Watford vs Wolves: Gerard Deulofeu’s ‘anger’ inspired match-winning performance, says Javi Gracia

The substitute scored twice to send Watford through to the FA Cup final

Lawrence Ostlere
Wembley Stadium
Sunday 07 April 2019 20:21
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Watford 2018/19 Premier League profile

Gerard Deulofeu’s match-winning performance in the FA Cup semi-final was inspired by his “anger” at being left out of Watford’s starting line-up, according to his manager Javi Gracia.

Goals by Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez seemed to have Wolves on course for a return to Wembley in May’s final, but Watford substitute Deulofeu pulled one back in the 79th minute with a sublime finish before Troy Deeney’s 94th minute penalty forced extra time.

And Deulofeu wrapped up a memorable comeback in extra time, finishing a counter-attack as the game stretched.

“That moment [when he came on] he was angry when he hadn’t started the game,” said Garcia. “But I like to see my players this way, with that attitude, when they are angry and want to show what they can do.

“The first goal was high quality, but it is not a surprise to me because I see him in training every day.

“We knew before the game Gerard would be important during the game. I knew, with more spaces later. What I didn’t know was when he started to play we would be losing 2-0. He wanted to play the semi-final, he has played almost all the games before. He wanted to help the team, and he has done.”

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