Goalscorers: Elias Kachunga 6, Aaron Mooy 23, 89 PEN, Laurent Depoitre 50, Abdoulaye Doucoure 68
Watford: Heurelho Gomes, Jose Holebas (Stefano Okaka 82), Daryl Janmaat, Christian Kabasele, Adrian Mariappa (Roberto Pereyra 29), Sebastian Prodl, Etienne Capoue (Andre Gray 64), Abdoulaye Doucoure, Andre Carrillo, Troy Deeney (SENT OFF), Richarlison
Huddersfield Town: Jonas Lossl, Florent Hadergjonaj, Chris Lowe (Scott Malone 45), Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen, Christopher Schindler, Jonathan Hogg (SENT OFF), Aaron Mooy, Rajiv van La Parra (Danny Williams 64), Laurent Depoitre, Elias Kachunga (Tom Ince 19), Collin Quaner
Referee: Michael Oliver, Attendance: 20,026
The first top-flight meeting between Watford and Huddersfield Town in December 2017 was eventful to say the least. The Terriers left with another crucial three points in their bid to avoid an instant relegation in a game that saw five goals, a penalty and two red cards.
Watford were winless in their last four matches but still were favourites coming into the match. Huddersfield had failed to score on their travels since their 3-0 opening day victory over Crystal Palace. That drought ended after just six minutes. After the home side failed to clear a corner, Collin Quaner’s effort was tapped into the back of the net by Elias Kachunga. It was Kachunga’s 17th top-flight game and his first Premier League goal. Unfortunately for the former Paderborn and Ingolstadt forward, his day ended on a stretcher after just 19 minutes. He sustained a serious knee injury that would keep him on the sidelines for three months.
David Wagner’s side recovered from that setback to double their lead in fortunate circumstances. Quaner collected his second assist of the afternoon when his cross hit Aaron Mooy and trickled into the back of the net. Mooy didn’t know anything about it but they all count and this put the visitors in a fantastic position. Two goals up, they would be a man up also before half-time.
12 minutes before the break, Watford captain Troy Deeney was given a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Quaner who was going nowhere on the touchline. It was Watford’s fourth red card of the season and their disciplinary record was becoming a real cause for concern for manager Marco Silva. The game was virtually put beyond the Hornets when Jose Holebas lost his footing in the penalty area five minutes into the second half. This allowed Laurent Depoitre to fully punish this slip, driving the ball beyond Heurelho Gomes.
Watford were given a glimmer of hope midway through the second half when Huddersfield’s skipper Jonathan Hogg joined Deeney in an early departure in the match. Referee Michael Oliver dismissed Hogg for two bookable offences; the second in a tough challenge on Richarlison. The deficit was reduced to 3-1 on 68 minutes by a brilliant half-volley strike from distance by Abdoulaye Doucoure but in truth, Huddersfield’s advantage was simply too big for Watford to cause many problems. The scoreline got its added gloss just before injury-time. Doucoure tripped Depoitre in the penalty area and Mooy made no mistake from the spot to score his second of the afternoon.
This was the Terriers’ first victory in eight away league matches and they would complete the double over Watford, beating them 1-0 in April through a dramatic late winner by Tom Ince. By then, Watford had a new manager. Silva was sacked by the club in January. He won just one more match after this hefty loss to the Terriers.