Watford 2-2 Arsenal AS IT HAPPENED: Gunners blow two-goal lead at Vicarage Road

Watford 2-2 Arsenal AS IT HAPPENED: Gunners blow two-goal lead at Vicarage Road


Arsenal blew a two-goal lead as bottom-placed Watford with returning manager Quique Sanchez Flores in charge earned a point at Vicarage Road. See how the action unfolded with Express Sport.


Arsenal: Unai Emery ‘prepared’ for Watford clash

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WATFORD 2-2 ARSENAL | AUBAMEYANG (21, 31), CLEVERLEY (54), PEREYRA (80)

Watford XI: Foster, Femenia, Kabasele, Dawson, Holebas, Capoue, Hughes, Doucoure, Cleverley, Deulofeu, Gray
Arsenal XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ozil, Aubameyang, Pepe
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opens the scoring with clinical finish
  • Aubameyang adds a second from Ainsley Maitland-Niles cross
  • Sokratis passes straight to Cleverley inside the Arsenal penalty area
  • David Luiz fouls Roberto Pereyra for penalty, Pereyra converts
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
WATFORD 2-2 ARSENAL
FT: What an absolutely fantastic match. Might be my favourite Premier League game of the season so far.
Quique Sánchez Flores returns to Watford and gets a point from two-goals down against Arsenal. Both sides running on fumes in the closing stages. Very gutsy from the Hornets.
This was the first time that Arsenal failed to win a Premier League match in which they were at least two goals ahead since April 2016 when they drew 3-3 with West Ham.
94: Tom Cleverley fouls Ainsley Maitland-Niles and that might just be that.
93: What a chance! Oh my goodness. It should have been mission complete for Watford. Abdoulaye Doucouré tanks the length of the field before popping it over to Ismaila Sarr. the summer recruit cuts it back for Doucouré, who drives it straight at Leno.
92: Both sides WANT to find a winner - but everyone looks absolutely exhausted. Étienne Capoue cynically trips Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the halfway line.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
90: There has never been a draw between these two sides in the Premier League. Four minutes added time.
88: Watford have had 28 efforts today. Arsenal have had seven.
87: Arsenal don’t seem to have anything left in the tank. They can’t get the ball upfield and are simply trying to survive for a point.
Corner to Watford after David Luiz blocks Tom Cleverley’s fizzed effort. Cleared.
85: Since the start of last season, no side has conceded more goals via penalties in the Premier League than Arsenal (10 - level with Brighton), with the Gunners already conceded three this season alone.
84: Watford come again! Arsenal can’t clear their lines and the ball falls to Gerard Deulofeu, who whips it inches past the far post.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
82: I’m sure even the most ardent Arsenal fans will admit they’ve been second best for long periods today.
WATFORD 2-2 ARSENAL | PEREYRA
80: GOAL! Cool as you like. Substitute Roberto Pereyra sends Bernd Leno the wrong way to draw Watford level. The Gunners have squandered a two-goal lead! Grandstand finish coming up!
PENALTY TO WATFORD!
79: Roberto Pereyra drives into the penalty area where David Luiz swings a lazy leg. The Watford star goes down and referee Anthony Taylor awards the penalty.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
78: Referee Anthony Taylor books Bernd Leno for time wasting. Watford fans enjoyed that. Daryl Janmaat on for Jose Holebas.
76: Oh this is a good watch. It’s end-to-end stuff now as formation, shape and composure go out of the window.
Ismaila Sarr wins the corner for Watford. Craig Dawson and co. trundle forward as David Luiz claps his hands to galvanise his colleagues. It does the trick.
73: Boos turn to cheers as Mesut Ozil is taken off. Unai Emery is bulking up that midfield by sending on Reiss Nelson.
Nelson has a decent chance to put the game to bed immediately when striding onto a cutback. He powers it straight at Ben Foster from just outside the box.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
70: We have 20 minutes remaining at Vicarage Road and it looks like Arsenal are going to need one more goal to put this to bed. Watford keep pushing.
69: Quique Sánchez Flores has aged 10 years watching this.
