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Match Reports

Watford 3-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

7th April 2019, 18:52 by Jack Ogalbe

Gerard Deulofeu was the hero for Watford as they came from behind to beat Wolves 3-2 and book their place in the FA Cup final.

Both teams made goalkeeping changes with Heurelho Gomes and John Ruddy coming in, but neither were unduly tested in the early stages with the occasion at Wembley clearly affecting the players.

Will Hughes fluffed his lines with a half volley, while at the other end, Leander Dendoncker's driven effort deflected off Craig Cathcart and Gomes adjusted well to tip over.

However, Wolves went ahead from the resulting corner, Matt Doherty losing his man and nodding Diogo Jota's cross into the empty net on 36 minutes.

Watford had been edging proceedings before the goal and could have gone into the break on level terms, only for Conor Coady to heroically block Andre Gray's point-blank effort.

Nuno Espirito Santo's men started the second half well, regularly striking on the break and Raul Jimenez was unfortunate with two clever efforts.

Jimenez's industry was rewarded after 63 minutes when he doubled the lead with a wonderful finish. The Mexican beat the offside trap to get ahead of the defence before controlling Doherty's ball and acrobatically firing home.

Shortly afterwards Javi Gracia made his move, introducing Deulofeu, who was a shock omission from the starting line-up. The move worked as the Spaniard immediately injected urgency into his team's play and made it 2-1 with 11 minutes to go when he cleverly chipped home from the left side of the box.

Wolves looked set to hang on but extra time was forced late on when Troy Deeney was brought down by Dendoncker in the penalty area and the Watford skipper's spot-kick had too much power for Ruddy.

Inevitably the pace of the game slowed but the fresh legs of Deulofeu made the difference after 104 minutes when he got on the outside of Coady and cleverly slid past the desperate Ruddy.

Wolves tried everything in the second half of extra time but failed to create any real chances and it will be the Hornets who return to Wembley on May 18 to face Manchester City in their first FA Cup final since 1984.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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