Deulofeu delivers as Watford reach FA Cup final

Updated: 26/02/2024

Gerard Deulofeu was the star of the show as Watford (4/1 FA Cup outright) came from two goals down to beat Wolves 3-2 after extra time and book their place in next month’s FA Cup final.

The Hornets had looked like they were destined for heartache as goals in either half from Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez put Wolves 2-0 up and, in truth, Watford had never really looked like scoring.

However, the introduction of Deulofeu midway through the second half changed everything, as 13 minutes after coming on, the Spain international delightfully curled the ball into the top corner to give Watford hope of salvaging the semi-final.

That hope became a reality when Troy Deeney was fouled in the box during stoppage time at the end of the second-half by Leander Dendoncker and the Hornets skipper duly converted the resulting penalty to force extra time.

From there the game was on a knife-edge until Deulofeu once again popped up with a moment of inspiration, slotting the ball past Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy to make it 3-2 and ultimately seal Watford’s place in the final.

It is the first time since 1984 that the Hornets have made it through to the FA Cup final and they have also ended a run of four successive defeats in the semi-final of the competition.

Javi Gracia’s side face an uphill task if they are to go on and win the final on May 18, as they will be up against a Manchester City (1/6 FA Cup outright) side that could still be chasing the quadruple.

Deeney has acknowledged his team will start that match as underdogs but believes they are capable of pulling off a shock.

“We’ve got room to grow, there’s not a ceiling on us yet as a team. For a club of this size, let’s enjoy this moment,” Deeney told reporters.

“Manchester City are a formidable team, probably the best team in Europe, but it’s a one-off game and we need to come in with belief and know that this hard work can get us a long way.”

Odds subject to change

This post first appeared here

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