LONDON — Marco Silva's promising start as Watford manager came to a halt when the Premier League team was knocked out of the League Cup by second-tier side Bristol City on Tuesday.
The southwest England side fought back to win 3-2 despite making nine changes for the trip to Vicarage Road, with City's priority being to gain promotion from the League Championship.
"Bad night," said Silva, who left Hull for Watford in the off-season. "A really bad result for us, a disappointing result."
Watford has opened the Premier League season with a draw against Liverpool and victory over Bournemouth. But it was the only Premier League casualty on Tuesday night with the other six top-flight teams in action advancing from the second round against opponents from lower divisions.
Leicester won 4-1 at Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion ousted Accrington Stanley 3-1, Swansea beat Milton Keynes Dons 4-1, Crystal Palace eliminated Ipswich 2-1, Bournemouth defeated Birmingham 2-1 and Brighton edged Barnet 1-0.
At Watford, Etienne Capoue put the hosts ahead early in the second half, only for 18-year-old Freddie Hinds to draw City level and Bobby Reid to put the visitors in front.
Watford's night took a further turn for the worse when defender Jose Holebas was shown a second yellow card in the 88th minute and Niclas Eliasson then extended Bristol City's lead. Adrian Mariappa's header reduced the deficit deep into injury time but Watford ran out of time to produce an equalizer.
"In the first half we controlled the match but we played very slow," Silva said. "Very, very slow, too slow all the first half. We controlled the match, we don't give a lot of solutions for our opponents to make problems for us but we need to do something different in our fast decisions, in our counter attack as well, to create more chances to finish."
Another six Premier League teams are in action on Wednesday in English football's second-tier knockout competition and they are all playing teams from other divisions. Top-flight teams involved in European competitions don't enter until the third round.
The draw is being held on Thursday in the Chinese capital Beijing, as competition organizers seek to attract commercial backing and new fans in Asia.
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