Watford 1-1 Tottenham: Davinson Sanchez sent off as Spurs are held in ill-tempered draw
By Ben Reynolds
Last Updated: 03/12/17 7:33am
Tottenham were forced to settle for a point at Watford after coming from behind and then having Davinson Sanchez sent off in a feisty 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.
Spurs are now without a win in four Premier League games and suffered another slow start on Saturday as Christian Kabasele's header from Richarlison's corner on 13 minutes gave the Hornets the lead.
The hosts might have then increased their lead had Ben Davies' block on Richarlison in the box been deemed a foul by referee Martin Atkinson, but with their protests still ringing around the ground, Spurs broke down the right and Christian Eriksen's pinpoint cross was met by Heung-Min Son (24) at the far post.
But Spurs' hopes were dealt a huge blow when Sanchez was deemed to have raised his elbow into Richarlison's face on 52 minutes and although the visitors continued to venture forward in search of a much-needed win, neither side could find the quality to earn the win, with Spurs' Eric Dier perhaps lucky to survive a handball shout in the final seconds.
Watford: Gomes (7), Prodl (7), Mariappa (7), Cleverley (7), Deeney (7), Richarlison (7), Doucoure (8), Femenia (6), Zeegelaar (6), Kabasele (7), Pereyra (6)
Subs: Karnezis, Janmaat, Wague, Gray, Watson, Carrillo, Capoue
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Trippier (6), Vertonghen (7), Sanchez (5), Davies (6), Dier (7), Dembele (7), Dele (6), Eriksen (7), Son (7), Kane (7)
Subs: Lamela (6), Sissoko (6), Winks (6)
Man of the match: Abdoulaye Doucouré
Spurs, guilty of conceding early in recent Premier League games, started well and might have opened the scoring on five minutes when Kieran Trippier's first-time cross somehow evaded Harry Kane's stretch and rolled to safety.
But they fell behind to Watford's first attack of the game. Dier thought he was fouled on the edge of the Watford box, but as Atkinson waved play on, Watford broke and won a corner, from which Kabasele rose highest amid a static Spurs defence to head home Richarlison's cross.
Spurs continued to press and Kane's clipped pass over the top almost found a stretching Dele Alli, before Eriksen did find his man - Son left with a simple finish for his fifth goal of the season.
That goal seemed to rock Watford, who began to give the ball away needlessly, but Spurs could not capitalise and their bid for a first Premier League win since November 5 suffered a huge blow when Sanchez was shown a straight red card for raising his arm into the face of Richarlison as he tried to break.
Watford made two changes for Spurs' visit, with Roberto Pereyra and Troy Deeney coming in for Will Hughes, who was out with a hamstring injury, while Andre Gray dropped to the bench.
Spurs arrived having made three changes to the team that lost to Leicester, with the full-backs swapping out allowing Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies to return, while Moussa Sissoko dropped down to the bench as Heung-Min Son started.
That sparked a frantic period, with Abdoulaye Doucouré curling a brilliant first-time effort against the inside of Hugo Lloris' post from 25 yards while Spurs remained a threat on the break - Moussa Sissoko seeing his powerful run and shot deflected wide.
But it was Watford who looked more likely late on and they were furious that Dier was not punished for what looked handball in the box in the dying seconds as Spurs held on.
- Heung-Min Son has scored four goals and assisted two more in his last seven starts in all competitions for Tottenham.
- Christian Kabasele has scored two goals in 14 Premier League games this season, equalling his tally from last season in 16 appearances. All four of his goals in the competition have come from corner situations.
- Spurs have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven PL games, after registering four shut-outs in the five games before that.
- Tottenham have been shown two red cards in their last 10 Premier League games, as many as in their previous 111 in the competition.
Man of the match - Abdoulaye Doucoure
So solid in that Watford midfield and did well to deny Spurs' playmakers any space. Very unlucky not to score with a wonderful effort from range that cannoned back off the inside of Hugo Lloris' post.
Marco Silva: "The last-minute decision is a clear penalty, but it was a tough day for both teams and for the referee as well.
"It was a good attitude from both teams. We had a game against Brighton here and we had 10 players for almost 70 minutes and we didn't lose. We tried to win the game, we had chances, like Tottenham had as well. We did everything to try to win.
"It is most important we keep working hard to improve our team and to improve as players. We started well this season but we have a lot of work to do and we have to keep going."
Mauricio Pochettino: "It's a difficult feeling to play more than 40 minutes with 10 men.
"We did well because we did not concede chances. We were brave and we tried to go forward. The performance was very good under the circumstances.
"We dominated the first half, we were much much better and then we conceded a goal with their first chance. But the team was always fighting and trying to win. I am happy with the performance. We wanted to win but under the circumstances I am happy."
Watford have a clear week before travelling to Burnley in the Premier League next Saturday, while Tottenham host Apoel Nicosia in a Champions League dead rubber on Wednesday before welcoming Stoke City to Wembley next Saturday.