Post Match report for the Watford - ARCHIVE 19/20 SEASON game - Saturday, 10th August 2019

PREMIER LEAGUE: Watford v Brighton - 10/8/19 P1


VENUE; Vicarage Road, Watford - opening fixture & first away match.
RESULT: 0-3 ~ og, Andone, Maupay . (h-t 0-1) . SHAPE: 4-5-1 . REF: aided by VAR this term as standard practice.

PREAMBLE: a new season began with a new head coach in Graham Potter and new squad signings selected to boot.
Brighton fans were under no illusions beforehand as to the third Prem struggle ahead but at least could live in the moment because deja vu or history repeating was too unsettling to contemplate on day one.
GATE: 20,245 . WEATHER: windy but warm with odd showers.

GRAHAM POTTER elected to field the basis of last campaigns first eleven, plus Burn to make up a back five. March became a wingback, while Murray had close support from Gross and Locadia going forward.
Four pre-season newcomers occupied expensive places among substitutes - Webster, Mooy, Trossard and Maupay.

TEAM: . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Ryan
. 22 Montoya, 4 Duffy, 5 Dunk, 33 Burn, 20 March
. . 13 Gross, 6 Stephens, 24 Propper, 9 Locadia
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Murray

BENCH: 27 Button, 15 Webster, 18 Mooy, 11 Trossard, 10 Andone (64), 7 Maupay (64), 30 Bernardo (92)

GOALS: 0-1 - 28. Stephens strode up field to feed Locadia and take the return. His looping cross was cut back by Gross and a defender stuck out a leg to beat the keeper.
0-2 - 65. Montoya pushed the ball inside to Propper who made ground out right. His low centre was clipped inside the near post by advancing ANDONE.
0-3 - 77. Dunk brought the ball out of defence to drive a straight pass through locals massed ranks. MAUPAY took it on, rounded the keeper and slotted home from across the left.

INCIDENTS: at a set piece, Murray jumped in the wall and Ref consulted VAR to decide he had not handled.

YELLOWS: 88 - Dunk fell foul of an otherwise lenient Refs red lines.

SUBS: 64 - double change at the psychological moment to insert pace up front and put defenders under pressure. Murray & Locadia withdrawn for Andone & Maupay on debut. 92 - March was replaced by Bernardo in stoppage.

ANALYSIS: Brighton fans were happy to see the three centre backs keeping it clean during opening forays by hosts attack. Albion grew into the game and put more men into the final third regularly than was apparent last term. Various combinations on both, right, left and also centrally worked well from the get go and interchanged without upsetting the game plan.
Locals aimed to level with a tactical alteration and second half onslaught but visitors were still holding out around the hour mark. Substitutions changed pattern of play in favour of travellers who made most of few chances offered.
Ryan did his bit when called upon and the clean sheet was as satisfying for Seagulls rearguard as scoring was for the super-sub strikers.
MoM - Burn, always looked to go forwards.

NUMBERS: shape 4222-451, poss 48%-52%, on target 3-3, off target 4-2, corners 5-2, fouls 15-11, yellows 0-1, subs 2-3.