Arsenal 2-0 Watford: Two late goals from Unai Emery’s side means Gunners show cojones to overcome Troy Deeney’s Hornets
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Arsenal hosted Watford at the Emirates on Saturday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match report.
Two late goals sealed Arsenal’s seventh win on the bounce to beat Watford 2-0 at the Emirates on Saturday.
A Craig Cathcart own goal after substitute Alex Iwobi’s cross on 81 minutes was followed up 120 seconds later by a Mesut Ozil strike to seal the win.
It was little more than a determined Gunners side deserved after the eventually broke down dogged Hornets resistance.
Emile Smith Rowe did not make the squad much to the disappointment fans who have been thrilled by his exciting breakthrough since the summer after he picked up a hip injury during his first start in the midweek League Cup win over Brentford and will be assessed.
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Defender Sokratis failed to recover from a dead leg as Rob Holding started his second match in a week after his run-out against the Bees on Wednesday.
Watford made one change ahead of kick-off as Marc Navarro made his debut in place of Daryl Janmaat who was ruled out of action until November after suffering a knee injury this week.
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Unai Emery’s side went in the match with six wins on the bounce, having shown ‘cojones’ as they set about building momentum after the disappointment of the two defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea to start the season.
Javi Gracia’s fourth-placed Hornet’s started the match two spots ahead of the North Londoners on a gloriously sunny autumnal afternoon in N5.
Boss Gracia said before the match his side would be going into the game with confidence, after having made such a good start, even if they had failed to win their last two matches having won the previous three.
The home side should have gone 1-0 up after 15 minutes following a good break from striker Alexandre Lacazette after he pounced on an error from Craig Cathcart, but his chip went narrowly wide of Ben Foster’s far post.
It was a rare aberration from the lively forward who had hit five goals in the previous four home matches at the Emirates.
The former Lyon striker refused to become downhearted even when he failed to get on the end of a nod down by Henrikh Mkhitaryan seven minutes later.
Cech showed bravery when blocking from Deeney in a crowded box, injuring himself in the process, leading to Bernd Leno replacing him moments before half-time for his Premier League bow.
The former Bayer Leverkusen shotstopper showed excellent anticipation and footwork immediately after the interval to get down and across - allied with strong hands - to block Deeney’s flick, underling just why Sven Mslintat was so keen to snap him up.
Arsenal eventually broke the deadlock after Cathcart was pressured into putting the ball into his own net minutes before the final whistle after good work from Lacazette following Iwobi’s cross before Ozil clinched the three points two minutes later to cap a good month for Emery – who must surely be the favourite for manager of the month.