Watford 2-2 Southampton: Abdoulaye Doucoure scores late equaliser with his hand
By Will Unwin
Last Updated: 13/01/18 7:26pm
Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a late, controversial equaliser to earn Watford a dramatic 2-2 draw against Southampton.
Midfielder James Ward-Prowse scored twice for Mauricio Pellegrino's side in the first half (20, 44) but Andre Gray pulled one back for Watford just before the hour mark, before Doucoure levelled things up in the last minute, stooping to head home but sweeping in with his arm.
Southampton's protestations to referee Roger East were lengthy but to no avail, with a draw leaving them just one point above the relegation zone.
Watford: Gomes (7), Janmaat (7), Wague (6), Kabasele (7), Zeegelaar (6), Cleverley (5), Doucoure (6), Watson (5), Carrillo (6), Richarlison (6), Gray (7).
Subs: Pereyra (6), Deeney (8), Okaka (7)
Southampton: : McCarthy (7), Soares (6), Stephens (6), Hoedt (7), Bertrand (7), Hojberg (7), Romeu (7), Ward-Prowse (8), Tadic (7), Davis (6), Long (7).
Subs: Lemina (6), Boufal (n/a), Sims (n/a)
Man of the match: Troy Deeney
Ward-Prowse's first goal came thanks to determined work from Shane Long down the right who pulled the ball from the right for the midfielder to calmly slot home.
Southampton centre-back Wesley Hoedt almost made it 2-0 in the 26th minute when he decided to try and chip Heurelho Gomes from 40 yards but the goalkeeper just about got back in time to divert the ball away.
The home team were second best in every department, summed up by Daryl Janmaat losing a 50-50 with Tadic, allowing the Southampton man to cross for Long who would have scored if it wasn't for a last-ditch block from Marvin Zeegelaar.
It was Long's work-rate which brought the second goal as he raced onto a clearance, before playing in Dusan Tadic who held the ball until Ward-Prowse reached the area and the laid it off so he could get his second of the match.
Following their FA Cup escapades last week, there were a few changes for both teams. There were three changes for Watford as Ben Watson, Richarlison and Andre Gray came in for Etienne Capoue, Roberto Pereyra and Troy Deeney. Mauricio Pellegrino mixed things up at the back by replacing Jan Bednarek and Maya Yoshida with Cedric Soares and Wesley Hoedt, while Dusan Tadic came in for Sofiane Boufal further up the pitch.
Troy Deeney's half-time introduction made Watford look a more dangerous side, and he set up Janmaat for a shot which Alex McCarthy had to tip onto the bar, only for Gray to head home the rebound from three yards out.
After considerable pressure from Watford, Doucoure finally made it pay when he latched onto a chipped pass from Deeney in the 90th minute, but the midfielder missed the ball with his head so palmed it beyond the onrushing Alex McCarthy.
There were protestations aplenty from Southampton and Doucoure looked sheepish as he ran off to celebrate after a quick look at the assistant referee but the goal stood.
The draw means Southampton, who sit in 16th place, have not won in the last 10 games, while Watford are in 10th.
Marco Silva: "Everybody has seen the goal, I don't need to talk about the goal. Something can happen, and this season we've had other moments when the decisions are against us, but that is football. I understand Southampton, I understand their manager, they are unhappy like I was more than one time in games when mistakes are against us."
Mauricio Pellegrino: "It [the handball] is so clear, the linesman is there but there's nothing we can do. We expect this that they will react, especially with direct play with the strikers but I think we controlled well much of the time but with this direct action we didn't have this fortune that you need to win this type of game
"For us it is difficult to analyse as they didn't create many chances. But for long ball, second ball, they've got strong players and every single action is dangerous.
"We made a couple of mistakes in the second-half but even with this we didn't deserve to draw this game."
- The Hornets have recovered eight points from losing positions at Vicarage Road in the Premier League this term - only Everton (9) have rescued more on home soil.
- Southampton are winless in their last 10 games in the Premier League; their longest run without a win in the competition since January 2005 (also 10 games).
- Watford have conceded 25 goals at Vicarage Road in the Premier League this season - the most of any side in home games.
- James Ward-Prowse netted his first double in the Premier League since January 2016 (v West Brom), which was his only previous one in the competition.
- Dusan Tadic recorded his 27th Premier League assist for Southampton in this game - only Matt Le Tissier (64) has made more for the Saints in the competition.
- Southampton conceded their 1000th goal in the Premier League following Watford's equaliser - becoming the seventh team in competition history to do so.
- Andre Gray scored his first goal for Watford at Vicarage Road, in what is his 12th appearance there in all competitions for the Hornets.
- Abdoulaye Doucoure has scored more goals (7) and more home goals (4) than any other Watford player in the Premier League this term.
In a week's time, Watford will travel to face Leicester.
Southampton have a tough task ahead of them on Sunday, January 21 when they host Tottenham, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Man of the match - Troy Deeney
The Watford skipper was inspirational after he came off the bench at half-time. Deeney brought increased physicality and guile in the final third as Watford played with two strikers in the second half. He was involved in both goals even if the second one should not have stood.