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Watford move into play-off places after comeback win at Cardiff

02 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Cardiff City’s Ryan Allsop (left) challenges a decision by Referee, Keith Stroud, (right) during the defeat to Watford. Photo David Davies PA Images

Watford made it back-to-back away wins as they beat Cardiff 2-1 to move up into the play-off places.

It was a fourth win in a row at Cardiff for the visitors and a fifth win in eight games under new boss Slaven Bilic.

The Hornets replaced Swansea in sixth place with goals from Francisco Sierralta and Ismaila Sarr completing their fight back after Cedric Kipre had given the home side the lead.

Cardiff got off to a blistering start and found themselves leading after only nine minutes. Even before then they had caused problems through the trickery of Jaden Philogene and the pace of Mark Harris, but the breakthrough came from a set piece.

Skipper Joe Ralls stepped up to take a corner from the right and he found Kipre at the far post, who headed home unopposed.

The French defender managed to lose his marker, William Troost-Ekong, who ran into another Cardiff player in the box and allowed Kipre a free jump to find the bottom left corner.

That goal certainly woke up the visitors and it took them 31 minutes to get back on level terms.

In that time Kipre had to turn his attentions to defending as he first cleared off his own line after a shot from a narrow angle by Mario Gaspar had beaten Ryan Allsop in the home goal.

Then he was back in action blocking a shot inside the box from dangerman Joao Pedro.


As the pressure mounted, Watford saw more of the ball and from a corner swung in from the left by Ken Sema, Sierralta rose above Perry Ng to head home the equaliser.

Sema then had a fierce left-footed shot saved by Allsop low to his left and it stayed all-square up to the break.

Cardiff made another fast start after the break and Philogene showed his pace to burn off Sierralta and then his fancy footwork to get past Hassane Kamara, in a great run up the right wing that ended with a shot in the box that forced Daniel Bachmann into a flying save.

That brought the first of two home corners, but there was no end product for the fans to cheer. The Watford response was to plunder three successive corners of their own and create space for Sarr to fire just over the bar from the edge of the City area.

Sarr may have been inches wide on that occasion, but just before the hour mark he was on target with a header he knew little about from a Sema corner from the right.

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