Millwall stops Watford… Kalu returns, Ekong gets minutes off the bench

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Watford’s four-game unbeaten streak was snapped by Millwall on Monday, in the Championship Boxing day fixture at Vicarage Road.

A goal in each half saw a 10-man Watford side which had three Nigerians, Tom Dele-Bashiru, Samuel Kalu and William Troost-Ekong on the pitch.

First, Andreas Vogelsammer put the visitors in the lead in the 22nd minute, then 13 minutes later Watford suffered another blow, when Joao Pedro pulled up injured.

The night when from bad to worse for Slaven Bilic’s side as they were reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute after a straight red was shown to Ivorian LB Hassane Kamara.

After the restart, Bilic effected one change, bring on William Troost-Ekong to shore up the defence.

Ekong had missed the previous two games, as an unused substitute in spite of a decent showing against Arsenal in the mid-season friendly which Watford won 4-2.

The CB still showed some quality when he was brought on; 2 aerial balls won, 1 clearance and 2 blocks.

Another player who made a return to the team was Samuel Kalu. The winger was introduced in the 71st minute for his first game since picking up an injury in November.

Kalu did not feature in practice game against Arsenal and also missed the Championship matches after the league’s resumption from the World Cup break.

His impact against Millwall was minimal; 10 touches, 7 passes, 1 dribble and no shot attempted.

In spite of the changes, Watford went on to concede in the 83rd minute from a Zian Flemming effort – completing a double over the Hornets this season.

The defeat stopped the Hornets in the tracks, still maintaining 4th spot in the table, but Millwall are 6th and just two points adrift.

Coming up next for the London club is a trip to South Wales where they’ll battle Swansea City on December 30th.

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