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Watford 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1 – Premier League Match Report

Watford continued their impressive start to the season with their fourth win on the bounce, as they came from behind thanks to two set piece goals from Deeney and Cathcart against a toothless Tottenham side who could only score through a lucky own goal from Abdoulaye Doucoure.

An early top four battle was played out between two sides with 100% records so far this season, and the affair had even more pressure on it as both teams could have been joining Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the table.

Watford named an unchanged side from the one that won its first three games of the season, which has found them amongst the elite of English football. Tottenham, however, made three changes with Vorm, Sanchez and Davies all coming into the starting eleven.

Watford started the better with promising signs being showed by the early link up play between Andre Gray and Troy Deeney, who was making his 250th league start for the Hornets. However, it was Tottenham who carved out the first chance in the 3rd minute as Harry Kane was found in the box and played a smart ball into the man in form Lucas Moura, but it was just cut out by Watford defender Christian Kabasele before Moura could have a meaningful attempt on goal.

Davinson Sanchez could have gotten himself into trouble in the 7th minute after attempting a scorpion kick which connected with the head of Kabasele; a potential argument for dangerous play surely could have been made against the Colombian defender, however it went un-noticed and unpunished.

Tottenham continued to create, and in the 12th minute Toby Alderweireld played a long ball over the Watford defence to find Dele Alli at the top of the box who attempted an audacious looping header;  had it been on target it would have found the net, as Ben Foster was stranded in the six yard box.

Watford built themselves into the game and created a great chance for Deeney to open the scoring, as Daryl Janmaat floated in a great cross only for Deeney’s header to be deflected over the bar for a corner which came to nothing.

The game then quietened down, Tottenham had control of the ball for the most part but failed to create any major chances. Watford on the other hand had to scrap and were defending well but unable to supply Gray and Deeney with any notable chances to attack the Spurs goal.

Tottenham almost took the lead on the 37th minute after a clever free-kick routine from near the right hand corner flag led to Christian Eriksen crossing in a low ball to the far post, which Alli woefully missed; luckily he was saved from outright embarrassment as the flag was already up against him.

The last chance of the half fell to Deeney who picked the ball up about 45 yards from goal and made his way to shooting distance, but horrendously under-hit the ball and Vorm comfortably picked up in-front of his goal. With that the dire first half was drawn to a close.

The second half started much the same as the first ended, except it was Eriksen trying his luck from distance, which Foster comfortably kept out as it was low down to his right. A couple of minutes later Eriksen tried his luck again from 20 yards, it did have a bit more vigour behind it although it bounced comfortably into Fosters mid-drift.

Tottenham did get a stroke of luck that you could say they deserved, in the 53rd minute Alli played a delicate ball into the box which was weakly headed away by Kabasele, only as far as Moura who tried to turn and shoot. However his shot struck Doucoure in the stomach and it perfectly managed to squirm its way into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, providing Tottenham with a deserved but fortunate lead.

The goal seemed to bring a bit of life into the game which was desperately needed, as Watford were forced to come out of their half a bit more as they went in search of an equaliser. Roberto Pereyra went close from 20 yards as his powerful effort was sliced two yards high and wide of Vorm’s goal.

Watford continued to threaten on the counter, this was shown in the 66th minute as Deeney won the ball in the right corner and whipped in a dangerous cross which flicked off Alderweireld onto the underside of the Tottenham goal, somehow bouncing away from the danger area and allowing Tottenham to clear their lines.

However, they were rewarded for their reaction to going behind two minutes later, as Holebas whipped in a dangerous free kick which found Deeney, and he was able to flick the ball into the far corner of the goal, leaving Vorm helpless. The goal looked to set up a grand-stand finish with both teams looking to continue their 100% winning starts to the season.

After the equaliser the game became an exciting affair for the first time in the afternoon as they both pushed for a winner, although both defences stayed firm and limited any clear-cut chances being made. Going into the 75th minute Watford had looked the most likely as they had the momentum of the fans behind them as they continued to put the ball into the Spurs box. Watford then got their reward in the 76th minute as Holebas swung in a great corner and Cathcart beat his marker Dembele to the ball, powering a brilliant header into the top left hand corner of the Tottenham goal.

Could Tottenham find a way back into the game the same way Watford did? In the 80th minute Tottenham made their move as they brought on Llorente for Alderweireld as they went to push for a late equaliser. The swap did little to add threat to Tottenham’s attacking threat which meant Harry Winks was turned to in the 85th minute to provide more of a attacking spark in place of Dembele, whereas Watford swapped the impressive Will Hughes for the defensive minded Nathan Chalobah.

Kane went close to finding a equaliser in the 86th minute as Trippier was found on the left hand side and whipped in a threatening ball into the back post to Kane, but he could only head the ball over the goal, as he continued his disappointing afternoon.

Tottenham continued to huff and puff as they tried to get a equaliser but the Watford defence stood firm in order to claim the three points.

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