By James Kilpatrick
Bournemouth 3-3 Watford: Spoils shared in six-goal thriller
Report and highlights as Watford move up to eighth
Last Updated: 03/01/19 12:01am
Bournemouth and Watford played out a 3-3 draw as four goals were scored in six frantic first-half minutes at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday.
Troy Deeney's two goals gave Watford a commanding lead (14 & 27) before Bournemouth responded in quickfire fashion with goals from Nathan Ake (34) and Callum Wilson (37).
Seconds later, Ken Sema put Watford back in front again with a fine half-volley (38) before Ryan Fraser levelled the game with a composed finish (40) in an action-packed first half.
The result means Watford move up one place into eighth on 29 points. Bournemouth remain in 12th as their winless run stretches to three games.
Bournemouth: Begovic (6), Cook (7), Ake (7), Daniels (7), Stanislas (7), Brooks (7), Lerma (6), Gosling (7), Fraser (9), Wilson (8), King (7)
Subs: Ibe (6), Mousset (6)
Watford: Foster (8), Femenia (6), Mariappa (5), Cathcart (5), Holebas (5), Capoue (5), Doucoure (5), Pereyra (5), Sema (7), Deeney (9), Deulofeu (7)
Subs: Cleverley (6), Hughes (6), Success (N/A)
Man of the match: Ryan Fraser
Watford began the game confidently with Deeney scoring twice in the first half hour. The 30-year-old nodded in Sema's cross to put the visitors ahead before he curled in his fifth goal of the season 13 minutes later after Gerard Deulofeu capitalised on Dan Gosling's poor backpass looking for Ake.
Bournemouth then profited from two free-kicks. First, Ake turned in from close range after Gosling had seen his header from Fraser's set-piece saved at point-blank range by Foster.
Then, three minutes later and another free-kick, this time from the right, was finished by Wilson as he looped his header over Foster from a near-post position.
Jordon Ibe, Andrew Surman and Sergio Rico dropped out for Jefferson Lerma, Ryan Fraser and Dan Gosling.
Kiko Femenia, Jose Holebas, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Ken Sema and Troy Deeney came in for Daryl Janmaat, Adam Masina, Domingos Quina, Will Hughes and Isaac Success.
Both sides' defences descended into disarray when Sema put Watford back in front in stunning fashion. A long ball up from Foster was flicked forward by Deeney before Sema powered his half-volley past Asmir Begovic. Almost immediately from the restart, Fraser scored on the counter-attack and slotted his shot into the bottom corner.
The second half was a scrappy affair with Abdoulaye Doucoure substituted in the 54th minute having already received a yellow card for a dangerous first-half challenge on Fraser. And with Bournemouth on the front foot, Foster made a fine save to deny Wilson who powered a header on goal from close range.
As the hosts continued their pursuit for a fourth goal, Foster smothered a close-range shot from Josh King in the box after Craig Cathcart slipped over on the ball. The 35-year-old was called into action again two minutes later to deny Gosling, on his return to the starting XI, as Watford held on for a valuable point.
- The first half of this match between Bournemouth and Watford saw six goals scored; the most in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game since May 2015 (Southampton vs Aston Villa).
- There were just 12 minutes and 41 seconds between the 2nd and 6th goals being scored in this match between Bournemouth and Watford.
- Bournemouth attempted 12 shots on target in this match against Watford; the most they have ever had in a Premier League match.
- Ryan Fraser has been involved in 14 goals for Bournemouth in the Premier League this season (five goals, nine assists); the most by a Scottish player in the competition in a single season since Shaun Maloney in 2012-13 (also 14).
- Bournemouth's Callum Wilson has now been involved in 14 goals this season in the Premier League (nine goals, five assists) - the only English players to be involved in more are Harry Kane (18) and Raheem Sterling (15).
- Troy Deeney has now scored seven competitive goals against Bournemouth as a Watford player; his most versus an opponent during his spell at the Hornets.
- Watford's Troy Deeney has now scored four goals from open play this season in the Premier League; more than in 2017-18 (2).
Eddie Howe: "For me it was very difficult to watch. In the early part of the game I couldn't believe we were 2-0 down and great credit to the players for the comeback.
"We showed great determination, spirit and attitude and I felt we should have won the game in the second half."
Javi Gracia: "I am a little disappointed because after scoring three goals we have lost a good chance to win. It's not easy to score three goals away from home but we need to improve in the next games."
"We conceded in the moment two goals from two free-kicks. We had to defend better. After that we competed well and we were looking for victory until the end. Maybe if it could have worked differently but we kept working."
Man of the Match - Ryan Fraser
Ryan Fraser has more@premierleague assists for @afcbournemouth this season (9) than in his previous 2 combined (8)— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 2, 2019
Most assists in PL this season:
9️⃣ Ryan Fraser 🥇
9️⃣ Eden Hazard 🥇
7️⃣ Christian Eriksen
7️⃣ Leroy Sane
7️⃣ Mohamed Salah pic.twitter.com/xNaCVCF2lj
Fraser, Foster and Deeney could have all got the award, but Fraser sprung to life at a time when Bournemouth looked out of the game.
With the hosts looking shell-shocked after going two goals down, Fraser delivered two fine crosses which saw Bournemouth grab two goals from before he got one for himself; all in the space of six minutes.
Bournemouth host Brighton on Saturday in the FA Cup third round before they travel to Everton on Super Sunday on January 13.
Watford, meanwhile, travel to non-league side Woking in the same stage of the competition on Sunday before travelling to Crystal Palace on January 12.