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Key Events

90' + 2'
T. Cleverley
Goal
2 - 1
85'
R. Holding
L. Koscielny
71'
T. Deeney
Penalty Goal
1 - 1
64'
C. Kabasele
Yellow Card
39'
P. Mertesacker
G. Xhaka
0 - 1

Match Stats

Possession
46% 53%
6
3
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 2 6
Total Passes 465 552
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Key

UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Relegation

Commentary

A huge roar erupts around the stadium as the referee blows his whistle for the final time. Watford really struggled in the first half but were excellent after the introduction of Deeney, who completely changed the game and caused all sorts of problems for a disappointing Arsenal side. Arsene Wenger will rightly argue about the penalty that shouldn't have been awarded, but he can't have any complains about Cleverley's late goal.
FULL-TIME: WATFORD 2-1 ARSENAL
90' + 4' A hopeful lofted pass is thumped up towards the edge of the Watford penalty area and manages to pick out Mertesacker, who rises high and gets a head on the ball but nods it comfortably wide of the goal. That should be that for the home side, who are seconds away from picking up an excellent victory.
T. Cleverley
Goal
90' + 2' GOAL! Watford have surely won the game right at the death! Two thumping strikes are fired towards goal but are just about deflected away by Mertesacker on both occasions. The ball eventually drops to Cleverley, who quickly shoots and fires his first-time strike into the roof of the net. What an end to the game!
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be four minutes of added time.
89' Bellerin twists and turns over on the right-hand side of the Watford box before trying to pick out Giroud with a floated cross into the heart of the penalty area, but Kabasele is there to nod the ball behind for a corner that's well dealt with by the home side.
87' Carrillo goes close! Poor play by Arsenal over on the right flank sees them lose the ball and set up Carrillo to shoot from the edge of the penalty area, but the Peruvian's shot is slightly wild and sails a few yards over the top of the crossbar.
R. Holding
L. Koscielny
85' It looks as if Koscielny may be struggling with a slight injury, and he's been forced off to be replaced by Rob Holding.
84' Huge opportunity for Richarlison! A great cross from Holebas loops into the heart of the Arsenal penalty area and manages to pick out Richarlison, who is able to spin and get a shot away but sends it flying over the top of the crossbar from close range.
83' Capoue hits the post! Richarlison and Deeney link up well over on the left-hand side of the Arsenal penalty area before the latter spins and finds Capoue. The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder immediately shoots, and his effort ends up deflecting away from Cech and onto the far post.
E. Capoue
R. Pereyra
81' Watford have made their third and final change, with Etienne Capoue coming on to take the place of Pereyra.
79' Great chance for Monreal to put Arsenal back in front! Xhaka breaks into the Watford box and quickly tees up Monreal, who is presented with a wonderful opportunity to get a shot away. He doesn't pull the trigger quickly enough, however, and Pereyra is then able to poke the ball away from the defender at the vital moment.
77' A lofted pass is fired up towards the Arsenal box and manages to pick out Richarlison in a good position, but he ends up barging Koscielny to the ground as he tries to control the ball and gives away a free-kick before he can penetrate the penalty area.
75' Richarlison goes close! Deeney brings the ball down really well over on the left flank and out-muscles his marker before setting up Richarlison, who quickly shoots but fires his thumping strike into the side-netting.
73' Arsenal immediately fly forward on a quick attack through Kolasinac as they try to find a way back in front once again, but the wing-back's cross ends up deflecting off both a defender and his knee before bouncing behind for a goal-kick.
T. Deeney
Penalty Goal
71' GOAL! Deeney steps up and comfortably dispatches the penalty with an excellent strike that easily beats Cech. Game on!
71' PENALTY! Richarlison breaks into the left-hand side of the Arsenal penalty area on a great run before going down under a tackle from Bellerin, and the referee immediately points to the spot. It didn't look like there was much contact made, and Bellerin is absolutely furious with the decision made.
70' What a chance for Ozil to make it 2-0! The German is left all alone on the edge of the Watford penalty area and has a great opportunity to double Arsenal's lead, but he ends up firing his strike straight into the hands of Gomes in the middle of the goal. He really should have buried that!
