Deulofeu: “We Have To Continue This”
Gerard Deulofeu did the business on a Friday night again, making one and scoring another to inspire the Hornets to that all-important first league win of the season.
The Spaniard guided in the first after just 76 seconds to register Watford's second fastest ever goal in the Premier League (Étienne Capoue got the quickest against Leicester after just 33 seconds in November 2016) and then teed up the game-clinching second for Andre Gray. It was a cameo that had shades of the one he produced against Cardiff last season and set-up a first league win since April.
“Finally, it’s a long time without a win and now we can enjoy it,” he told Sky Sports. “We have been working really hard for it. Today was a big final for us because if we don’t get the three points we could remain like this for the season. It was really important.”
Deulofeu came sprinting out for the warm-up and screamed “Vamos”, meaning come on. He was clearly in the mood and he started the game quickly and aggressively. After winning the ball back from kick-off, the Spaniard won back possession, drifted through the Canaries’ defence and slotted the ball past Tim Krul in the home goal.
“It was early, I think it was my first shot,” he said. “You have to be ready and we made good pressure on the defenders so I could score the first goal. After we finished it with a second goal from Andre [Gray] to get the three points and we have to continue this.”
The team were forced to be resolute out of possession, especially after going down to 10 men with Christian Kabasele receiving a second booking just after the hour mark. Struggling to talk over the travelling Hornets fans singing his name, Deulofeu discussed the tactical approach to deal with Norwich’s style of play.
“We know they want to play from behind and we know we have to be compact,” he said. “We know sometimes we have to put on the pressure to get to their goal and that’s what we did with the first pressure.”
This approach helped the Hornets claim their third clean sheet from the last five Premier League games, a clear sign of improvement considering they only managed to keep one clean sheet in the 19 previous games. This set-up means one or two moments of magic from Deulofeu at the other end should be enough to win the points.
“I’m nearer the goal and I can get more chances. I run a lot but I think I can run a little less than a winger,” he joked.