Watford 1-3 Arsenal: Gunners up and running with comfortable win at Vicarge Road
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 28/08/16 12:40am
Arsenal claimed their first Premier League win of the season with a 3-1 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road.
Arsene Wenger's side, who had lost at home to Liverpool before drawing with Leicester, took the lead in the ninth minute with Santi Cazorla converting from the penalty spot after Alexis Sanchez was bundled to the ground by Nordin Amrabat.
Sanchez doubled the advantage in the 40th minute, converting Theo Walcott's enticing cross before Mesut Ozil added a third in stoppage time at the end of a comfortable first half.
Watford, who handed debuts to Roberto Pereyra and Daryl Janmaat at half-time, made a better fist of things after the break and pulled a goal back through Pereyra (57).
But it proved to be just a consolation as Arsenal made it seven out of seven against Watford in the Premier League.
Arsenal made the perfect start when Ozil, who was making his first start of the season, clipped a beautiful ball onto the chest of Sanchez. As the Chilean tried to bring the ball down Amrabat clattered into him and referee Kevin Friend, who took his time over the decision, pointed to the spot.
Walcott was on penalty duty and missed in the Gunners' 4-3 opening day defeat but with Cazorla back in the side, the Spaniard took the responsibilities back and made no mistake.
The early goal put Watford on the back foot with Wenger's men dominating possession, but they had to wait until the 24th minute for their next clear-cut opportunity as Gomes denied Walcott after he latched onto Cazorla's wayward shot at the far post.
Despite the visitors' dominance, Watford could have been back on level terms moments later but for Petr Cech's brilliant reactions as he kept out Laurent Koscielny's sliced clearance.
It sparked Watford into some sort of life and they went close again as Christian Kabasele, on his Premier League debut, headed wide Etienne Capoue's corner.
However, it was Arsenal that finished the first half the stronger of the two sides with Sanchez and Ozil both denied by Heurelho Gomes in quick succession.
They weren't to be denied for long though as Walcott picked out Sanchez at the far post in the 40th minute, and while the Chile international did not produce his best finish, he did enough to divert the ball over the line.
Six minutes later the Gunners struck another blow and this time Sanchez was the provider, picking out the surging run of Ozil, who headed home from close range.
Mazzarri responded by introducing Pereyra at the interval and he marked his debut with a well-taken goal 12 minutes into the second half, bending a strike past Cech to reduce the arrears.
Arsenal were still looking dangerous on the counter-attack but Watford were much more potent now and Cech forced into a smart double-save to deny Jose Holebas and Odion Ighalo, before the latter saw an acrobatic overhead kick fly inches over the crossbar.
But that was as close as the hosts came to getting a foothold in the contest and it was Arsenal left celebrating a first three-point haul of the campaign.
Watford: Gomes (7), Kaboul (6), Prodl (6), Kabasele (5), Amrabat (6), Guedioura (6), Capoue (6), Behrami (6), Holebas (6), Deeney (5), Ighalo (6).
Subs used: Janmaat (7), Success (6), Pereyra (7).
Arsenal: Cech (8), Bellerin (7), Holding (6), Koscielny (8), Monreal (6), Cazorla (7), