Leeds United's last positive result against Watford stayed true to Whites and Hornets blueprint

Leeds United’s recent league contests against Watford have had a habit of featuring plenty of goals.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 4:45 am

The two sides have not met in a league fixture since the Championship clash at Elland Road of February 2015 as part of a season featuring ten goals in the two clashes between the Hornets and Whites.

Watford did the double over Leeds as February’s 3-2 triumph in West Yorkshire followed August’s 4-1 success at Vicarage Road.

Watford were also triumphant the previous April with a 3-0 home victory and also netted three times at Elland Road in the Championship clash of December 2013.

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ONE EACH: Ross McCormack, left, and Matt Smith, right, both bagged a goal apiece in Leeds United's thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Watford of December 2013, above. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

But three goals were not enough for victory in yet another Watford and Whites thriller that ended in a 3-3 draw for what remains United’s last positive result against the Hornets.

Leeds were in their fourth season back in the Championship following their promotion from League One in 2010 and under the care of Brian McDermott whose newly inherited side had finished the previous season in 13th.

Watford had been relegated from the Premier League in 2007 and were in their seventh consecutive season in the second tier and second campaign under Gianfranco Zola whose side had finished the 2012-13 season in third place only to fall to defeat against Crystal Palace in the play-off final.

By the time December’s clash at Elland Road came around, the Hornets were down in 13th whilst McDermott’s side were seventh.

The clash at Leeds proved Zola’s penultimate game in charge but the Hornets went ahead in the 12th minute after United failed to clear the lines as Lewis McGugan looked to make inroads down the right flank.

Despite the presence of five shirts within close proximity, the loose ball was seized upon by Troy Deeney who rifled home a fierce finish from just inside the box that flew past Paddy Kenny into the back of the net.

Arsenal loanee Hector Bellerin then proved the architect as Watford doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

The full back stormed forward with a powerful run down the left before delivering a cross that was controlled by Christian Battocchio who made his way into the area before supplying a neat finish that was lifted over Kenny and trickled home off the right hand post.

Leeds trailed 2-0 at the interval but pulled a goal back five minutes after the restart through Danny Pugh.

Watford were unable to clear Ross McCormack’s cross from the right and Pugh pounced on the loose ball and took a couple of touches towards the byline before producing a rising left footed finish from a very acute angle to beat ‘keeper Jonathan Bond.

Eleven minutes later Leeds made it 2-2, McCormack again playing a vital role as United drew level.

The Whites striker again caused problems down the right side and this time delivered a beautiful floated cross towards the towering Matt Smith who easily out jumped Nyron Nosworthy to head home from close range.

Having bagged himself two assists, McCormack then got himself on the scoresheet to net what looked like being the winning goal after a brilliant through ball from Luke Murphy.

The midfielder’s lofted through ball from the centre circle was pounced upon by McCormack who arrived on the blind side of Nosworthy and poked the ball past he onrushing Bond from the middle of the box.

Leeds were 3-2 up having been 2-0 down but the Hornets provided one final sting in the tail and equalised in the 86th minute as Deeney bagged his second goal of the game.

There appeared little danger as George Thorne received the ball some 30 yards out but the midfielder unleashed a rasping drive that forced Kenny to make a diving save at his right hand post.

However, the Whites keeper could only parry the ball in the direction of Deeney who needed no second invitation to slot home into the opposite corner of the goal.

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Thank you Laura Collins