Newcastle 1-1 Watford: Hornets earn first point of season
Report and highlights as Fabian Schar cancels out Will Hughes' opener at St James' Park
By Frederick Clayton
Last Updated: 01/09/19 10:10am
Watford earned their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle after an end-to-end contest at St James' Park.
The Hornets took the lead inside two minutes as Abdoulaye Doucoure's deflected shot found Will Hughes unmarked inside the box, but Newcastle levelled before half-time after Fabian Schar's well-taken finish.
Newcastle had the better chances of an end-to-end second half as Isaac Hayden and Schar came close, before Roberto Pereyra nearly stole all three points for Watford but for Martin Dubravka's diving save.
Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Krafth (6), Dummett (6), Schar (7), Lascelles (6), Willems (5), Almiron (7), Hayden (7), Longstaff (6), Atsu (8), Joelinton (6)
Subs: Manquillo (6), Muto (5), Fernandez (n/a)
Watford: Foster (7), Femenia (6), Janmaat (6), Dawson (6), Cathcart (7), Kabasele (7), Doucoure (7), Hughes (7), Pereyra (6), Cleverley (6), Gray (6)
Subs: Chalobah (6), Success (7), Deulofeu (n/a)
Man of the match: Christian Atsu
Watford remain bottom of the Premier League table heading into the international break, with Newcastle 14th.
End-to-end contest ends in tie as both sides waste chances
Hughes could hardly believe his luck as some pinball football following Doucoure's long-range effort gave him space eight yards from goal after just 78 seconds.
Newcastle made just two changes as Saint-Maxim and the injured Ritchie made way for Atsu and Willems. Javi Gracia's Watford side saw Kabasele, Pereyra and Janmaat come in for Holebas, Capoue and Deulofeu.
The Hornets could have doubled their lead ten minutes later when Andre Gray scuffed wide from six yards, but Newcastle's shell-shocked defence eventually recovered and they started to find their way back into the game as Christian Atsu and Joelinton hassled the Watford back-line.
Steve Bruce's side were rewarded just before half-time when Isaac Hayden and Craig Dawson contested Miguel Almiron's cross, only for the ball to fall at the feet of centre-back Schar, who impressed with a fine finish past Ben Foster.
Newcastle started the second half brightly as Atsu caused chaos for the Watford back-line and Almiron continued to find his forwards in space.
Schar almost had his second of the match after misplacing a free header, before Hayden's swerving long-range effort was saved smartly by Foster. Substitute Yoshinori Muto connected with Almiron's corner late on that led to a cluster of Newcastle players trying to bundle the ball into the net.
But it was Watford who almost took three points in the dying minutes as Pereyra's driving shot forced a brilliant save from Newcastle 'keeper Dubravka.
Man of the match
Christian Atsu was a menace down the left wing, causing all sorts of trouble for the Watford defence. His clever movement created space for midfielders, while he was unlucky not to register an assist after a great ball to Almiron. A deserved of applause when subbed.
What the managers said
"We have had three difficult games this week. And we have not lost any of them in real terms. If every they needed a lift they got it. Overall we had two big chances to win the game. It's a missed opportunity but I have been delighted with the response.
"I think we had a better balance today. I'm happy with the performance but we must improve again now. We have to be happy with a first point."
1:18 - After one minute and 18 seconds, Will Hughes' opener for Watford is the Hornets' second fastest ever goal in the Premier League, after Etienne Capoue scored after 32 seconds versus Leicester in November 2016. Blocks.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 31, 2019
- Newcastle have only lost two of their 10 home games against Watford in the top-flight of English football (W5 D3).
- Watford are without a win in eight Premier League matches (D2 L6), their longest such streak since an 11-game run between November 2006 and January 2007.
- Watford have picked up just one point from their opening four Premier League games, their lowest tally at this stage of a league season since 2006-07 (also one), when they were relegated from the top-flight under Aidy Boothroyd.
Newcastle face a trip to Anfield after the international break, while Watford host Arsenal.