Spurs hold the Hornets via VAR decision
Written By: Robert Halter
Rock bottom Watford looked to improve on a sequence of just one win in twelve Premier League fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur, with their first visit to the new stadium during mid October. There was a brief delay in the second minute due to an ankle injury to the Hornets number ten, Danny Welbeck and Gerard Deulofeu was called into early action. However, Watford took a surprise lead during the sixth minute, when from a looping delivery by Craig Cathcart, and an incisive cross by Daryl Janmaat, the ball was struck into the bottom left corner by Abdoulaye Doucoure, past a stranded Paulo Gazzaniga in the Spurs goal. In the eleventh minute, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli combined, before Moussa Sissoko, struck the ball over the upright. Davinson Sanchez got the first caution for chopping down from behind, Roberto Pereyra, but the free kick by Deulofeu cannoned off Sanchez in the wall, and from a short corner by Alli to Danny Rose, he was challenged from Pereyra in the area, but no foul was given by referee, Chris Kavanagh. Midway through the first half, Harry Winks linked play with Moura, before a low drive from Alli, was stooped upon by Golden Boys goalkeeper, Ben Foster. Following Christian Kabasele’s through ball, an interception by Jan Vertonghen on Deulofeu, was checked by VAR but no penalty was given, in the thirty eighth minute. Two minutes later, a deep delivery from Toby Alderweireld spun off Moura’s head, and behind the goal. Before the restart, Heung-Min Son replaced Sanchez. In the forty ninth minute, from a pass through by Alli, after cutting past Cathcart, a rising strike by Son, rattled the crossbar. But the Hornets responded as Doucoure found Deulofeu in space, and he pulled the ball back to Pereyra, before Aurier made a vital interception, to put the ball out of play. After Janmaat had a hand ball claim against Alderweireld turned away, Spurs responded when Aurier’s ball through on the right, was struck straight at Foster at his near post from Son. In the sixty second minute, through a Pereyra assist, a low scuff shot by Deulofeu, went past the right post. Spurs then switched Moura with Erik Lamela. Swiftly afterwards, Deulofeu won the ball off Vertonghen and then drifted past Alli, before the ball was struck from Doucoure, out wide to the left. Spurs reply was a lofted ball by Winks, and as the ball bobbled off Kabasele, a corner was conceded by Craig Dawson to keep out Harry Kane. The Lilywhites last change was Tanguy Ndombele for Winks, and after Janmaat had pulled up injured, Kiko Femenia, took up the Watford cause. On seventy three minutes, Lamela’s delivery was just out the reach of the onrushing Alli, as the ball went through to Foster. The next card went to Sissoko for pulling over Deulofeu, who swung the free kick into the clutches of Gazzaniga, in the seventy seventh minute. There was then a VAR check for Kabasele’s challenge on Rose, which was cleared of an offence in the area. After Pereyra went down on two occasions, he was booked for time wasting, before due to injury he was replaced with Will Hughes. But in controversial circumstances, Spurs drew level on eighty six minutes, when from Alderweireld’s delivery there was a mix up with Kane and Kabasele and as Femenia clashed into Foster, who flapped at the cross, the ball was then controlled by Alli with his shoulder, before he turned the ball into the net, the VAR decision first flashed up No Goal on the Tottenham Hotspur stadium TV monitors, before the referee, Kavanagh pointed to the centre circle spot, as VAR then indicated a goal on the Tottenham stadium screens, much to the dismay of the Watford players. Further bookings were made near the end as first Rose got a yellow card for a foul on Hughes, and then tempers frayed towards full time as Jose Holebas and Alli collided, with both players cautioned, as Tottenham Hotspur and Watford had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw.