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Published: 12:05, January 22, 2022
Sargent double helps Norwich climb out of relegation zone
By Reuters
Published:12:05, January 22, 2022 By Reuters

Norwich City's US striker Josh Sargent celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Norwich City at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, southeast England, on Jan 22, 2022. (ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

WATFORD, England - American Josh Sargent's first goals in English football helped Norwich City earn a crucial 3-0 victory at Watford on Friday, a win that moved Dean Smith's side out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season.

Sargent's stunning flicked finish six minutes after the break gave the visitors the lead as he opened his Premier League account in style.

It was just a reaction to put my foot up like that (for first goal). I knew right away it was in when I hit it. I can't remember ever scoring a goal like that. Getting these first goals will boost my confidence a lot.

Josh Sargent, Norwich City player

Following a bizarre break in play as several floodlights went out, Sargent's night to remember continued as he drilled in from distance to double his side's advantage in the 74th minute.

Watford's bad luck continued as Emmanuel Dennis was sent off four minutes later after collecting his second yellow card.

The hosts' miserable evening was complete when Juraj Kucka's stoppage-time own goal handed the visitors a 3-0 win.

ALSO READ: Josh Sargent scores brilliant goal as Bremen beats Augsburg

Norwich's fourth win of the season lifted them to 17th with 16 points from 22 matches. Watford dropped to 18th, with 14 points from 20 games.

"To get my first goal, and then the second one after that was pretty crazy, especially in such a big game," Sargent told Sky Sports.

"It was just a reaction to put my foot up like that (for first goal). I knew right away it was in when I hit it. I can't remember ever scoring a goal like that. Getting these first goals will boost my confidence a lot."

While Norwich continued their improvement under Smith, Claudio Ranieri's Watford remain in freefall.

Watford's Spanish defender Kiko Femenia controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Norwich City at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, southeast England, on Jan 22, 2022. (ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

They are without a win in nine games in all competitions - earning just one draw and suffering eight losses in that run. It is their longest spell without a victory since December 2013.

Ranieri's men have now also gone 30 Premier League games without a clean sheet, with only West Bromwich Albion enduring a longer such run in the history of the competition.

"Before everything I want to say sorry to our crowd," Ranieri told Sky Sports. "We wanted to do another kind of match, we wanted to light the fire to our fans and we did not do this.

"We had some opportunities to score a goal but the first goal was very strange. After that we had the time to do something better, we didn't do this."

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