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January 23, 2020 11:10 am
When Aston Villa needed a spark on Tuesday night, Douglas Luiz provided one.
The Brazilian climbed off the bench to thrash home the equaliser that laid the foundations for the home side to go on and snatch a stoppage time winner.
Luiz’s goal followed up his assist for Jack Grealish’s leveller against Brighton three days earlier, and manager Dean Smith was left to praise his impact.
Speaking to VillaTV after the game, he said: “I left him out of the team for the Brighton game because I felt he needed a bit of a rest and that he looked a bit tired as he’s not used to all these games over the festive period.
“He’s come on and made a great assist against Brighton and scored a great goal tonight.
“I’m really pleased for him, and he’s gaining a lot of confidence from what he’s doing.”
Watford, revitalised under Nigel Pearson, looked set to extend their unbeaten run to eight games when Troy Deeney gave them a half-time lead.
The Hornets’ efforts to slow the game down at every opportunity in the second half only galvanised the home support, and Smith was delighted to reward those in the stands with a win.
He said: “The noise was great at the end and it was great to send the supporters home happy.
“Our last performance here [vs Manchester City] was a chastening one but we followed that up with a point against Brighton and a good performance tonight.
“It was a great time to win it, and I thought it was apt as well because Watford came to slow the game down, spoil the day and not lose.”