Watford claimed his first league win of the season for the 12th time by asking to climb to the Premier League base and summon Norwich to take his place.
The moments in the match that counted were a goal in the second minute of Gerard Deulofeu and a clever effort of Andre Gray in the seven minutes of the second half. Norwich dominated possession otherwise, had several chances and played for 25 minutes with one extra man following the resignation of Christian Kabasele. But none of that mattered in the end and the Canaries now only add up to one point in seven games.
It was the resistive force against the moving object and, to make matters worse, both terms could be applied to both sides. It was a question of who would get his head in his hands first and Norwich bound, giving the opening goal in 90 seconds.
They have a philosophy and this involves passing out even under pressure. Given their propensity to deliver the ball under pressure, all teams are pressing Norwich now and that includes Watford.
In most recent games, they emphasized compactness, but they were worried about Norwich defenders and even Deulofeu was in it.
It was the Spaniard who faced Emi Buendía from Norwich 25 yards from goal and within seconds of the clock. Faced, the ace tried to throw the ball behind him and around his opponent. Bad movement.
Deulofeu read the play, stole possession, advanced at a pace just above the race and simply passed the ball past Tim Krul.
Either way, the shock was minimal and Norwich got close to the point and began enforcing their passing game in a way that they struggled to do for much of the season. The key to their hopes was Onel Hernández; the German-Cuban winger was a threat to the left and caused no problems for Kabasele.
If his final product had been better half a dozen times, Norwich would have tied before the break.
Watford had a chance to double his lead when Andre Gray, for injured Roberto Pereyra, spun in the six-yard area and received a shot, but was deflected by Ben Godfrey.
It was a fun first part, with as many moments of good play as mistakes.
Norwich also seemed to be at stake, but that calculation changed seven minutes after the restart when Watford doubled the advantage. Deulofeu was the architect, selling a doll to Alex Tettey – once his first cross was blocked – digging a ball into the penalty spot where Gray waited with his back to the goal.
Jamal Lewis was marking him and, apparently, hard enough. However, the result was very tight, as Gray chose not to touch, but simply to throw the ball behind the defender and beyond a dispirited Krul.
It would be tempting to say that this was the kind of decisive action that comes from the Premier League experience, except that this exquisite goal was only the second that Gray achieved this season.
Thirteen minutes later, Kabasele received the second yellow card for a meaningless dispute with Norwich substitute Josip Drmic (his first was for a meaningless dispute with Hernández).
The Hornets replaced Deulofeu with Adrian Mariappa and, after a 10-minute spell in which Lewis and Kenny McLean defeated Ben Foster with far-reaching efforts, Norwich was clueless, with his clear lack of confidence.
. (tagsToTranslate) Premier League (t) Norwich City (t) Watford (t) Football (t) Sport