With Watford’s second F.A Cup tie against Manchester City in the space of just over 12 months looming, Vital Watford reflect on recent meetings between the two.
F.A Cup round three, 05.01.13: Manchester City 3-0 Watford
Goals from Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Marcos Lopes dumped Gianfranco Zola’s Hornets out of the F.A Cup at the first hurdle as Roberto Mancini’s side eased through the gears and into round four.
The Hornets held on for 25 minutes before Tevez’s perfectly-placed free-kick opened the scoring and effectively ended Watford’s hopes of a cup; Barry doubling the host’s lead with a header a minute before the break.
Fernando Forestieri – selected in a bold 3-4-3 system – had a superb chance to equalise when he found himself one-on-one with City giant Costel Pantilimon, but the Romanian saved well from the Italian forward.
Watford’s luck had been out from the get-go, with Jonathan Bond having to step in for the injured Manuel Almunia and Nyron Nosworthy making his long-awaited return in place of the injured Fitz Hall.
Unable to get the better of the Citizens in the second half, it fell to Portuguese youngster Marcos Lopes to add the gloss with a third in injury time.
Watford by no means disgraced, but with significantly bigger fish to fry.
Premiership, 21.04.07: Watford 1-1 Manchester City
Watford’s brief stay in the top-flight under Aidy Boothroyd came to an end as a draw against Stuart Pearce’s Citizens condemned the Hornets to a quick return to the Championship.
The visitors went ahead in fortuitous circumstances in the second-half when former England international Darius Vassell capitalised on a rare slip from Ben Foster, who passed the ball straight into the forward’s path allowing Vassell the simple job of tapping into an unguarded net.
Midfielder Damien Francis had been withdrawn after 24 minutes when serious knee ligament damage – an injury which effectively put paid to the Jamaican international’s career a year later.
Boothroyd’s men once more displayed the pluck for which they had claimed many plaudits throughout the season when 15 minutes from time, Tamas Priskin gave a glimpse of the clinical finisher he could be when, in what had been a difficult first season in England for the Hungarian he equalised to earn a point.
Premiership, 04.12.06: Manchester City 0-0 Watford
History will ultimately (probably) remember Manchester City as an expensively-assembled team of world stars, winning trophies and playing irresistible football to match.
This was not always the case.
Before the billions of Abu Dhabi United & Sheikh Mansour, the Citizens were held to a dour 0-0 with Watford on a Tuesday night at the then-named ‘City of Manchester City.
What history won’t remember is the the likes of Nicky Weaver, Ben Thatcher and a cast of hundreds of other journeymen pulling on the sky blue jersey without distinction.
Watford put in a shift in a goalless draw – the first of two in as many games – with Gavin Mahon and Richard Lee the heros as the ‘Orns collected just their third away point of the season.