Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores likened the link-up between Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo to “telepathy” after his strike partnership inspired a 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over holders Arsenal.
Flores’ men absorbed sustained first-half pressure before Ighalo pounced on Deeney’s 50th-minute knockdown to open the scoring.
Captain Deeney was also the provider for Adlene Guedioura’s thunderbolt second and, despite Danny Welbeck’s 88th-minute strike prompting a frantic finale, Watford held on to secure a Wembley semi-final berth.
“The telepathy between the players, when Deeney touches it, Ighalo knows where the ball is going – they are an amazing couple for us,” Flores told BBC Sport, before also lauding Algeria international Guedioura.
“He [Guedioura] represents the behaviour of our players very well,” the Spaniard added. “He has not played a lot, but he kept working hard and now has the prize.
“We have a very strong unit, and sometimes we need to remember we are a squad and doing something important this year.
“I feel fantastic, I’m really happy for the players and the fans. They follow us and it is an amazing prize for them.”
Flores has fond memories watching the competition in Spain as a youngster and is relishing the possibility of penning his own famous chapter in FA Cup history
“I have memories on television of the old Wembley and watching in Spain and seeing the finals of this competition,” he added.
“Now it is a new Wembley, I’ve just arrived in England, and to get there is exciting. I’m really happy for the fans and they deserve this kind of day.”
Goal hero Guedioura took time to praise his manager’s winning gameplan.
“All week the manager tried to explain that it would be like this and with the plan we had, it was fine,” he told BBC Sport, while explaining he is keen to face former club Crystal Palace in the semi-finals.
“We worked hard until the end of the game and hopefully we go further than the semi-final. It will be a great day for the fans.”