Javi Gracia says Watford's penalty miss hurt their chances of a result at Arsenal
By Ron Walker
Last Updated: 11/03/18 5:28pm
Javi Gracia felt Watford blew the opportunity to mount a comeback at Arsenal when Troy Deeney missed a second-half penalty in their 3-0 defeat at the Emirates.
Deeney's spot-kick would have made it 2-1 and, given the Gunners' recent form, have likely made it an uncomfortable finale for Arsene Wenger's side, with empty seats visible in home sections of the stadium.
But when Petr Cech saved from 12 yards for the first time in seven years to keep Arsenal two goals ahead, the Gunners then added a third through Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
"We were preparing a change with Will Hughes coming on and to score to be 2-1 would have improved our options to draw. In the end it was impossible," Gracia said.
"We conceded an early goal but after that we had difficult moments. We tried to score, but both teams created many chances.
"At the beginning of the second-half we played better. We controlled the game in the first few minutes but the second goal was very, very hard for us. Then we had the chance to score the penalty - but we missed."
Arsenal's midfield impressed with Mkhitaryan scoring for the second game in succession and Mesut Ozil influential, in spite of Watford's best efforts to control the duo.
Gracia added: "We tried to narrow and compact inside because we know with Mkhitaryan and Ozil in between the lines they are very dangerous. We also tried to create chances from set pieces and the counter-attack but if you don't score it's very difficult.
"We know that Arsenal are very dangerous on the counter-attack. But for me there's no change. We are only focused on the next game against Liverpool to try and get points."