Watford reach FA Cup final after dramatic three-goal comeback

Watford produced a stunning comeback to reach the FA Cup final with a 3-2 extra-time win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wembley Stadium.

Wolves dominated an extraordinary match for much of normal time, going into a deserved two-goal lead.

But Watford were given hope by a stunning Gerard Deulofeu goal on 79 minutes, and equalised from the spot in stoppage time through Troy Deeney. 

The momentum was all with the Hornets in the additional half hour, and another classy goal from Deulofeu sealed their spot in the final.

TALKING POINT

How long since an FA Cup semi-final has been this memorable? Packed full of incident, played in a good spirit, intensely competitive – who says nobody cares about the Cup?

MAN OF THE MATCH

Raul Jimenez (Wolves) for the first 78 minutes; Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) for the rest. The Mexican worked so hard all afternoon and deserved his moment with his well-taken goal; the Hornets substitute changed the game in his short spell on the pitch.

RATINGS

Watford: Gomes 7, Femenia 7, Mariappa 7, Cathcart 7, Holebas 7, Hughes 7, Doucoure 7, Capoue 7, Pereyra 7, Deeney 7, Gray 7. Subs: Foster, Kabasele, Janmaat 7, Masina 7, Quina, Sema 7, Deulofeu 8. 

Wolves: Ruddy 7, Saiss 7, Coady 7, Boly 7, Doherty 7, Otto 7, Dendoncker 7, Neves 8, Moutinho 7, Raul Jimenez 8, Diogo 8. Subs: Norris, Bennett 7, Cavaleiro 7, Costa, Gibbs-White, Vinagre 7, Adama 7. 

KEY MOMENTS

36′ GOAL! Doherty puts Wolves ahead! It’s a short corner, which confuses the Watford defence, and Doherty makes a brilliant run to the back post, avoiding the attentions of Doucoure.

55′ VERY CLOSE! What a tremendous free kick from Neves after a foul on Jota! It flies over the heads of everyone, scutting in from the left, and is just a matter of inches wide.

62′ GOAL! Jimenez deserves that. From the free kick, it’s tapped wide, and crossed in – the Mexican chests it down and flicks it home with his right foot as he falls to the ground under a challenge.

79′ GOAL! What a strike from substitute Deulofeu. He picks it up from a long throw on the left side of the box, takes a moment to steady himself, then lofts and curls the ball, spinning into the top right corner.

90’+2 PENALTY TO WATFORD! Oh my goodness. Dendoncker fouls Deeney!

90’+4 GOAL! And Deeney SMASHES that home to draw things level, and there’s a roar almost of relief from the Watford fans.

104′ GOAL! And Watford are ahead for the first time, and it’s all thanks to Deulofeu! Tremendous passing to set this one up, two headed balls forward, Deeney and Gray linking up, and a tap to the right where Deulofeu gallops in and slides it home.

118′ WHAT A CHANCE FOR CAVALEIRO! He rounds Gomes, looks like he’s done the hard bit, and then the ball skids under his studs. Could that be it?

KEY STATISTICS

Watford scored with their first three shots on target.

Raul Jimenez scored in four rounds of the FA Cup this season – third, fourth, quarter-final, semi-final.

Watford have now lost only one of their last five matches against Wolves – and that defeat was in December 2014.

Source: Eurosport

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