Sunday, September 27, 2020

Watford 2 Tottenham 1: Hornets fight back to maintain perfect start

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Sep 2018


Watford maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season and ended Tottenham’s own perfect record as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

After a desperately poor first half, the game sparked into life in the 53rd minute as Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a comical own goal to hand the visitors the lead.

That setback only served to motivate Javi Gracia’s side, who stormed back with two headed goals from Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart in the space of seven minutes to join Liverpool and Chelsea on maximum points from the opening four games.

It was a result that brings Spurs, who had won their opening three matches, crashing back down to earth following Monday’s 3-0 win over Manchester United.

During a tepid opening both sides exchanged headed chances, Dele Alli guiding his wide of Ben Foster’s post and Deeney powering one over the crossbar from just six yards out.

Tottenham looked the most threatening for the remainder of the half, but their only real chance came a minute before the interval when Davinson Sanchez headed over Jan Vertonghen’s teasing cross from the left.  

Christian Eriksen signalled Tottenham’s intent at the start of the second period, firing in long-range drives that were held by Foster, before Doucoure’s slapstick intervention handed Spurs the lead.

Foster looked primed to collect a looping ball before Christian Kabasele headed it almost out of his hands and into the path of Lucas Moura, whose delivery back across goal was chested into his own net by the hapless Doucoure.

This woke Watford from their slumber and they almost levelled after 67 minutes when Toby Alderweireld headed against his own crossbar before Deeney nodded in from Jose Holebas’ fine free-kick shortly after to level things. 

Holebas turned provider again for the winner in the 76th minute, his outswinging corner wonderfully headed into the top corner by Cathcart to continue his side’s remarkable start to the season. 

What it means: Watford in dreamland

Cathcart’s header means that Watford have won their opening four games in a league season for the first time since the 1988-89 campaign. Tottenham’s start has still been a strong one with nine points out of 12, but they will go into the international break furious that they threw this one away.

Pat on the back: Deeney the destroyer

Deeney’s weight loss has been well publicised recently and it is clearly paying off for the forward. He was unstoppable in the second half and scored the crucial leveller that paved the way for a wonderful win.

Boot up the backside: Kane not so able        

He is up and running in terms of goals this season, but questions have been raised about Harry Kane’s general fitness. He once again looked off the pace and never looked like threatening the Hornets’ backline.

What’s next?

Watford host Manchester United at Vicarage Road after the international break, while Tottenham have a mouth-watering contest to look forward to as Liverpool pitch up to Wembley.


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