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Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville slams “absolute nonsense” delay in Watford v Norwich

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville slams the “absolute nonsense” delay which played out in Friday’s Premier League game, Watford v Norwich.

The top flight fixture was suspended for nearly 12 minutes following a floodlight failure at Vicarage Road with the Canaries leading 1-0 in the 60th minute at the time a section of lights went out and play was immediately stopped.

The lights flickered on and off again over the next five or so minutes, leaving fans in attendance frustrated whilst officials watched on and waited to restart the game again.

Watford and Norwich are both battling for survival at the bottom of the table and were desperate to win what was a “six pointer”.

The players complained to referee Mike Dean, who couldn’t exactly do anything about getting the floodlights working again.

Commentating on the game for Sky Sports, Carragher and Neville were both unhappy with the length of the delay.

“You can still play, you can still see what’s going on,” said Carragher. “It’s not like it’s cricket. They can play!

“There’s been a lot of talk of teams getting games called of, but this would be a new one. Who decides how strong the floodlights have to be?”

Neville added: “I completely agree with Jamie and his thoughts. The longer this game doesn’t continue, they’re creating a bigger problem. We’re at pitch level and there’s no real issue at all.

“Someone at the Premier League needs to get the message to Mike Dean that this game can continue now as this is an absolute nonsense. There have been England games where there has been far less light.”

Mike Dean eventually got both managers and captains together, and questioned if they wanted to resume the game.

They all agreed with the game underway again, over 10 minutes after bringing it to a halt, so forced the fourth official to add on 15 minutes.

Just seconds after the resumption, Norwich striker Josh Sargent got his second goal of the game to double their advantage and give the Canaries an unlikely three points.

The result means that Norwich jump outside of the relegation zone into 17th at Watford’s expense. The Hornets – who also saw Emmanuel Dennis sent off and conceded a late own goal through Juraj Kucka – drop to 18th.

Player ratings

Watford: Bachmann (6), Femenia (6), Kabasele (5), Samir (6), Kamara (5), Sissoko (6), Kayembe (6), Cleverley (5), Dennis (4), King (6), Joao Pedro (5).

Subs: Sema (n/a), Hernandez (n/a), Kucka (n/a).

Norwich: Gunn (7), Aarons (7), Hanley (7), Gibson (7), Williams (7), Sargent (8), Sorensen (6), Lees-Melou (6), Rashica (6), Idah (7), Pukki (6).

Subs: Byram (n/a), Placheta (n/a), McLean (7).

Man of the match: Josh Sargent.

Asked if he feared the game was going to end due to the lights going out, Dean Smith said: ‘I was yes because it kept going on and on, I was willing people behind me to start peddling quicker. 

‘Thankfully Claudio Ranieri thought like me that it was fine to continue, just not as bright as normal.’

Smith admitted it was a scrappy win but was pleased how his side responded after a poor first half. 

‘It was not a pretty affair from us, we knew it would not be but we started the game off really well,’ he said after a second consecutive victory following last week’s win over Everton.

‘The game got away from us in the first half but we spoke about it at half time, we were good without the ball today and not so good with. We are in a results business, we needed the result today and certainly gives everyone a lift.’

On Sargent’s opening goal, Smith said: ‘Superb, I have only just seen it back and I thought he had just miskicked it. Great improvisation and he needed that, he is a hard working, intelligent player and pleased he got the two goals.’

US international Sargent added: ‘To be honest it’s been a kind of blur. To get your first one and then your second after that was pretty crazy. It’s a big game for us so a great night overall. 

‘It was just a kind of reaction to put my foot up like that. I knew right away it was in. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Not a bad first goal!

‘The checked after the second goal as well so obviously you’re looking up hoping not to be embarrassed after celebrating like that but obviously it was given a goal so I’m happy.

‘It was back and forth all game and there were no real chances for either team but we were lucky to break and get those two goals. The second one boosted my confidence a lot. I tried to hold my run as long as possible to get a good head on it.’

Sargent dedicated his second goal to his newborn child: ‘After the first one I didn’t celebrate for my newborn baby so I knew the wife would be on my case. I thought I need to do it now!

‘It’s been a crazy couple of weeks obviously but I’m very happy right now. It’s been amazing. Hopefully we can take that confidence into the next games.

‘Ever since I was young I always wanted to play in the Premier League. I know it’s the best league in the world so I kind of fought my way here and I’m happy I’m doing it now.’ 

Twitter users reacted as Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville slams the “absolute nonsense” delay in Watford v Norwich…

@RichardLenglll: Should relegate Watford automatically for this, fucking embarrassing @WatfordFC

@dombakerdb: Six-pointer, big build up, under the lights, TV coverage, GT tribute, fireworks, soft goals, red card, floodlight failures, disallowed goal, own goal, Norwich, Mike Dean. Just fuck off, Watford

@FPLProfessor_: Peak Premier League this, do us all a favour and relegate Watford

@wwfcscott: You couldn’t anything more Norwich v Watford than the floodlights even giving up all hope.

@DazHaleWM: Why have they stopped play at Watford?! The floodlights havent completely failed. They can easily play in that light & Norwich are wearing a fluorescent kit!!!! #farce

Lights go out – “Watford’s a shit hole, I wanna go home” sing the Norwich fans
Carragher – we can play, this isn’t cricket! Good man

@JMO_96: Wtf is going on get on with the game! Bright yellow ball, Watford wearing bright yellow, Norwich wearing Luminous orange. They hardly need a lot of light!

@Danny39098934: This is embarrassing at the Watford/Norwich game. Few lights aren’t working, still bright as f**k and they’ve stopped the game!

@The_Rifty: if they can’t keep their lights on they shouldn’t be in the prem

@darrend3333: Watford = Tinpot Club.

@Paul_Wilson86: Turn the rest off please

@GuiltyGylfi: put 50p in the meter ffs

@moosamatt: The players can’t find each other with the lights on so I can’t see it being any worse

@Emmakatemunday1: Is Graham Taylor trying to make a point from the other side?

@Towlawtown: We got new @MidstreamLED lights @Towlawtown want to buy our old ones @WatfordFC

@Patrick29782492: I’m so embarrassed to support this club

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