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Premier League round-up: Gerard Deulofeu hits hat-trick; West Ham beat Fulham

Gerard Deulofeu scored a hat-trick against Cardiff
Gerard Deulofeu scored a hat-trick against Cardiff

Read all about both games in an entertaining Friday night in the Premier League, with victories for both Watford and West Ham.


Cardiff 1-5 Watford

Gerard Deulofeu's first hat-trick in English football saw Watford stroll to a 5-1 victory at Cardiff and climb to seventh place in the Premier League.

Deulofeu, recalled to the Hornets' starting line-up after sitting out the FA Cup win at QPR, fired Watford into a first-half lead before scoring twice in as many minutes just after the hour-mark.

Troy Deeney added further gloss with two more - his first league goals since the start of January coming either side of a Sol Bamba consolation.

Despite their second-half collapse, Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock will no doubt feel that his side should have been awarded a 42nd-minute penalty with the score at 1-0.

Josh Murphy had just made his way into the area when Daryl Janmaat clattered him from behind, but referee Simon Hooper was unmoved to frantic Cardiff appeals as he waved play on.

Cardiff welcomed back captain Sean Morrison after his four-game absence following appendix surgery, while there was a first start for January signing Leandro Bacuna.

Watford announced before kick-off that they had reached an "amicable agreement" with Everton in their dispute over Marco Silva.

The long-running saga had began when Everton targeted then Watford boss Silva following the sacking of Ronald Koeman in October 2017, but the Hornets have long been in a good place under Javi Gracia.

The heady heights of seventh was the prize for a Watford win, and the omens were good with Gracia's men having lost only one of their previous 10 games and fresh from reaching the last eight of the FA Cup.

Early Watford pressure saw Janmaat sidefoot over the crossbar after working a one-two with Deeney and Roberto Pereyra's deflected effort was comfortably held by Neil Etheridge in the Cardiff goal.

Ben Foster had to be sharper at the other end when Oumar Niasse reached Callum Paterson's clever chip over the visitors' defence, the Watford goalkeeper first blocking and then scrambling the ball away to safety.

Two minutes later the visitors were ahead when Morrison, Bruno Manga and Joe Bennett all tried, and failed, to dispossess Deeney and Deulofeu took charge of the loose ball to bury a low shot.

Deeney almost doubled the lead from 20 yards, this time Etheridge getting a hand to the shot, and Warnock was incandescent on the touchline when Murphy was felled and nothing was given.

Cardiff changed formation at half-time with Bacuna and Bennett operating as wing-backs, but Watford still looked the more polished side as Bamba blocked Deeney's goalbound effort.

The energy of substitute Junior Hoilett gave Cardiff brief hope, but Watford soon sprang a counter-attack and Deulofeu beat Manga to run half the length of the field.

Deulofeu rounded Etheridge with ease and two minutes later he burst on to Etienne Capoue's threaded pass to chip the Cardiff goalkeeper.

The Spaniard was not finished there, though, and he skipped through after 73 minutes to provide Deeney with the simplest of tap-ins.

Bamba came up with a consolation by bundling home from a goalmouth scramble eight minutes from time, but Deeney pounced again in the dying moments when Will Hughes set him up from close range.


West Ham 3-1 Fulham

Javier Hernandez scores a controversial equaliser against Fulham
Javier Hernandez scores a controversial equaliser against Fulham

Fulham were given a helping hand towards relegation by Javier Hernandez as West Ham came from behind to secure a 3-1 victory.

Hernandez cancelled out Ryan Babel's early strike by jabbing the ball in with his hand the far post.

It was a punch that knocked the stuffing out of Fulham, especially after it was replayed on the big screens to the dismay of the travelling fans.

Referee Lee Mason and his assistants missed it but video technology would have surely seen the goal disallowed, adding yet more weight to the 'pro-VAR' case.

That will be scant consolation to Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri, though, as his struggling side crashed to goals from Issa Diop and Michail Antonio.

Another defeat left the Cottagers eight points adrift of safety with just 11 matches to go, and that bleak picture could look even worse after the weekend fixtures.

Yet West Ham started the match as if they were still at last weekend's warm-weather training camp in Marbella, almost gifting Fulham a goal after just 35 seconds.

An under-hit backpass from Pablo Zabaleta sent Babel through on goal but he was unable to beat Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from close range.

Babel did not fluff his next opportunity, however, tapping in a cross from Jean Michael Seri to give Fulham a third-minute lead.

Fulham have yet to win away all season but they sensed West Ham might be a little more accommodating than most.

However, not for the first time their defending from set-pieces let them down badly.

Diop went close to an equaliser when he headed wide before the Hammers hauled themselves level with Hernandez's controversial 29th-minute goal.

The Mexican bundled the ball in at the far post after Fulham keeper Sergio Rico flapped at a corner and Angelo Ogbonna helped it on.

It was a 50th Premier League goal for former Manchester United striker Hernandez, all of which have come from inside the penalty area - but unfortunately for Fulham at least one of them was scored with his hand.

West Ham took the lead in the 40th minute when centre-back Diop was somehow allowed a run-up to score with a header from another Robert Snodgrass corner.

Bafflingly for a team supposedly fighting for its life, Fulham offered precious little in the second half.

West Ham were able to give a late cameo to Manuel Lanzini, the Argentinian's first appearance of the season following a torn ACL.

Fellow sub Marko Arnautovic was denied a goal by a fine save from Rico, but he set up Antonio for the killer third in stoppage time as Fulham were shoved another step closer to the Sky Bet Championship.


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Most Read Football

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers1

Paper Talk: Kroos control?

Manchester United can sign long-term target Toni Kroos from Real Madrid for just £50m this summer according to Saturday's papers...

Celebrations for Jeff Hendrick and Republic of Ireland2

Winning start for McCarthy's ROI

Jeff Hendrick handed Mick McCarthy a winning start to his second spell in charge as the Republic of Ireland launched their Euro 2020 campaign with a narrow victory in Gibraltar.

Our best bets for Euro 2020 qualifying3

Euro 2020: Sunday's betting preview

The Euro 2020 qualifiers continue on Sunday with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all in action. Tom Carnduff has four best bets.

Sergio Ramos celebrates4

Euro 2020: Ramos strikes for Spain

A review of Saturday's action in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, including wins for Spain and Italy - the former inspired by their captain.

Our live football in play betting blog brings you instant score and match updates, stats, price boosts and in play advice
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RECAP: Football in-play blog

Join our live blog for full coverage of Saturday's big EFL games, with commentary and in play betting advice.

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Our best bets for Euro 2020 qualifying

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