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How the Watford players fared against Hull City

Heurelho Gomes 7.5

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Had little to do as Hull only mustered two shots on target – then again, that’s better than Watford’s zero. Got down low to deny Abel Hernandez after the striker ghosted in behind Watford’s defence and made no mistake from Ryan Mason’s effort from range. Reliable in the air all game.

Younes Kaboul 6

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Picture by Franziska Empl

Came agonisingly close to scoring his first Watford goal with a header which crashed against the bar. Regularly brought the ball forward out of defence as Hull were sitting so deep, and even found himself putting crosses into the box. Was caught sleeping at times in defence and was replaced by Daryl Janmaat with 20 minutes to play as Watford upped the ante.

Sebastian Prodl 7.5

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Picture by Franziska Empl

Looks solid in the heart of defence and Walter Mazzarri will be hoping his injury to his adductor muscle is not serious. Was a rock at the back, blocking deliveries into the box with his head and feet. Got forward regularly too, having a shot from range blocked before bursting into the Hull box to win a header soon after. The defender was hobbling as he left the stadium.

Miguel Britos 6

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Picture by Franziska Empl

Showed impressive levels of commitment to block one Ahmed Elmohamady cross with a diving header but failed to get on the end of any crosses delivered towards him in the opposition’s box. Swapped shirts with Hernandez at full-time. Perhaps the fact they appear to be old friends explains why he was so generous in allowing the striker to waltz past him in the second half.

Nordin Amrabat 8.5

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Received a standing ovation and a chorus of his song from all four stands when he was replaced five minutes from time. Had Hull’s makeshift left-wing-back Sam Clucas on toast, beating him for fun even when the Hull player had a five yard headstart. It looked as though Mazzarri was encouraging him after just five minutes to take on the defender as often as possible. His deliveries have been criticised, but you feel many of them could have been converted had the movement in the box been better.

Jose Holebas 6.5

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Had more to deal with defensively than Amrabat, and failed to get forward as much, which probably suited him. Allowed Elmohamady to put in a number of crosses but also put in a couple himself. Was caught napping on one occasion in the second half and had to be bailed out by the covering Prodl.

Valon Behrami 6.5

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Picture by Franziska Empl

Went close with an early effort at goal but was quiet thereafter. Made a handful of good tackles, but often looked a yard off the pace and conceded too many fouls. A yellow card for a bad tackle on Clucas means he is now just one away from an automatic one-match ban.

Etienne Capoue 6

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Picture by Franziska Empl

Again, a level below his early season best. You feel Mazzarri may have curbed the midfielder’s attacking instincts in an attempt to be tighter at the back. If that is the case, it is working. Capoue sat deep and recycled possession well, spreading the ball from wing to wing, but rarely found himself in the box. His perceived lethargy may simply be down to him doing his job and playing within himself. Did have two efforts at goal, one of which was deflected wide while the other sailed over the bar.

Roberto Pereyra 7

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Picture by Franziska Empl

Started the match in as fine a form as we have seen from him in a Watford shirt. Went quiet for spells thereafter, but always looked to play and move forward when in possession. Curled one impressive Almen Abdi-esque effort just wide of the far post early on but wasted another from a good opportunity in the second half. Must improve his delivery from wide areas.

Odion Ighalo 5.5

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Picture by Franziska Empl

With the ball at his feet, Ighalo looked back to his lively self. At one point late in the game he shuffled the ball cleverly onto his right foot before firing just wide of the near post. But the forward failed to hold the ball up, failed to move enough to receive possession in dangerous areas and failed to even attempt to challenge Hull’s defenders in the air. Fell over often, appealing for fouls when he should have been stronger.

Troy Deeney 6.5

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Picture by Franziska Empl

Missed the chance to earn his 100th goal for Watford by heading wide from a yard out after Amrabat’s shot bounced up at the far post. Tried to claim Michael Dawson’s own goal as his own but it was a hopeful shout. Held the ball up better than his strike partner but failed to ever get really involved in the game.

Substitutes

Daryl Janmaat 7

Replaced Kaboul in the 72nd minute and was straight into the thick of the action, breaking up field from defence and having a shot with his left foot. It was the defender’s intelligent cross which forced Dawson to put the ball into his own net for the winner. Performed well but will have a tough job displacing Amrabat from the team.

Juan Camilo Zuniga

Replaced Amrabat late on but had little time to make an impact.

Christian Kabasele

Replaced the injured Prodl with minutes to go but also hardly touched the ball.