Leeds United vs Watford: Hornets swoop in on the Premier League as Leeds languish

Leeds 2 Watford 3

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The Independent Football

Watford announced themselves as contenders for automatic promotion after fighting back from two goals down to earn a thrilling victory over Leeds United.

The hosts looked to be out of sight after a frenetic start at Elland Road, with Billy Sharp's 7th minute tap-in and Rodolph Austin's stunning volley giving them an early lead.

The Hornets, who move up to third, hauled themselves back into the match, however, after Troy Deeney's clinical finish before half-time reduced the deficit.

Slavisa Jokanovic, the Watford manager, watched on as Matej Vydra equalised in the 56th minute before the Czech then scored a dramatic winner to send the majority of the 24,705 crowd home unhappy.

Troy Deeney scored for Watford

Leeds have shown signs of life in recent months, winning five matches in six, but this weekend's loss is made all the more disappointing following last week's defeat away to lowly Brighton and Hove Albion.

Meanwhile, with Championship leaders Derby and second place Middlesbrough both dropping points, Jokanovic's side continue to stalk the top two and are just a point off the automatic promotion places.

Now the highest scorers in all four divisions, with 69 goals in 34 matches, the Hornet's showcased a number of the skills required to clamber out of the second tier and into the Premier League.

"It's important my players start believing in themselves," said Jokanovic. "In the end we won another strange game.

"We made some mistakes, gave them many presents and started the second half similarly. We have to control the situation a little bit better.

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"We must continue to keep going, working hard and be prepared for what is in front of is.

"I am not thinking about promotion or what is happening in May. I have dreams but it is not time for them."

Neil Redfearn's men, on the other hand, looked poor after surrendering their lead and had the distinct look of a side who know they have little to play for.

With rumours of Russell Crowe's interest in buying the Elland Road club dissipating, perhaps a rare period of quiet contemplation lies on the horizon for Leeds fans.

Leeds boss Neil Redfearn

Massimo Cellino, whose current Football League ban is due to end on April 10, is not known for his reticence however.

"Watford are a good side but you can't give good sides opportunities," Redfearn said afterwards.

"We didn't play badly, but if you have a boxer on the ropes then you have to finish them off.

"Then, for some reason, we took a step back. They gave us the runaround a little bit and the goals, from our point of view, were too easy."