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Vicarage Road Stadium (ATT 13,775) 20th April 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: N Miller

Watford Watford vs Blackburn Rovers Blackburn

Watford 4

T Deeney (52, 61)
A Abdi (67)
M Briggs (75)

ft

Blackburn 0

L Best (S/O 90+6)

Championship: Watford beat Blackburn 4-0 at Vicarage Road

Last Updated: 23/04/13 11:51am

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Troy Deeney (far right): Scored twice as Watford beat Blackburn

Troy Deeney (far right): Scored twice as Watford beat Blackburn

Troy Deeney scored twice as Watford beat Blackburn 4-0 at Vicarage Road to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive in the Championship.

The striker scored his 17th and 18th goals of the campaign within the space of nine second-half minutes before Almen Abdi and Matthew Briggs added gloss to the scoreline with further goals in the 66th and 75th minutes.

To add insult to injury for Blackburn, Leon Best was sent off in injury-time for violent conduct.

The win saw Watford close the gap on second-placed Hull, who drew 0-0 with Bristol City on Friday night, to four points, with two games to play.

Hull remain favourites for second place, but Watford's much superior goal difference means the Tigers will need to win at least one of their remaining fixtures to prevent a late charge from the Vicarage Road club, who have now mathematically secured at least a play-off spot.

Blackburn, meanwhile, slipped a place to 20th, just two points clear of the bottom three, after Huddersfield beat Millwall earlier in the day.

After a cagey opening, Watford were denied an opener in the 26th minute by a stunning double save from Grzegorz Sandomierski. Daniel Pudil's cross from the right was headed goalwards by Deeney but the Polish keeper got down well to parry and he reacted superbly to prevent the ball rebounding back into his net after an inadvertent touch from Scott Dann.

Fernando Forestieri also went close in the 38th minute with a curled effort from the edge of the area before Joel Ekstrand headed over from Abdi's corner.

Watford did not have to wait long into the second period for the deadlock to be broken. Seven minutes after the interval Forestieri went past Todd Kane and fed strike-partner Deeney who skipped away from Gael Givet and arrowed a drive across Sandomierski into the bottom corner.

Jordan Rhodes failed to steer his header on target from six yards out in the 60th minute at the other end, and the miss proved costly as Forestieri sent Deeney clear a minute later and the striker clinically slotted in his second of the game and opened the floodgates.

Forestieri created his third goal of the contest with a through-ball for Abdi who fired in his 11th goal of the campaign.

Substitute Briggs got on the act with 15 minutes left as he calmly slotted in from close range after Blackburn had failed to clear Abdi's corner.

The afternoon got worse for Blackburn as Best was sent-off in the last minute of the game for an off-the-ball tussle with Marco Cassetti and will now miss their last three vital games.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23