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Eight Years Ago Today: Troy Deeney And Watford's Play-Off Madness Against Leicester

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Eight Years Ago Today: Troy Deeney And Watford's Play-Off Madness Against Leicester

Exactly eight years ago today, one of the most dramatic moments in English football history took place in the Championship play-off semi-final second leg between Watford and Leicester City.

With the scores 2-2 on aggregate and the game deep in injury time, visitors Leicester were awarded a hugely controversial penalty when the referee deemed Anthony Knockaert to have been fouled by Marco Cassetti in the area.

The Hornets were heading for defeat in the most cruel of circumstances, given the penalty shout was highly dubious. But one of the greatest sequences in football ensued.


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Knockaert's tame penalty was saved by Manuel Almunia, who rushed to deny the Frenchman on the rebound. Cassetti was on hand to hook the ball clear up the pitch and Watford broke swiftly.

The ball made its way to Fernando Forestieri on the right flank and he swung in a cross to the far post for Jonathan Hogg.

With Kasper Schmeichel jumping towards him as the ball dropped to him, the former Villa midfielder knocked the ball down for the onrushing skipper Troy Deeney to wallop home a stunning stoppage-time winner to book a place at Wembley.

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Images: PA
Images: PA

The Watford striker hurled his shirt off and promptly jumped into the crowd, his goal sending Vicarage Road into utter pandemonium. Incredibly, there was just 20 seconds between the penalty save and the ball bulging Schmeichel's net at the other end.

The commentary on the broadcast will forever be etched in the minds of Watford fans, but the reaction from Jonny Phillips on Soccer Saturday is something else. In complete disbelief at what he has just seen, his voice broke like a teenage boy and it's just pure gold.

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Try and not get goosebumps watching it. Football has a tendency to throw up the most unbelievable turn of events and it was Watford who progress to the play-off final, where they were eventually beaten by Crystal Palace.

The club finished in 13th the following season before achieving automatic promotion to the Premier League in 2014/15.

Topics: Watford, Leicester City, Troy Deeney, championship

Josh Lawless
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