66: Watford are relentless! Deulofeu rolls it to Sarr, who turns and strikes wide of the target. Roberto Pereyra then executes a back-heel that almost finds Tom Cleverley at the back post.
More boos from Arsenal fans as Unai Emery withdraws Mattéo Guendouzi for Lucas Torreira.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
63: The bottom side continue to dominate at Vicarage Road. Gerard Deulofeu gets behind the Arsenal defence for the umpteenth time and Mattéo Guendouzi manages to block for a corner.
Roberto Pereyra on for Will Hughes.
60: A few boos from the away end as Unai Emery opts to take off Ceballos. Joe Willock on.
59: Since the start of last season, Arsenal's players have made a combined 14 errors leading to opposition goals in the Premier League, at least two more than any other club in this time.
58: Woosh! Watford smell blood and Gerard Deulofeu has been revitalised. The Spaniard cuts inside before lashing a curling effort narrowly past the post. Arsenal creaking…
55: Quique Sánchez Flores wastes no time in seizing the momentum. He sends on record signing Ismaila Sarr on for Andre Gray.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
WATFORD 1-2 ARSENAL | CLEVERLEY
53: GOAL! Oh Sokratis… Papastathopoulos has gifted Watford a lifeline with a catastrophic error.
The Arsenal defender collects the ball from Bernd Leno before trying to thread the ball to Matteo Guendouzi on the edge of the box.
Instead, the pass deflects off Gerard Deulofeu and straight to the feet of Tom Cleverley, who makes no mistake with the shot.
52: Currently nothing happening. So much so that Martin Tyler and Alan Smith are discussing the fact Dani Ceballos once completed a hairdressing course…
51: At what stage will Quique Sánchez Flores unleash record signing Ismaila Sarr? Not really seen a great deal of improvement from the Hornets since he resumption.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
48: The omens aren’t really very good for Watford. They were the only side NOT to score against Arsenal last season and haven’t notched a goal against them in three successive fixtures.
Massive chance for Watford to put that record to bed as Mattéo Guendouzi plays a woeful blind pass straight to Andre Gray inside the Arsenal penalty area. Granit Xhaka spares his blushes with a well-timed interception.
WATFORD 0-2 ARSENAL
45: And we’re back underway at Vicarage Road. Just heard that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has never scored a Premier League hat-trick? He won’t have too many better chances of changing that record.
No changes for either side.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
Twitter round-up
Alistair: Mercurial talent, or bone-idle lazy lethargic overpaid reason-Ramsey-left luxury? You decide!
Tom: Watford’s whole game plan revolves around bullying and being physical yet you go near them and they want a free-kick for everything.
Izzy: Just spotted Troy Deeney enjoying a cup of Lipton tea!
Uche: Matteo Guendouzi is the new Jack Wilshere for Arsenal. Always ready to back the beef, run his mouth & support his boys in a fight. Get you a man like that wavy-haired baller...
I believe Alistair is talking about Mesut Ozil. Just a guess…
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
WATFORD 0-2 ARSENAL
HT: Arsenal have themselves a two-goal advantage without having to really get out of second gear. Watford are easily getting to the opposition final third but there’s simply been no end product.
45: FIGHT! We’ve been treated to a needless scrap by man, myth and booking legend Jose Holebas, who decides to start a shoving match with Nicolas Pepe.
Holebas is gesturing to the referee that he’s been elbowed by Pepe. Just watching the replay now… absolutely nothing. But that didn’t stop Mattéo Guendouzi flying in to defend his mate. Both booked.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
44: Sead Kolasinac is the first player in the book for dragging back Will Hughes right on the byline. Good chance to deliver a cross here.
Jose Holebas takes it… saved. The full-back went for goal but Bernd Leno was wise to it and plucks it out of the sky.
43: Well… that’s quite a chant from the Arsenal fans. “Dani Ceballos, Dani Ceballos, he drinks Estrella, he eats paella, The boys f*****g magic.”
40: If Watford are going to salvage anything from this game - a goal in the next five minutes is critical.
