By 90Min
April 08, 2019

Javi Gracia lauded Gerard Deulofeu with praise after the forward came off the bench to score a brace that saw Watford come from behind to beat Wolves 3-2 in a pulsating FA Cup semi final clash at Wembley on Sunday.

Trailing 2-0 with 11 minutes to go, second half substitute Deulofeu breathed life into a Hornets' comeback with a stunning curled effort. Troy Deeney forced extra time after he converted a penalty in the final minute of stoppage time, with the Spaniard netting his second of the match 14 minutes into the final 30 to seal a memorable win for Gracia's men.

The decision to leave Deulofeu on the bench in favour of Andre Gray surprised many ahead of kick off, however Gracia insisted that the 25-year-old was always going to have an impact on the game, irrespective of whether he started or not.

"We knew when we started with other players, that Gerard would be important during the game," he said on the club's official website.

"I knew it with more spaces. He was angry and I like to see my players with his attitude. When they feel angry in those moments they are able to show what they are able to do. He helped the steam to score two important goals of high quality. It is not a surprise for me because I see him in all the training sessions."

Dan Mullan/GettyImages

It was a brave call from the Watford head coach, who has also left the Spaniard out of crunch Premier League matches against FA Cup final opponents Manchester City this season, but insisted the forward also understands his, sometimes controversial, calls.

"He always accepts the decision," he added.

"I suppose he was angry in that moment. He wanted to play in the semi-final. He has played in almost all the games before. He wanted to help the team. All the players are showing they deserve to and it is not easy to choose the moments for all of them. I try to choose the best moment for all of them."

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Eagle (-2)
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