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The Hornets’ sting lost its potency against the Seagulls during Saturday’s battle on the South Coast, as Watford were quickly brought back down to earth following their 3-2 success over Aston Villa with a 2-0 defeat to Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
The rejuvenated Shane Duffy opened the scoring with 10 minutes gone before Neal Maupay doubled Brighton’s advantage just before the half-time whistle blew, and for all of their attacking prowess on gameweek one, Watford had no answer to their hosts’ staunch rearguard action.
Despite the result, Munoz was able to take the positives from his side’s reaction in the second 45 while also lamenting a poor display in the opening exchanges, and another daunting away test in the form of Tottenham Hotspur follows for the Hornets after their midweek cup clash.
The second-round curse bedevilled Watford four years in a row in the EFL Cup between 2014 and 2018, but they have at least managed to progress past this stage in each of the last three seasons, although the less said about last season’s third-round exit to Newport County the better.
En route to the fourth round in the 2019-20 season, Watford claimed a pair of home victories over Coventry City and Swansea City, but seven of their last eight EFL Cup ties against Premier League opposition have seen them come out on the wrong end of the scoreline.
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Having been humbled on the opening day by European champions Chelsea, Crystal Palace sought to make amends at Selhurst Park against newly-promoted Brentford, but once again they failed to make the net ripple as the two sides shook hands on a point apiece.
Patrick Vieira‘s first point at home left the former Arsenal captain with mixed feelings following back-to-back games without a goal, but he was nonetheless able to hail his side “positive attitude” as fans returned to Selhurst Park en masse for the first time since the first coronavirus lockdown.