Quique Sánchez Flores had overlooked all of this – the thrills, the spills and the very abnormal insanity that can flip most useful League soccer suits into the maximum gripping of spectacles.
The returning Watford supervisor watched his group lose their grip in the first half and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang mete out the punishment with a pair of trademark finishes. The Arsenal striker now has 5 goals in 5 suits this season and his complete report at the London membership bears attention – he has 45 in 70 appearances throughout all competitions.
Sport over? Not at all. Now not while Arsenal preserve to deal with the belief of shielding well with such disdain. Unai Emery’s group were the architects of their personal downfall and their simplest fortune changed into that Watford did now not leave with all 3 factors.
Watford had the chances in the course of a breathless finale while the tremendous Gerard Deulofeu fired inches off track and Tom Cleverley noticed a shot deflect huge off David Luiz earlier than, at the final, Abdoulaye Doucouré blew a gilt-edged possibility, taking pictures too close to Bernd Leno.
Arsenal’s fixation with playing short passes out from the lower back on goal-kicks had brought about more than one flutters, serving to transfer the momentum to Watford and, after they got it horribly incorrect on 53 minutes, it supplied the home team with a path back into the sport.
Leno played a deadball square to Sokratis Papastathopoulos on the nook of the six-backyard box however, whilst he looked for Mattéo Guendouzi, Deulofeu caught out a boot and diverted it to Cleverley. The midfielder banged home a low shot.
Emery had switched from his midfield diamond to a 4-2-three-1 formation in an try to near out the very last 20 minutes or so and there has been some thing darkly comedian approximately how his crew have been undone at the spoil for the equaliser.
Nicolas Pépé were denied by Ben Foster however when Watford countered, Arsenal had been uncovered. More particularly, David Luiz became uncovered. The Watford substitute, Roberto Pereyra, ran at him and, while David Luiz retreated, he entered his personal vicinity. Then, he spent time a leg at Pereyra and watched him tumble. It became a clean penalty.
Pereyra picked himself up to score and, even though it should have been more in the long run, Flores may want to revel in a tangible praise from his first suit lower back on the club that he controlled in the 2015-sixteen season. One thing changed into plain. If Watford maintain to play with such power and character, they’ll quickly upward push from the foot of the division.
There has been a great deal for Flores to experience, no longer least the statistic that confirmed his group had rained 31 tries at the Arsenal intention. They pressed remorselessly within the 2d half of, suffocating their combatants, refusing to permit them to play.
However for Emery, the evaluation turned into alternatively much less type. He become criticised for the choice to replacement Dani Ceballos at the hour and his clarification that it turned into a “particularly warm” day was merely considered one of his submit-in shape feedback that were hard to understand. Ceballos, who had proven lovely stability and ideal touches, hails from sunny Spain.
But the most scathing feedback worried what took place in Arsenal’s protective third, wherein Papastathopoulos and David Luiz had to undergo the brunt of the obligation. Graeme Souness, the Sky television pundit, stated Arsenal had performed like a “semi-professional group” within the second 1/2 and it was hard to disagree.
Emery had started with a midfield diamond that featured Mesut Özil, playing his first sport of the season.
Ceballos stretched right into a undertaking on Will Hughes and, when the Watford midfielder went down, his teammates stopped, inexcusably. It changed into rarely a for the reason that a free-kick could be offered. At the contrary. Sead Kolasinac did not forestall. He charged ahead, rolled the ball to Aubameyang and the striker did the relaxation, taking a hint, spinning and summoning strength with minimal backlift to beat Foster in the near post.
Aubameyang would have fun again shortly afterwards and this time, Özil became the author. The burden on his bypass that lacerated the Watford defence and freed Ainsley Maitland-Niles became ideal; the proper-back crossed low and Aubameyang tapped home.
Watford were the better team within the establishing 20 minutes, while Cleverley extended Leno and José Holebas lifted wastefully over the crossbar, and they got here to experience that Arsenal have been prone when gambling out from the lower back. The traffic took extremely good risks and Guendouzi twice got away with it after giving freely possession on the brink of his vicinity. It turned into fantastic there were ironic cheers from the journeying lovers at the rare event one in every of their gamers released a clearance long.
Watford grew to become the screw after Cleverley’s goal. The bogus, Ismaila Sarr, rolled David Luiz and shot wide and Arsenal were left to dangle on. Once again, there had been grave questions about Arsenal’s intellectual sturdiness. Emery has a great deal to contemplate.