João Pedro’s curling effort was the difference at Pride Park, but Wayne Rooney went close to equalising with two late efforts.
Brazilian teenager Pedro’s shot from the edge of the box was the only goal of the game as the Hornets make it three wins from five. This win also ended a run of 10 winless away games for Vladimir Ivić’s men, a record that started last season.
The game looked like it was going to be a boring 0-0 before the goal in the 76th minute. After this, the game opened up more.
The first chance for Wayne Rooney was a one-on-one. Welsh wizard Tom Lawrence sent the former English captain through with only former teammate Ben Foster to beat. Rooney ended up putting the ball just wide and the frustration on his face was visible.
A few minutes later, Ben Wilmot, who assisted Pedro’s strike, brought down Lawrence about 25 yards away from the goal. This resulted in the English defender getting booked and another chance for Wayne Rooney.
Many Derby fans watching were thinking back to their last game when a Rooney freekick gave them the three points over Norwich.
However, history was not to repeat itself as the freekick bounced off the top of the net. Relief for Watford but despair for Phillip Cocu’s side. This was the last real chance of the game as it ended 1-0.
The win puts Ivić’s side in the playoffs but with teams around them having a game in hand. Watford’s fans seem to have a lot of love for their new manager as momentum at Vicarage Road is gathering. Despite a horrible season last year, the good feeling looks to be back at Watford.
However, for the Rams, it is a very different story. They stay 20th but if results go against them this weekend, they call fall to 23rd. Derby have lost five home games in a row for the first time since 2011. It has been a rough start to the season, but the Derby board publicly backed Cocu before the match