37: Aubameyang has scored with seven of his last nine shots on target in the Premier League, including each of his last four and two against Watford today.
And to think of those rumours over the summer that Arsenal were considering cashing in on their top scorer…
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
34: More opportunities for Watford, more opportunities squandered. Gerard Deulofeu tests Bernd Leno before Will Hughes sends one over.
The Hornets are creating enough - but their big problem looks to be confidence. They have absolutely none in front of goal.
WATFORD 0-2 ARSENAL | AUBAMEYANG
31: GOAL! Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is on a hat-trick after just 31 minutes as the Gabon international doubles Arsenal’s lead.
It’s a nice goal with Mesut Ozil the architect. He slips Ainsley Maitland-Niles through down the right and the wing-back crosses for Aubameyang to convert. Very easy, very simple.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
30: Sky Sports cameras pan to Troy Deeney watching from the directors box. He’s got a cup of tea in hand, lecturing someone on what’s happening on the field. Either that or they are discussing tea. Both excellent topics.
27: Not the worst response, not the best either. Arsenal want a second and it’s close to arriving when Mesut Ozil nearly finds Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the middle with a lofted cross.
24: What kind of response are we going to see from Watford? They’ve had a tendency to collapse.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in four goals in four Premier League games against Watford, scoring three times and assisting once.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
WATFORD 0-1 ARSENAL | AUBAMEYANG
21: GOAL! Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opens the scoring totally against the run of play.
Quique Sánchez Flores is furious because he thinks there was a foul in the build-up when Dani Ceballos won the ball from Will Hughes. Play continues with Sead Kolasinac feeding Aubameyang, who takes a beautiful touch before firing low past Ben Foster.
Sucker-punch of the highest order.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
20: Arsenal really don’t look comfortable playing this formation. Looks like Lucas Torreira should be on the field to beef up the midfield. Étienne Capoue is getting plenty of joy pulling the strings for Watford.
17: Watford are dominating. Arsenal are losing the midfield battles and Gerard Deulofeu is being given acres of space to run at Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The Spaniard wriggles into the box before laying it up for Étienne Capoue to fire miles over.
15: David Luiz with a strange approach to defending - volume 102. He allows Tom Cleverley to advance on goal before unleashing a cracking strike that Leno tips over. No idea why he opted NOT to close him down.
12: “Looks like the same tactical setup for Arsenal - 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond - which Emery used at Liverpool, attracting plenty of criticism in the process. Liverpool’s full-backs had plenty of joy that day - Watford will hope Kiko Femenia and Jose Holebas can cause similar problems,” write journalist James Olley.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
10: Jose Holebas, who fell out with Javi Gracia in the final months of his tenure, crunches into Nicolas Pepe and comes out worse. He’s also given away a free-kick right next to the corner flag.
Mesut Ozil to deliver… headed clear by Craig Dawson.
9: First chance falls to Watford and it's Deulofeu who curls one from the edge of the box. No real venom on the connection and Bernd Leno saves.
7: Watford boss Quique Sánchez Flores said his first order of business would be to tighten things up. And that’s fairly evident early on with plenty of yellow shirts in the middle of the park.
5: So many attacking players in this Arsenal side. And obviously they’ve not played together too often. Could it be a case of too many cooks this afternoon?
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
3: I must admit - I have a horse in this race. I currently lie bottom of my fantasy football mini league and Gerard Deulofeu goal would do wonders for me.
Watford have started well with Gerard Deulofeu looking spritely down that left channel. Causing one or two problems early.
WATFORD 0-0 ARSENAL
