Huddersfield Town 0-2 Watford: Joao Pedro doubles Hornets win over Terriers

Watford's Joao Pedro scores the first goal against Huddersfield
Joao Pedro’s Huddersfield brace takes his tally of goals for the season to eight

Joao Pedro scored a second-half brace as Watford beat full-back Huddersfield Town to move into fourth in the Championship.

A ferocious finish past Lee Nicholls at the near post and a fine late header from the Brazilian saw Slaven Bilic’s side avoid a third draw in a row with three hard-earned points at West Yorkshire.

Penalty calls at both ends had defined a first half that lacked attacking quality at John Smith’s Stadium.

Watford were right to feel aggrieved when referee Leigh Doughty failed to award a kick after Michal Helik beat Keinan Davis to the ground, while Huddersfield saw their own claims ignored when Hassane Kamara appeared to manage a cross from Jack Rudoni.

Pedro’s hard-hitting low shot from inside the box secured Watford their fifth win in eight games, with his header from a Ken Sema corner sealing their triumph with four minutes left.

The victory temporarily sent Bilic’s side, who started the day in fifth place, third ahead of Blackburn and Norwich who met at the late kick-off, but Rover Scout victory took them over the Hornets again.

The defeat leaves Mark Fotheringham’s Terriers five points behind at the bottom of the table.

Senegal striker Ismaila Sarr started on his return for Watford after the World Cup, with his appearance a week after he failed to make himself available for their goalless draw against Hull City.

Experienced midfielder Leandro Bacuna was also brought directly into the squad by Bilic, having only arrived as a free agent signing three days earlier.

In-form captain Jonathan Hogg made his first start in three months for a struggling Terriers side that started brilliantly against the top-flight visitors.

They controlled the majority of possession in the first half but failed to produce a shot on goal, while their request for a penalty – when Kamara blocked a Rudoni cross – drew howls of disapproval from the part of the home fans when they were dismissed in the 35th minute.

The Hornets had already seen their own call ignored when Davis was knocked down after cutting into the box.

It wasn’t until the 32nd minute that Sarr produced the first shot on goal – a speculative long-range strike for an increasingly confident Hornets side.

Pedro then unnecessarily sent an effort from close range before Kamara tested goalkeeper Nicholls from a tight angle.

A determined run from Tom Dele-Bashiru set Pedro up for the opener after 54 minutes and, while Nicholls did well to keep the Terriers in the game with an excellent close-range save from Sarr, the deserved victory was completed by Brazilian striker.

‘Pedro is a game changer’ – reaction

Huddersfield Town boss Mark Fotheringham told BBC Radio Leeds:

“I am absolutely disgusted with the result. We know Watford are a great club that have just come out of the Premier League with incredible finances. But regardless, if you are organized and fit and an aggressive team you can cause problems to teams in this league.

“In the first half it felt like we were really dominating them and it was clear to see. You could see the buy-in from the players in the way they went about their business with real energy and determination.

“But the game just got away from us in the second half and those were the most important moments of the game, we didn’t take our chances or deal with their individual class. That’s what money buys, the individual players that they have in their front five.

“I’m really disgusted because I wanted to bring three points to this big crowd here today. They supported us so well again.”

Watford boss Slaven Bilic:

“Pedro, if you talk about him it’s scary sometimes when you know he’s only 21. To play so regularly at this high level is great for us.

“He’s good in the air. When the keeper hits a long ball, he wins those balls, he does well in midfield.

“It’s that kind of player, the way he improves every week. The game changers are always the ones who decide the game.”



Training 3-4-2-1

  • 21nichols
  • 32Related
  • 39Helik
  • 12BoyleReplaced byHaydento 73′minutes
  • 7Thomas
  • 6HoggBooked 20 mins away
  • 24Camara
  • 14RufflesReplaced byjacksonto 62′minutes
  • 35DiarraBooked at 17 minsReplaced bysimpsonsto 62′minutes
  • 22Rudon
  • 25HallReplaced byRhodesto 81′minutes


  • 9Rhodes
  • 11Mahoney
  • 16Hayden
  • 27simpsons
  • 30jackson
  • 41Bilokapic
  • 47Ayina


Training 4-2-3-1

  • 1Bachman
  • 2Ngakia
  • 27Kabasele
  • 15cathcart
  • 14Kamara
  • 25BacunaBooked at 28 minsReplaced byAsprilato 68′minutes
  • 24Dele Bashiru
  • 12SemaBooked at 81 minutes
  • tenJoe Pedro
  • 23SarrReplaced byM Gasparto 90+2′minutes
  • 7DavisReplaced bybayoto 90+2′minutes


  • 3M Gaspar
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 18Asprila
  • 19bayo
  • 26Hammer
  • 31sieralta
  • 42Morris

Leigh Doughty


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