Brighton and Hove Albion’s winless run was stretched to five Premier League matches as they were held to an unremarkable 0-0 draw at home to Watford on Saturday.
Chris Hughton’s men just about shaded proceedings and appeared slightly more positive going forward, but a goalless draw seemed fair on the balance of play in a poor game at the Amex Stadium.
There were few moments of excitement in a generally dull first half, though Brighton did look marginally more threatening and went close through Jurgen Locadia just before the break.
Brighton were the brighter of the two sides again after the break, but they were unable to find a way past the excellent Ben Foster, as Javi Gracia’s Watford side drew three days on from a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham.
Quality was sorely lacking in the first half and opportunities were scarce as a result.
Neither side looked particul
arly creative, so it was little surprise to see the only notable chances come via aerial balls.
Troy Deeney nodded just wide of the left-hand post when he met Daryl Janmaat’s cross on the edge of the box 18 minutes in, while Locadia forced Foster into an acrobatic save with a headed effort of his own late in the half.
The match opened up a little at the start of the second half and Brighton almost unlocked Watford’s defence – Solly March providing a fine cross into the danger zone after a darting run up the right, only for Janmaat to clear just ahead of the lurking Glenn Murray.
Brighton increased the intensity towards the end and went close twice in quick succession with 10 minutes to go, but Foster first brilliantly tipped a Locadia header over, before nudging a Shane Duffy overhead kick around the post.
Watford had a late chance of their own as Will Hughes caused havoc in the box, but Dunk tackled him with his face while on the ground, before coming away with the ball between his knees and clearing to safety, only for Foster to thwart Florin Andone on the break at the other end.
Not much going on here so here’s a picture of Holebas pic.twitter.com/u5bae9dYjC
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) February 2, 2019
What does it mean? Foster shows his worth to Watford
Foster was impressive against Spurs on Wednesday, only to see his work go to waste through two late Tottenham goals. He was not to be beaten at the Amex, however, pulling off four particularly impressive saves. Watford would be far worse off without him.
March gives Holebas the run-around
Brighton winger March was easily the busiest attacking player on the pitch. He went on several fine runs up the right flank and produced some very good deliveries. Unfortunately for him, Brighton failed to make the most of him getting the better – almost constantly – of Jose Holebas.
Disappointing Deulofeu fails to deliver
While March put in an excellent display on Brighton’s right flank, Gerard Deulofeu was ineffective for Watford. Seemingly occupying a central position, the Spaniard looked lost and contributed precious little before being withdrawn in the 70th minute.
Key Opta facts
– Brighton have failed to score in three consecutive home games in all competitions (W0 D2 L1) for the first time since January 2016.
– This was Watford manager Javier Gracia’s 39th Premier League game in charge of the Hornets, more than any other manager for the club in the competition.
– Brighton have never lost a Premier League game in February (W2 D2), one of just two teams to be unbeaten in a single month in the competition’s history (Blackpool W2 D0 L0 in December).
After Wednesday’s FA Cup trip to West Brom, Brighton return to Premier League action at home to Burnley on Saturday. Watford are also back in front of their own fans on the same day, hosting Everton and former coach Marco Silva.
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