Ipswich Town 0 - 2 Watford

Match info: Championship at Portman Road

Date: 19/02/2013 KO: 19:45 Ref: R East Att: 16,821

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers




Ikechi Anya 18
Nathaniel Chalobah 72

FT (ht: 0-1)

  • Last Updated: February 19 2013, 23:00 GMT

Gianfranco Zola admitted he was surprised by the form of his Watford side after Tuesday night's 2-0 win at Ipswich Town.

Gianfranco Zola: Surprised by Hornets' form
Gianfranco Zola: Surprised by Hornets' form

Goals from Ikechi Anya and Nathaniel Chalobah earned the high-flying Hornets, now third in the table, a ninth npower Championship win

Zola said: "We're really playing well away from home. I'm delighted and I have to admit to being surprised by what these players are doing.

"They're really performing to levels that are unexpected by me, considering that we're a young team that have just been assembled this year.

"They're making me very proud and I was delighted by this victory.

"It wasn't the same standard that we reached at the weekend (in a 4-0 win at Birmingham) but you can't do that all the time.

"We played some good football for large parts of the first half and deserved to be in front.

"But Ipswich came back strongly and we tired.

"We couldn't handle the ball as well as we had been, but we never gave up. We worked hard as a team and defended extremely well.

"We took our opportunities. They had opportunities and didn't and that was the difference."

Classy Watford deservedly broke the deadlock midway through the first half.

Jonathan Hogg, who had struck the crossbar in the first five minutes, got the ball rolling with a low pass from the left.

Troy Deeney back-heeled the ball into the path of Anya, who bent a low effort inside the far post from inside the area.

Ipswich hit back with Lee Martin appealing for a penalty after appearing to be tripped in the area and David McGoldrick and Michael Chopra testing goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

But it was the visitors who sewed up the points on 72 minutes.

Hogg played a slide-rule pass through the home defence and Chalobah raced through before slipping the ball past keeper Stephen Henderson.

Town boss Mick McCarthy said: "We were beaten by a very good side.

"They're as good as I've seen this season in this league.

"We did all right to keep it to two and worked very hard.

"But Watford were quality and sometimes you have to hold your hands up and admit you were beaten by the better side.

"Some people seem to have a problem doing that.

"I don't like it and I'm not happy that we were beaten, by they were the better side and deserved to win.

"I've got no complaints on that front whatsoever.

"We need another four or five wins (to avoid relegation) and I believe we've got the ability and team spirit to get them."

McCarthy felt his side should have had a penalty, for a foul on Martin.

"It was a penalty and on a night like tonight we needed the decision to go our way," he said.

"You should have seen their bench gasp when the defender stuck his leg out and then breathe a sigh of relief when the penalty wasn't given."