Jota hits winner as Wolves see off Watford

Diogo Jota fired Wolves to victory in their revenge mission against Watford as they took charge of the race for seventh.

Ben Foster’s error gifted Jota a second-half winner at Vicarage Road to clinch a late 2-1 victory.

Raul Jimenez opened the scoring with his 17th goal of the season before Andre Gray levelled against his hometown club.

Seventh would net a Europa League qualifying spot if the Hornets lose to Manchester City in next month’s FA Cup final.

Wolves now sit seventh in the Premier League, four points clear of Watford and Everton.

Just 20 days after the Hornets beat Wolves 3-2 in extra-time in their thrilling FA Cup semi-final, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men laid some ghosts to rest.

Gerard Deulofeu was their Wembley tormentor and Willy Boly’s last ditch interception halted the Spain international’s burst into the box after four minutes.

But it was a low-key start, a contrast to the frantic late scenes almost three weeks ago.

Foster gathered Ruben Neves’ drive and Deulofeu slipped at the vital moment after going through on the right, yet they were rare moments of excitement.

Watford had been snappier in possession and carried a greater threat but it was Wolves who almost broke the deadlock after 33 minutes.

Leander Dendoncker was allowed to cross from the right and while Jimenez failed to make a clean contact, the ball was looping in until Etienne Capoue hacked off the line.

Two minutes later Will Hughes should have opened the scoring when he completely miscued a free header after Adrian Mariappa’s knockdown.

The gilt-edged chances were out of keeping with the game’s mundane nature but Watford were made to pay for their miss four minutes before the break.

It was a familiar combination for Wolves as Jota escaped on the left and crossed for Jimenez to nod in his 13th league goal of the season.

Yet the visitors’ lead lasted just three minutes into the second half after they gifted Watford a way back.

Bennett’s terrible backpass fell straight to Deulofeu and, after Rui Patricio saved at his feet, the ball ran for Gray to lash in from 15 yards.

It was the Wolverhampton-born striker’s fifth goal in his last seven games at Vicarage Road but was almost cancelled out immediately when Jota nodded over.

A cagey first half had given way to an open second with both sides dangerous on the break.

Pereyra dragged wide with 18 minutes left and Hughes wanted a penalty after his drive struck Conor Coady.

But Wolves found the winner 13 minutes from time after an error from former England goalkeeper Foster.

The 36-year-old went walkabout as he tried to claim Neves’ deep cross to allow the unmarked Jota to guide in a cushioned volley at the far post from six yards.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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