69' The ball pinballs around the Arsenal penalty area dangerously as Watford desperately try to find an equaliser, but the visitors are just about able to clear the danger before anyone can get a shot away. The home side are doing well to put the Gunners under plenty of pressure.
O. Giroud
A. Lacazette
68' Arsenal have made their first alteration of the night, with Lacazette making way for Olivier Giroud up front.
66' Richarlison does well to carve out a pocket of space for himself deep down the left flank as he tries to get himself into a position to cross, but he ends up running out of pitch and knocks the ball behind for a goal-kick.
C. Kabasele
Yellow Card
64' Kabasele caught Lacazette from behind with a clumsy challenge in the build-up to Arsenal's last chance on goal, and he's shown a yellow card once the attacking move eventually comes to an end.
63' What a save by Gomes! Ozil makes an immediate impact as he sends a lovely through-ball into the home side's penalty area and towards Iwobi, who takes on Gomes but sees his quick strike tipped round the far post.
A. Carrillo
A. Mariappa
62' And the second is Andre Carrillo, with Mariappa making way. Watford are going to switch to a back four.
T. Deeney
A. Gray
62' Watford have decided to make a double substitution as they try to find a way back into the game. The first player to come on is Troy Deeney, who takes the place of the ineffectual Gray.
M. Özil
D. Welbeck
61' Welbeck will play no further part in the game, and he's replaced by Ozil for the final half an hour.
60' Things don't look good for Welbeck, who has gone down off the ball and really seems to be struggling with what could be a nasty muscle strain. Mesut Ozil is getting ready and could come on to replace the forward.
59' Holebas lifts a dangerous, looping cross over to the far post that almost manages to pick out Doucoure, who rises high and tries to reach the ball but has it pushed away from his head by Cech at the vital moment.
58' Welbeck muscles his way into the right-hand side of the hosts' box after initially getting the better of Holebas, but the Greek defender does well to recover quickly and knock the forward off the ball before he can get a shot away.
57' Once again, Lacazette gets himself into a good position on the break before trying to set up Welbeck inside the Watford penalty area, but the Frenchman's pass is overhit and rolls out for a goal-kick before it's able to set up his team-mate.
55' An attempted Watford attacking move breaks down, allowing Arsenal to counter-attack quickly. Lacazette initially does well to dart through the middle of the pitch before trying to tee up Iwobi, but his pass is poorly hit and well defended by Kabasele on the edge of the box.
53' Richarlison goes close! The Brazilian isn't closed down quickly enough out wide and gets the better of Bellerin before cutting onto his right foot and shooting, but his strike isn't hit well enough and bounces a few yards wide of the far post.
51' After clearing the ball without too many problems, Watford push forward on a quick counter-attack. Richarlison darts through the middle of the pitch and finds himself in plenty of space before taking on Monreal, who stands his ground and easily manages to dispossess the forward.
50' Femenia is put under pressure by Welbeck and ends up knocking the ball behind for a corner. The set-piece is whipped into the Watford box and towards the near post, where the home side are easily able to deal with the danger.
48' Gray and Holebas both make great runs through the Arsenal back line and towards the penalty area as they try to latch onto a lofted pass forward from Miguel Britos, but the Watford striker starts his run slightly too early and is quickly flagged offside.
47' Watford enjoy a good start to the second half and win themselves a throw-in deep down the left wing. The ball is launched in by Holebas and loops towards the near post, where it's easily collected by Cech under very little pressure from yellow shirts.
46' We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
It's been a disappointing game for Watford so far, as they're struggling to find much joy inside the final third of the pitch due to slow and lacklustre play. Arsenal, on the other hand, have broken at speed when they've had the opportunity to do so, with Bellerin looking particularly dangerous out wide. As a results, it's they who head into the half-time break with a well-deserved lead, and it's one the hosts may struggle to cancel out if they don't soon improve.
HALF-TIME: WATFORD 0-1 ARSENAL
45' + 3' Xhaka eventually steps up and curls a cross into the middle of the box, but it's poorly hit by the midfielder and the ball is easily headed away from danger by Christian Kabasele.
