Former Watford midfielder Cristian Battocchio has detailed being part of the ‘incredible’ play-off win over Leicester back in 2013.
Battocchio joined Watford on loan from Udinese in 2012 and was a regular for them that year, racking up 25 appearances in all competitions.
That saw him playing a role in the Championship Play-Offs that year, with Watford coming up against Leicester in the Semi-Finals.
After sitting on the bench for the 1-0 defeat in the first leg, he managed 79 minutes in the second leg before being substituted for Jonathan Hogg.
It was after that things started to go slightly crazy. With Watford leading 2-1 courtesy of a goal from Matej Vydra, the game appeared to be heading for extra time when, deep into injury time, Anthony Knockaert went down in the penalty area.
He stood up to take it but was denied by Manuel Almunia, and, sensing an opportunity, Watford quickly hit on the counter attack.
A swift move saw Battochio’s replacement Hogg head down for Troy Deeney, who smashed home the winner to take Watford to Wembley and secure one of the most dramatic ends to a game ever seen.
It’s something that is still talked about today and Battochio, who left Watford in 2015, still remembers it fondly.
“It was unbelievable. We were 2-1 up, and with that result, we would have gone to penalties,” he told Gianluca di Marzio.
“We were suffering in the last minutes; that’s why Zola took me off to put in a more defensive midfielder.
“In the last minute, the referee whistled a penalty against us. If we had gone out like that, we would have been shooting ourselves.
“Then, what happened was what happened. Almunia making the save, the counter-attack and the rest is history. A great explosion of joy.
“We lost to Crystal Palace in the final, but to play at Wembley with 80,000 people and my whole family there to see me was an emotion I will never forget.”