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Wembley woe increases Watford’s winless worries

 Published on: 30th April 2018   |   By: Tim Green   |   Category: Watford FC

Watford were beaten away from home again on Monday evening and again failed to score away from home, a streak that goes back as far as January 2 when they were beaten 3-1 by champions Manchester City.

The Hornets looked to be in the mood in the early stages of the game with Richarlison’s knock down fired wide of the mark by Will Hughes in the first minute of the match.

Spurs then produced a lively moment of their own, with Son Heung Min advancing down the left hand side and slipping the ball to Harry Kane, but the England striker’s effort lacked the requisite venom and was easily dealt with by Orestis Karnezis.

Then, just after quarter of an hour, the home side drew first blood. Karnezis should have dealt with Kieran Trippier’s cross much more convincingly, but instead the Hornets keeper spilled the ball to the feet of Christian Eriksen, who squared to Dele Alli who converted the gifted opportunity.

Watford were gifted an opportunity of their own before the half hour mark when Eric Dier’s sloppy pass was intercepted by Etienne Capoue. The midfielder slipped a perfectly weighted pass into the stride of Andre Gray, but his strike did little to trouble Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal.

Spurs then gained momentum and a long range Christian Eriksen shot, followed by some neat play between Kane and Alli gave Watford plenty to be concerned about.

But just before the break Watford carved out another opportunity. A clever flick from Will Hughes found top scorer Abdoulaye Doucoure in the box. However, he ran into trouble in the box and fired an unconvincing effort straight at Lloris, with Hughes standing by in a better position.

Lloris then denied Richarlison and Doucoure before the break and Spurs were pleased to hear the half time whistle with the visitors in the ascendency.

The second half was just three minutes old when Tottenham doubled their advantage.

Son Heung Min slipped the ball into Harry Kane’s path, but the striker slipped as he went to strike the ball. Fortunately for him, Kieran Trippier followed in and put the ball on a plate for Kane, who made no mistake with his second chance.

Watford manager Javi Gracia then made some changes just after the hour mark that rejuvenated the visitors, with Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu coming on to replace Andre Gray and Kiko Femenia.

After Jan Vertonghen headed against the post, Kane failed to sort his feet out in time to turn the rebound into the net and then it was Watford’s time to fight back.

First Troy Deeney knocked a cross perfectly into the path of Richarlison, but the Brazilian blasted high over the bar with the empty goal at his mercy.

Then Deulofeu latched onto a through ball from Christian Kabasele, before rounding Lloris and slotting the ball into the net from a tight angle, only to have the goal chalked off for a tight offside call.

Spurs then suffered the same fate when Harry Kane beat Ornezis with a precision finish, only for the linesman’s flag to put an end to their celebrations.

As the game entered its remaining ten minutes, it had something of an exhibition feel to it, with neither side really threatening to score, save for Moussa Sissoko’s poor strike over the bar from close range in the 89th minute and a half chance for Troy Deeney that was volleyed into the rapidly-emptying stand behind the goal.

A six minute stoppage time period gave Watford’s final sub Carillo the chance to link up nicely with Deulofeu, but his effort was once again straight at Lloris, who produced an astute stop.

The defeat signalled Watford’s 12th game without a win away from home and with a long injury list and a poor run of form, it seems Javi Gracia and the Hornets are now just waiting for the season to end so they can build during the summer and start again.

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