Belfast Telegraph

Watford victory sends Fulham tumbling

Watford 4-1 Fulham

WATFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Troy Deeney of Watford applauds fans after the Premier League match between Watford FC and Fulham FC at Vicarage Road on April 02, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
WATFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Troy Deeney of Watford applauds fans after the Premier League match between Watford FC and Fulham FC at Vicarage Road on April 02, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Fulham will spend next season in the Sky Bet Championship after their 4-1 thrashing at Watford confirmed their relegation from the Premier League.

The Cottagers' season of struggle reached its inevitable conclusion at Vicarage Road, where fine goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure, Will Hughes, Troy Deeney and Kiko Femenia ensured a ninth successive defeat.

Ryan Babel's finish had briefly given the visitors hope of at least delaying their demise, but it was not to be.

Following 33 league fixtures they have a disappointing total of 17 points, which leaves them 16 from safety.

With minus-46 they also have the division's worst goal difference, having already sacked two managers in Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri, and all after their net spend of £106million over the past two transfer windows represented the third highest in the league.

Watford, who face Wolves in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final, went ahead early when Doucoure scored his second in two games, striking low inside the left post.

In the 33rd minute, Babel calmly finished for 1-1.

Into the second half and Hughes brilliantly and powerfully found the top right corner for 2-1 on 63 minutes.

Deeney then made it 3-1 before Femenia wrapped it up.

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