Watford edge closer to Norwich City with win at Nottingham Forest
- Credit: PA
Norwich City supporters were kept on the edge of their seats as Watford moved to within just one goal of leapfrogging the Canaries into the automatic promotion places in the Championship table.
The Hornets knew that victory at Nottingham Forest would have drawn them level on points with second-placed City this evening.
But Slavisa Jokanovic's side needed to win by three goals at the City Ground to move level on goal difference with the Canaries – which would have moved them into second courtesy of having scored more goals.
Watford were not able to bump Alex Neil's side out of the top two though, despite playing against 10 men for the majority of the second half.
In-form Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo fired the visitors in front in just the fourth minute, scoring his 16th goal in his last 16 games.
Matt Connolly then doubled Watford's lead in the 41st minute to secure a 2-0 lead at half-time and leave many Canaries fans looking nervously at the Championship table.
The situation looked even more precarious for City when Forest defender Kelvin Wilson was sent off for a petulent kick early in the second half.
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But Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes had made several good saves in the first half and Forest were not prepared to accept their fate without a fight.
Midfielder Craig Gardner curled home a free-kick from the edge of the area in the 72nd minute to reduce the arrears and, crucially from a Norwich point of view, reduce Watford's winning margin to one goal.
Almen Abdi did restore the Hornets' two-goal lead in the 87th minute but no further goals left the final score at 3-1.
Watford host Birmingham on Saturday, after City host title rivals Middlesbrough at Carrow Road tomorrow night.
The results leaves Bournemouth top of the table on 83 points with a goal difference of +47, Norwich second on 82 points (GD +39), Watford also on 82 points in third (+38) and Boro fourth on 81 points (+31).