45' + 2' Lacazette is clumsily caught by Mariappa as he tries to skip past the defender, resulting in a free-kick for Arsenal in a dangerous position 25 yards away from the Watford goal. The Frenchman looks to be in quite a bit of pain after landing awkwardly, and he'll have to make his way off the pitch to receive further medical treatment.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
44' Xhaka is able to get another shot away after being left in space by the Watford midfielders, but, once again, it's comfortably saved by Gomes and fails to get the better of the Brazilian at the near post.
43' And now Bellerin goes close! Arsenal keep pushing forward and do well to carve out another chance on goal, but this time it's Bellerin who sends his effort just wide of the far post. They're putting Watford under plenty of pressure whenever they're penetrating the final third of the pitch.
42' Thumping strike by Xhaka! The Switzerland international is left in a pocket of space 25 yards away from goal and manages to get a shot away, but it's well saved by Gomes and pushed wide of the goal.
41' Watford quickly push forward from the restart as they try to find an immediate way back into the game, but Richarlison can't make decent contact with the ball once again and the ball ends up bouncing straight into the hands of Petr Cech.
G. Xhaka
Assist
39' Xhaka's ball into the middle of the box was brilliantly placed and perfectly picked out Mertesacker, but Watford should have done much better to deal with the big German, who got the better of Cleverley far too easily.
P. Mertesacker
Goal
39' GOAL! Mertesacker heads Arsenal in front! The visitors win themselves a corner after Iwobi puts Holebas under pressure and forces the Greek defender into poking the ball behind. It's whipped in by Xhaka and picks out Mertesacker, who rises high and marks his return to the starting line-up with a bullet header. That's his first league goal since December 2013!
38' Richarlison makes a good run into the Arsenal box and manages to latch onto a chipped pass forward from Cleverley, but he can't make decent contact with the ball and sends his attempted headed effort well wide of the goal.
36' Arsenal come back once again, with Iwobi finding plenty of space deep down the right wing. He gets the better of his marker and cuts onto his left foot before fizzing a cross-cum-shot towards goal, where it's easily cut out by Gomes.
34' Great interception by Holebas! Lacazette somehow manages to muscle his way into the left-hand side of the Watford penalty area before chipping a pass over to Welbeck, who tries to shoot but loses out to an excellent clearance from Holebas.
33' A heavy touch from Mertesacker knocks the ball out for a throw-oin midway inside the Arsenal half of the pitch. It's sent short and eventually worked up to Gray, who tries to tee up Pereyra on the edge of the penalty area but can't quite pick out the Uruguayan.
31' After a couple of minutes on the back foot, Arsenal are able to push forward on a patient attacking move. Lacazette and Iwobi link up nicely before Welbeck is set up inside the penalty area, but Mariappa is there to dispossess the forward with a great piece of defending.
29' Thumping strike by Mohamed Elneny! The Egyptian receives the ball in a pocket of space 25 yards away from goal and quickly shoots, and his effort is a great one that flies just a yard or so over the top of the crossbar.
28' Vital tackle by Bellerin! Richarlison embarks on an excellent run as he flies forward on a quick counter-attack out wide. He easily gets the better of Koscielny as he makes his way into the box, but Bellerin does really well to dart back and dispossess the Brazilian with a brilliantly timed sliding tackle.
26' Iwobi fires a long pass down the right wing and into the path of Bellerin, who rushes towards the ball just outside of the Arsenal penalty area but loses out to Heurelho Gomes, who darts out of the box to deal with the danger.
24' Richarlison goes close! Another excellent cross penetrates the Arsenal box and causes all sorts of problems, but Richarlison can't quite make contact with the ball in front of goal and the visitors hold on once again.
22' Pereyra spins round his marker over on the right wing before cutting inside on a great run. He then tries to tee up Gray with a through-ball towards the penalty area, but it's slightly underhit and easily dealt with by the visitors.
20' Holebas sends a dangerous cross into the Arsenal penalty area that manages to pick out Tom Cleverley on the edge of the box, where the midfielder is quickly put under pressure and is forced into playing the ball all the way back to the halfway line.
18' Richarlison and Jose Holebas link up well over on the left flank, setting up the latter to poke a pass into the path of Abdoulaye Doucoure. The midfielder cuts inside and gets the better of Bellerin before firing a fierce cross into the box, where Pereyra gets a head on the ball but can't send his effort towards goal.
16' Monreal pushes up to the halfway line and tries to pick out Welbeck with a quick pass down the right wing, but Mariappa does really well to get a foot on the ball before it can find the forward in a pocket of space.
