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United aim to avoid Prem away skid

Five Aside
 By Mike Parkin

Scoreless streak reaches four as Watford skid toward relegation zone

This was an improved performance from the Hornets, but Walter Mazzarri's men once again failed to score away from home in a 1-0 defeat at Everton as their end-of-season woes continue. Watford have now lost four in a row and have been unable to score in any of them.

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Watford did carve out a few opportunities, with Troy Deeney missing a golden chance to give them the lead just after the break, while Stefano Okaka perhaps will think he should have done better when afforded a late chance. It will be of precious little consolation to players or supporters, but there were at least glimpses of goal-scoring opportunities -- an all too rare occurrence.


Another defeat, another game without a goal and a nervous week ahead as Watford face Chelsea and Manchester City with their Premier League status still far from certain. This has been a wretched run from the Vicarage Road side, with no sign of the poor form being halted.

Manager rating out of 10

4 -- Mazzarri must now face very, very serious questions about his future as again he failed to coax a performance from a talented Watford squad. An already strained relationship with the supporters is now at breaking point.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Heurelho Gomes, 7 -- Gomes is almost certain to claim the Player of the Season award and turned in another solid show here. Made a number of smart saves and was left far too exposed by his defence on the winner.

DF Christian Kabasele, 5 -- A struggle while he was on the pitch, Kabasele added to Watford's injury concerns and was replaced with just under 10 minutes of the first half remaining. A forgettable night for the Belgian.

DF Sebastian Prodl, 5 -- Didn't cover himself in glory for Barkley's winner, allowing the England international to advance and shoot with no semblance of a challenge. Disappointing from the usually reliable Austrian.

DF Adrian Mariappa, 6 -- Mariappa has performed well since being being thrust into the side and coped well against good opponents. Grew into the game and was solid throughout.

MF Daryl Janmaat, 7 -- Can count himself lucky that the referee didn't deem his penalty-box challenge on Romelu Lukaku a foul, but was generally one of Watford's more impressive performers. It was his cross that should have been converted by Deeney.

Walter Mazzarri again couldn't find the right combination as Watford were shut out at Everton.

MF Jose Holebas, 7 -- Again one of Watford's more reliable attacking threats, but a reshuffle after the injury to Kabasele meant he was unable to keep up his early good work.

MF Abdoulaye Doucoure, 7 -- Has been one of the few bright spots of a disastrous six weeks for Watford and was at the heart of much of the Hornets' better work.

MF Etienne Capoue, 5 -- Anonymous throughout, this was another game in which the undoubtedly talented Capoue failed to make any sort of impact.

FW Stefano Okaka, 7 -- A lively performance, and at least he gave the Everton defence something to think about. Will be frustrated not to have snatched a point late on.

FW Troy Deeney, 6 -- Deeney looked frustrated as the game slipped away from his side, and he really should have done better when presented with a great chance early in the second half. Won a few of his aerial tussles, but continues to look out of sorts and worryingly ineffective.


DF Juan Camilo Zuniga, 6 -- A first-half replacement for the injured Kabasele, Zuniga slotted in admirably and sprayed a couple of excellent balls forward. A decent enough showing.

MF Nordin Amrabat, NR -- Came on with just under 20 minutes to go and did get forward into decent positions. Sent over a dangerous cross moments after coming on, but was unable to carve out a telling opening.

FW M'baye Niang, NR -- Given nine minutes to make a difference, the AC Milan loanee couldn't spark his side into life.

Mike is ESPN FC's Watford blogger.


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