Bournemouth 2-2 Watford: Cherries twice come from behind to salvage a point
Last Updated: 21/01/17 6:40pm
Bournemouth twice came from behind to rescue a point against Watford in an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
Watford twice took advantage of Bournemouth's defensive frailties from set-pieces as Christian Kabasele and Troy Deeney put the Hornets ahead from corners.
However, goals from Josh King and a late Benik Afobe strike meant a share of the spoils.
A point each does neither manager many favours as it stretches Bournemouth's run without a Premier League win to three matches and Watford's to seven.
The Hornets had lost their last five away Premier League games and the pressure has been growing on boss Walter Mazzarri. He handed Tom Cleverley his first start since joining from Everton in the only change from the 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough.
Eddie Howe, whose team have now conceded 11 goals in their last four games, freshened his attacking options up from the 3-1 defeat at Hull by bringing in King and Callum Wilson.
Heurelho Gomes passed a late fitness test to play and was called upon in the early stages to claw over a looping Ryan Fraser header following a neat pass from Jack Wilshere.
Watford rarely tested Artur Boruc but towered above their counterparts at set-pieces. That muscular advantage was on show when they took the lead on 24 minutes.
A corner from the right was headed back across goal by Miguel Britos and Kabasele was on hand to head home for his third goal of the season.
Howe would have wanted a response at half-time and his team delivered three minutes after the break.
Adam Smith sparked into life down the right flank, beating two men, including nutmegging Kabasele, before firing a low cross into the six-yard box which was swept home by King.
The goal lifted Bournemouth's energy as they started to win all the second balls in midfield. Wilshere fed Fraser inside the box but his curling effort was clawed away by Gomes.
With the Cherries sensing another goal, Watford - yet again - scored against the run of play from a set-piece.
Deeney rose highest from a left-wing corner to take advantage of some weak Boruc goalkeeping and flick a header home - his 101st goal for Watford.
The home crowd would have been expecting a response, but it didn't come as Watford looked the team in control.
But in a game of changing fortunes, Bournemouth levelled again with seven minutes remaining.
With the Cherries in possession and probing, an injured Kabasele decided to lie on the floor and signal to the bench. As it wasn't a head injury, Bournemouth were well within their right to play on and Andrew Surman picked out Afobe, who moved into the space in behind Kabasele. The striker got the run on Younes Kaboul and fired a low shot into the far corner.
That wasn't the end of the drama though as Bournemouth thought they had nicked a winner in injury time but Afobe's close range effort was chalked off as Steve Cook had punched the ball into his path, which meant the spoils were shared.
Bournemouth: Boruc (5), Daniels (6), Cook (6), Smith (7), Mings (6), Fraser (7), King (6), Stanislas (5), Surman (6), Wilshere (7), Wilson (6)
Subs: Afobe (7), Pugh (6), Ibe (6)
Watford: Gomes (7), Kaboul (6), Prödl (6), Britos (6); Kabasele (5), Cleverley (6), Doucouré (6), Capoue (6), Holebas (7), Deeney (7), Okaka (5)
Subs: Cathcart (6), Jaanmat (6), Ighalo (6)
Man of the match: Adam Smith