14' Richarlison makes a real nuisance of himself as he skips into the left-hand side of the Arsenal box and fizzes a dangerous pass across the face of goal. It looks set to find Andre Gray, but Per Mertesacker is there to make sure it doesn't.
13' Vital interception by Adrian Mariappa! A wonderful lofted pass from Xhaka sails over to the left-hand side of the Watford penalty area and picks out Sead Kolasinac, who immediately tries to tee up Welbeck but loses out to Mariappa at the near post.
12' Almost a chance for Lacazette! Iwobi bursts forward through the middle of the pitch before teeing up Bellerin deep down the right flank. The Spaniard quickly curls a dangerous cross into the heart of the box, where the ball sails just over the head of Lacazette.
11' Richarlison eventually has his hand patched up and is able to rejoin the action. Watford try to push forward through the Brazilian over on the left channel, where he tries to skip past Koscielny but loses out to the centre-back on the edge of the penalty area.
9' Richarlison looks to be in quite a lot of discomfort after landing awkwardly while battling for the ball with Alex Iwobi. He seemed to receive a boot on the hand from the Arsenal man as he landed onto an outstretched arm. The Watford medical team are currently patching up the Brazilian as they try to get him back into the game.
7' Alexandre Lacazette makes a clever run into the right-hand side of the Watford penalty area and latches onto a pass forward from Hector Bellerin. He then whips a cross into the heart of the box, where it's well dealt with by the home side.
5' Granit Xhaka gives the ball away midway inside the visitors' half of the pitch and allows Pereyra to swing a cross into the Arsenal penalty area. It's well hit by the Uruguayan, but Laurent Koscielny is there to clear the danger with a diving header.
3' Watford knock the ball around nicely deep inside the Arsenal half of the pitch as they put the visitors under decent early pressure. Roberto Pereyra is almost able to tee up Kiko Femenia with a clever flick, but Nacho Monreal is just about able to deal with the danger at the vital moment.
1' We're off! Watford get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has made four alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez making way for Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Mohamed Elneny and Danny Welbeck. The start is Mertesacker's first in the Premier League since April 2016.
Marco Silva has decided to make three changes to the Watford side that started the draw away to West Brom two weeks ago, with Miguel Britos, Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray coming in the starting line-up to replace Etienne Capoue, Andre Carillo and Troy Deeney, respectively.
Arsenal substitutes: Ospina, Holding, Coquelin, Wilshere, Walcott, Ozil, Giroud.
Arsenal XI (3-4-2-1): Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Elneny, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Iwobi, Welbeck; Lacazette.
Watford substitutes: Karnezis, Wague, Janmaat, Carrillo, Watson, Capoue, Deeney.
Watford XI (4-2-3-1): Gomes; Femenia, Mariappa, Britos, Holebas; Doucoure, Kabasele; Pereyra, Cleverley, Richarlison; Gray.
There’s just under 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this today…
Arsene Wenger has had to deal with off-the-pitch matters involving the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in recent weeks, and the Chilean isn’t even in the match day squad today. Summer signing Alexandre Lacazette has impressed in his absence, and the Frenchman starts again today as he goes in search of a fifth league goal of the campaign.
Back-to-back defeats against Stoke City and Liverpool left many people thinking it could be another long and disappointing season for Arsenal, but they head into today’s clash unbeaten in four Premier League games and searching for their third consecutive victory. Across all competitions that unbeaten streak stands at seven games, setting the Gunners up nicely for this afternoon’s tricky contest.
The 6-0 thrashing suffered at the hands of hands of league leaders Manchester City could have derailed Watford’s season and damaged their confidence, but the Hornets did well to bounce back with a 2-1 win against Swansea City and a nervy draw away to West Bromwich Albion. Richarlison scored late goals in both outings, and the in-form Brazilian could prove to be a real handful again this afternoon.
After suffering a lacklustre campaign under Walter Mazzarri, Watford are thoroughly enjoying themselves this season and head into today’s game just one point behind Chelsea. Marco Silva has made an immediate impact at the club since joining from Hull City, and the Portuguese will be aiming to mastermind another impressive performance today as they go in search of their fourth league victory in eight outings.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Premier League game between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road.