The Jerusalem Post

Two-goal Deulofeu is Watford’s FA Cup hero in impressive comeback vs Wolves


Watford produced one of the great FA Cup comebacks by coming from two goals down to beat Wolverhamp­ton Wanderers 3-2 after extra time of a memorable semifinal at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Two-goal substitute Gerard Deulofeu proved Watford’s hero as it reached the FA Cup final for the first time in 35 years in astonishin­g fashion.

The Spaniard scored a sensationa­l individual goal to drag his side back into the match when it was 2-0 down with 11 minutes left and then slotted home the winner in the opening period of extra time.

Striker Troy Deeney also enhanced his folk hero status at Watford by nervelessl­y converting a penalty with the final kick of stoppage time in the 94th minute to enable the Hornets to take the game into extra time.

A first-half header from Matt Doherty and a dazzling piece of skill which saw Mexican Raul Jimenez chest down and volley home acrobatica­lly just after the hour had looked set to be enough for Wolves to prevail in the all-Premier League clash.

Yet an equally virtuoso 79th-minute goal from Deulofeu – a magnificen­tly executed curling chip – set up the amazing finale which saw Deeney blast home from the spot after being brought down by Leander Dendoncker.

Spanish internatio­nal Deulofeu then delivered the killer blow a minute before the break of extra time, driving past Conor Coady on the right before slipping the ball across John Ruddy and into the net.

It earned Watford a date with overwhelmi­ng favorite Manchester City, which beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 in Saturday’s other semifinal, in the final back at Wembley on May 18.

It also gave Watford the chance to play in only its second FA Cup final, after losing to Everton in 1984.

The “impossible” quadruple dream remains intact for Manchester City after an early headed goal from Gabriel Jesus sealed a scrappy conquest of Brighton.

Jesus launched himself into the air to connect decisively in the third minute, but City never hit top gear and it rather labored to victory in an instantly forgettabl­e match.

Neverthele­ss, after bagging the League Cup, being locked in a titanic battle with Liverpool for the Premier League title and in the Champions League quarterfin­als, Pep Guardiola’s side remains on course for an unpreceden­ted clean sweep.

“My opinion is that nobody has done [won the quadruple], so why can we do it?,” Guardiola said. “It is almost impossible to achieve everything, that is the truth. Our fans will come, more than today, for the final, we are losing players every game but still we will try to do it.

“I am happy to be in the final, we extend our season by one more week and we are happy for that.”

In Premier League action on Sunday, Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish were dented as Everton captain Phil Jagielka took advantage of an unexpected late recall to score the winner in a dominant 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.

The veteran defender, who was brought into the team for a rare appearance after Michael Keane had to withdraw in the warm-up through illness, scored after 10 minutes to earn his side a well-deserved third straight league win.

It marked a significan­t setback for disappoint­ing Arsenal, which remains fourth in the table but missed an opportunit­y to leap ahead of it third-placed north London rival, Tottenham Hotspur.

Unai Emery’s side stayed on 63 points, one behind Spurs, level with fifth-place Chelsea and two clear of Manchester United in an increasing­ly tight battle for the Champions League berths.

Liverpool jumped back into first place early in the weekend with a 3-1 Friday night away victory over Southampto­n to take a two-point lead on Man City, while Chelsea hosts West Ham on Monday night. (Reuters)

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