West Brom 2-2 Watford: Richarlison salvages draw
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 30/09/17 8:38pm
Richarlison's 94th-minute header earned Watford an unlikely point after coming back from two goals down against West Brom at The Hawthorns.
The Hornets, who remain unbeaten away from home this season, began the game the better of the two sides, but two goals in the space of three minutes gave West Brom a commanding lead through Salomon Rondon and Jonny Evans.
Andre Carrillo had a glorious chance to halve the deficit when he somehow headed over from two yards out, but Abdoulaye Doucoure's goal gave Marcos Silva's side hope.
West Brom: Foster (6), Gibbs (7), Evans (7), Hegazi (6), Dawson (6), Brunt (7), Barry (6), Krychowiak (7), Phillips (6), Rodriguez (6), Rondon (7)
Subs: Livermore (6), Robson-Kanu (7), McClean (6)
Watford: Gomes (6), Mariappa (6), Femenia (7), Holebas (8), Kabasele (7), Capoue (6), Doucoure (7), Cleverley (6), Carrillo (6), Richarlison (9), Deeney (7)
Subs: Pereyra (6), Gray (6)
Man of the match: Richarlison
Just when it seemed Tony Pulis' side had done enough to hold out for the three points, Richarlison was on hand to head in Jose Holebas' cross to rescue a dramatic point.
Despite Watford's early possession, Marco Silva's side lacked a cutting edge, and it was through the hosts' greater directness that they took the lead.
Grzegorz Krychowiak launched a 40-yard pass downfield into the path of Rondon, and the Venezuelan striker out-muscled Christian Kabasele before firing low beyond Heurelho Gomes at his near post - only his second strike of 2017.
West Brom made three changes. Allan Nyom, Jake Livermore and Hal Robson-Kanu were replaced by Chris Brunt, Matt Phillips and Salomon Rondon. Watford made one change to the side that beat Swansea 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium last time out. In came Troy Deeney up front for Andre Gray, with the striker captaining the side.
Things got even better for the Baggies minutes later as Matt Phillips, on his return to the side, produced a teasing corner that flicked off the head of Doucoure into the path of the grateful Evans to head in on the goal-line.
Ahmed Hegazi, who would have converted had Evans not done so himself, then had the chance to stretch Albion's lead, but the Egyptian headed over at the far post from Chris Brunt's corner.
The escape appeared to belatedly spark Watford into life, as the dangerous Richarlison delivered a low but fierce cross onto the head of Carrillo but the Peruvian somehow headed over from underneath the crossbar.
But the Hornets did drag themselves back into the contest after 37 minutes as Doucoure latched onto Richarlison's pass to fire low into the bottom corner past Foster via a deflection off Evans - his third goal of the season.
Gareth Barry was forced into making two crucial blocks from two fierce drives from Etienne Capoue in quick succession before Holebas' corner was missed by Christian Kabasele at the far post.
But after Holebas had produced a superb last-ditch challenge on substitute James McClean, the experienced Greek full-back produced the perfect delivery in the final minute of stoppage time for Richarlison to rise above Hal Robson-Kanu to level.
- Watford are still unbeaten away from home in the Premier League this season (W3 D1 L0).
- This was the first time that West Brom failed to win a Premier League match that they were two goals ahead in since nearly two years to the day (WBA 2-3 Everton - 28th September 2015).
- Abdoulaye Doucouré has scored three goals in seven Premier League appearances for Watford this season. The only top-flight campaign in which he's scored more is 2013-14 (6 in 20 apps) for Rennes in Ligue 1.
- Richarlison has scored in the 90th minute in two successive Premier League games - without those goals, Watford would be three points worse off.
Tony Pulis: "We should have been more set up, but it's not a free-kick. James McClean actually plays the ball. Oliver is in a great position to see that. And see where the ball goes, it goes straight back to Craig. It's a game of challenges, it's a good old-fashioned slide-tackle. Again, that's time. He played a minute overtime in the first half and in the second half. It's games we should be winning, and we're disappointed we haven't."
Marco Silva: "Everybody who watched this game would agree we deserved to take points. We took only one, but I think we deserved more. We came here to play our game, and our football. We knew before this match, playing against West Brom it would be a risk to play our game. We always play to take three points. This is our mentality and ambition every time, and to take four points from our past two games away is important for us.'
The pundit - Charlie Nicholas
"Watford were very good today. Two goals down after 27 minutes, they showed great character. Richarlison must've got seven or eight knocks, he was different class today, absolutely outstanding.
"You know how physical it is with this West Brom side, but he was in their brave and he was in there where it mattered. Watford are a good side, they're neat and tidy and they certainly deserved a point.
"West Brom were quite happy to sit in defend, and it just didn't happen for them. Tony Pulis will have issues with his defenders, they don't normally concede late goals in those situations."
Man of the match - Richarlison
Watford's fightback from 2-0 down was spearheaded by the impressive Brazilian, who added another goal and an assist to his bright start to life in the Premier League.
Tony Pulis had clearly told his players to get tighter on him at half-time, as the £11.2m signing from Fluminense took several knocks during the second period.
But he was not to be denied as he showed his predatory instinct to head home from Jose Holebas' cross in the dying seconds.
West Brom travel to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Monday Night Football, following the international break, on October 16.
Watford host Arsenal at Vicarage Road two days earlier.