Another Watford away-day disaster gets the deserved punishment

Forget the injuries that hit Watford before the game. Forget the fact they were without their top scorer. Forget the needless suspension of their first-choice left-back. Forget another injury picked up during the game – none of that can defend or deflect from this gutless surrender in Wales.

The Hornets just showed no fight or spirit, spending long periods of the game merrily watching the home side play attractive football around them while they mustered next to nothing at the other end.

It was just about a contest until Swansea scored their opener towards the end of the first half. Once that went in, Watford’s display was like one of those balloons left over from Christmas: shriveled, deflated and of no use to anyone.

The home side didn’t kill the game off until the second half but they never looked under any serious threat, such was the paucity of challenge offered by Watford.

Had Swansea upped a gear earlier this could have been even more humiliating, but being beaten 4-0 by a team that hadn’t won for eight games is embarrassing enough anyway.

Following so soon after the dire defeat against Millwall on Monday, this was a worrying, confidence-sapping but also thoroughly-deserved pasting for a side who just did not look up for the fight at any point.

The away fans, most of who will have spent a day and night getting to and from this game, booed the side off – the Watford players may not have heard it as the home fans were ecstatic. However, once their noise had died down the away gathering they were still booing. Who can blame them?

There was nobody in a blue shirt who should survive that chorus of boos either. They were well, well beaten. If the wheels were looking wonky before the game, one definitely came off tonight.

New Technical Director Ben Manga was in the stands. The January transfer window opens in a couple of days, but he and his scouts will need to have the greatest four weeks of their lives to turn this unraveling campaign around.

And, of course, that’s assuming the owner will listen to them and/or Bilic when it comes to recruiting.

How Mr Pozzo behaves, what he does to support his head coach and the squad that Watford have by February 1 will give us all a clearer idea of ​​just how much Mr Pozzo wants to get this club back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Injuries and suspensions meant Watford switched to 3-5-2. Troost-Ekong played in the three with Cathcart and Kabasele, Gaspar was wide on the right and Ngakia wide on the left.

Asprilla made up the midfield five, with Sarr partnering Davis in attack.

The home side created a couple of early half chances as Bachmann saved a long-range effort from Darling before smothering Cullen’s low cross.

What turned out to be Watford’s only opening of the first half arrived after seven minutes. A corner was cleared but Kabasele chipped the ball back in to the back post where Davis got above his man but headed straight at Senda.

Eight minutes later Manning curled a free kick into the box from the left and it flew across the face of goal without anyone getting a touch

In the 27th minute there was a major scuffle. A Swansea free kick was flighted to the back post, Bachmann grabbed the ball above his head before being flattened by Darling. Both sets of players rushed in and, when order was restored, Darling shown a yellow.

Piroe cut in from the right and tested Bachmann with a 20-yard shot in the 34th minute, and then an early ball from the left by Manning saw Latibeaudiere rise well but his looping header went wide.

However, enjoying more than 70% possession meant Swansea were bound to create chances and they took the lead after 39 minutes. Cullen slid a low pass into the box for Piroe to run on and send under the advancing Bachmann.

After 53 minutes Cullen collected a pass and checked inside but his shot was always going over

Watford made a double change on the hour, switching to 4-4-2 and sending on Kalu and Bayo for Cathcart and Asprilla.

There was a further blow when Dele-Bashiru limped off after 68 minutes and was replaced by Morris.

Swansea eased into a higher gear and put Watford to the sword in the last 15 minutes.

First a corner from the left went all the way to Darling at the back post. His attempt to shoot was deflected into the path of Cullen, and he fired home through a crowd of bodies.

Two minutes later Piroe gathered a pass just outside the box on the right, moved inside and curled a low shot past Bachmann.

A rare Watford foray saw Bayo have a header saved by Benda from a corner, nut it was merely some respite.

Three minutes from time Swansea broke down the left and when the ball was played low across the six-yard box Latabeaudiere was unmarked at the back post to slot home.

Watford: Bachmann; Troost-Ekong, Kabasele, Cathcart (Kalu 60); Gaspar, Dele-Bashiru (Morris 70), Asprilla (Bayo 60), Bacuna, Ngakia; Sarr, Davis. Subs: Hamer, Sierralta, Hungbo, Blake

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