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Mazzarri: ‘We could have had two penalties’

Not content with a point away from home and successive clean sheets on the road for the first time in their Premier League history, Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri felt Watford could have been celebrating more had they been given one of two penalties at the Liberty stadium.

Mazzarri was jumping up at down in the technical area after referee Paul Tierney judged Kyle Naughton not to have handled the ball after Odion Ighalo flicked it over the head of the Swansea full-back. The head coach probably had more of a claim when Valon Behrami was impeded by the same player, just minutes later, after he charged into the box. Again, the appeals were turned down. Troy Deeney was in deep conversation with the referee at full time.

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“I tend to not comment on the referees, but today there were two very clear penalties for us,” said he head coach. “Those decisions are the ones that meant we did not go away with the three points. The first was a handball and the second was a foul on Behrami.”

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In the cold light of day, Mazzarri might reflect on this as a good point. Watford, after all, got nothing here last season, barely laying a glove on the home side. Swansea may have come into this encounter on the back of five straight defeats but they benefited from the bounce effect that comes with the arrival of a new manager and looked the side more likely as the match wore on.

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“The first half was the best we have played and how I want my team to play,” said Mazzarri. “I was very happy with the performance because today we played in a very smooth way, we didn’t throw long balls, we played from the defence and I liked it, they are doing what I have said. We have to be more aggressive in the last 25 metres.”

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Swansea enjoyed five shots on target to Watford’s two and Heurelho Gomes was the busier of the two keepers, making three smart saves.

“It was difficult, and we expected that,” said the Watford keeper. “We’ve seen bits of their games and they have done well [despite results]. The first half we did OK, in the second we didn’t play good football. But, a point away at Swansea is good.”