up for their boss here, avoiding what could have been a banana skin.
It was a tidy finish from Sarr that set up this Carabao Cup victory at Vicarage Road, while Danny Welbeck also made his first start up front for Watford.
Coventry were not here to merely make up the numbers. Mark Robins’s side were unbeaten in 2019-20 and 3,700 visiting supporters followed their team to Vicarage Road.
They saw Callum O’Hare skim the woodwork from distance before Welbeck – one of 11 changes made by Gracia here – skied a shot into the stands from 18 yards.
Watford’s Ismaila Sarr (right) celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game on Tuesday
Ismaila Sarr celebrates with team-mate Christian Kabasele after scoring on first start for club
Sarr, who is joined by team-mates after scoring, broke deadlock eight minutes before half time
The Premier League side started to impose themselves and their first shot on target arrived after half an hour when Roberto Pereyra tested Coventry’s Ben Wilson from distance.
Watford then took the lead before the break after a lovely through-ball by Isaac Success for Sarr. With only Wilson to beat, the winger found the bottom corner.
The summer signing from Rennes had opened his account for the club, and Watford doubled their lead before the hour mark with Daryl Janmaat dispatching a deflected strike.
Adalberto Penaranda scored the goal of the match in the 69th minute, with the 22-year-old letting fly from 30 yards and finding the top corner. Like Sarr, that was his first for the club.
Watford showed their class in the second half, always keeping their League One opponents at bay. Now, they will look to carry some momentum into Saturday’s trip to Newcastle.
Coventry City’s Gervane Kastaneer (R) in action with Watford’s Janmaat in League Cup clash