1: And we’re underway at Vicarage Road. Can Quique Sánchez Flores get his second tenure underway in spectacular style? Or will Unai Emery’s side get the job done? We’re about to find out!
Quique Sánchez Flores bowed and waved to supporters before kick-off. He’s looking extremely relaxed and happy. Give it six months and he may well feel differently.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
Why Ozil?
16:25: Arsenal boss Unai Emery, explaining his decision to include Mesut Ozil: "He trained with us in the position he's playing and was good, and with the circumstances we could not play with him, but now he's playing, he's training with a normal attitude for three weeks, and he can help us today.
"Everyone is important, the first XI, the players on the bench, we really need them all.
"Something can change with a new coach, a new system but it's still the same players, good players, a very good coach too with experience here. I he'll try something special today and it's going to be very difficult against him and them."
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
Twitter round-up
Stephen: Granit Xhaka must have it written into his contract that he must start every game or the club have to pay £500,000 to his agent per game. I honestly can't otherwise figure out why he gets picked. He's a heck of a liability.
James: Why does Emery keep leaving Lucas Torreira on the bench? What does he see (or not see) in training that keeps him out at the expense of Xhaka?
Max: I'm sorry what does Calum Chambers have to do to start, he was Fulham's player of the season and has been our best defender in the games he's started. With David Luiz performing under par he's got to wonder (as am I) what he has to do?!
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
Good omen
16:15: Arsenal have won their last three Premier League meetings with Watford, keeping a clean sheet each time. Watford were the only side not to score against the Gunners in the Premier League last season.
There’s also no sign of ‘last of cojones’ accuser Troy Deeney, which is always good news for the Gunners.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
Team news - Watford
16:15: Quique Sanchez Flores makes three changes to the Watford XI.
Etienne Capoue replaces Craig Cathcart, Jose Holebas comes in for Daryl Janmaat and Gerard Deulofeu takes the place of Roberto Pereyra.
Team news - Arsenal
16:10: Unai Emery makes two changes from the side who drew 2-2 with Tottenham in the north London derby.
Mesut Ozil returns in place of Alexandre Lacazette, who is sidelined until October at least. Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos starts ahead of Luicas Torreira in an attacking looking side.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
The sides
15:30: And here come the sides. Do my eyes deceive me or is Mesut Ozil playing?!
Watford XI: Foster, Femenia, Kabasele, Dawson, Holebas, Capoue, Hughes, Doucoure, Cleverley, Deulofeu, Gray.
Subs: Gomes, Janmaat, Mariappa, Foulquier, Chalobah, Sarr, Pereyra.
Arsenal XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ozil, Aubameyang, Pepe.
Subs: Martinez, Chambers, Torreira, Saka, Willock, Nelson, Martinelli.
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)
Afternoon…
15:20: Hello everyone and welcome to our coverage of Watford vs Arsenal.
I’m busy covering the Bournemouth vs Everton clash from the Vitality Stadium but will start LIVE updates from Vicarage Road the second it’s over.
I will, of course, update you with the team news and line-ups as soon as they land at around 3:30pm. Standby…
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates
Watford vs Arsenal LIVE: Premier League latest score, goals and updates (Image: GETTY)

WATFORD vs ARSENAL - TEAM NEWS

Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette will not feature for the club until October at the earliest after sustaining an ankle injury.
Rob Holding is fit again after spending nine months on the sidelines with a knee injury but won't feature.
Craig Cathcart and Troy Deeney are on the sidelines for Watford with a muscle problem and knee injury respectively.

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9jastarMedia: Watford 2-2 Arsenal AS IT HAPPENED: Gunners blow two-goal lead at Vicarage Road
Watford 2-2 Arsenal AS IT HAPPENED: Gunners blow two-goal lead at Vicarage Road
Watford 2-2 Arsenal AS IT HAPPENED: Gunners blow two-goal lead at Vicarage Road
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