Angry Gerard Deulofeu sparks Watford's comeback, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Angry Gerard Deulofeu sparks Watford's comeback

Spaniard comes off the bench to help Hornets reach FA Cup final

Javi Gracia hailed "angry" Gerard Deulofeu after the Spaniard came off the bench to spark an incredible comeback, as Watford beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 to set up an FA Cup final against mighty Manchester City.

Gracia's side looked down and out at Wembley on Sunday, trailing 2-0 late in regulation time before a moment of magic from Deulofeu and a nerveless last-gasp penalty from captain Troy Deeney pulled them level.

Earlier, a goal from Matt Doherty in the first half and a second-half strike from Raul Jimenez had seemingly set Wolves on the path to their first FA Cup final since 1960 in a full-blooded cup tie.

Wolves picked themselves up after the penalty and settled quickly at the start of extra time.

But the momentum was with a physical Watford side and they took the lead for the first time in the 104th minute.

The goal came after more brilliance from Spaniard Deulofeu, who rolled the ball past John Ruddy from a tight angle after holding off Conor Coady.

"When everything was lost, I think the team were able to show our character, our personality, our ambition and believing until the end we were able to win today," said a proud Garcia.

The Watford manager said he knew Deulofeu would have an important role to play.

"At that moment, he was angry when he started to play. But I like to see my players this way with that attitude when they felt angry in this moment to show what they are able to do," he said.

Watford and Wolves are battling to be the "best of the rest" in the English Premier League behind the top-six clubs but, on Sunday, the focus of both clubs switched to the chance to win rare silverware.

Wolves went ahead in the 36th minute when Diogo Jota sent over an inviting cross for Matt Doherty to head in.

Jimenez - the club's new record signing - then made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute, hooking the ball past Gomes after controlling a deep cross from Doherty.

The Mexico international donned a yellow-and-black wrestling mask as the Wolves fans celebrated wildly.


Watford huffed and puffed as they battled to get back into the game but Deulofeu, brought on in place of Will Hughes in the 66th minute, produced a moment of pure inspiration in the 79th minute.

The ball fell to him in the area and he picked his spot, chipping over the head of Ruddy into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

With time running out, Leander Dendoncker brought down Deeney in the penalty box and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot after a moment's consideration, with the spot-kick confirmed by VAR.

Deeney held his nerve and blasted the ball down the middle in the fourth minute of injury time.

That took the game to extra time and Deulofeu applied the killer touch shortly before the end of the first period of extra time to send Watford through to next month's final against Quadruple-chasing Man City. - AFP