Date:Tuesday December 28 2010
Cardiff City came up against a brilliant and lively Watford side and the Bluebirds were found wanting as Watford ran out deserved and comfortable winners.
Watford started really brightly, and won a penalty as the hapless Lee Naylor was penalised for a foul on the lively Buckley. However, David Marshall produced a superb save to deny Danny Graham. After a hairy opening, City did grow in stature and took the lead when some neat passing found Peter Whittingham - who produced a great finish from the edge of the box.
Unfortunately for Cardiff, that goal failed to dent Watford click and fast tempo passing. They found a leveller when Naylor's awful header allowed Buckley space and time to cross, Danny Graham applying the finish into the roof of the net.
Naylor also picked up a booking and was replaced to end his torrid treatment at the hands of Buckley - Adam Matthews his replacement. Watford were denied another penalty after Darcy Blake's trip on Sordell - it was a clear penalty but the referee waved play-on in one of a number of unbelievable decisions.
After the break, Watford continued in their impressive vein, but took the lead after a good spell by Cardiff with half chances for Keogh, Chopra and Burke. Graham's strike partner Marvin Sordell got the goal with a mishit effort that crept over the line after hitting the post.
Eustace got the third from a corner after escaping the attentions of Andy Keogh at the front post. The goal was scored from exactly the position Jay Bothroyd takes up -how we missed him and Craig Bellamy.
Michale Chopra produced a tireless and bright performance, hindered by a chronic lack of service but he forged two chances, one of which Scott Loach managed to palm away at the second attempt.
The fourth came from the penalty spot when Danny Graham atoned for his earlier failure by firing home after Mark Hudson was penalised for another foul on Buckley.
Cardiff City just couldn't cope with the hosts, who looked energised and motivated after a lengthy gap without a game. City were appalling, but were handed a lesson by the Hornets and looked jaded after the Boxing Day match just 2 days ago. Watford produced the best performance against us this season, with Graham, Sordell and Buckley absolutely outstanding.
A game to forget for Cardiff City. Disappointing, but we came up against a well-rested, well-prepared outfit who looked a different class. The Bluebirds will re-group and will face an altogether different proposition when we face Bristol City on New Year's Day.
Date:Tuesday December 28 2010
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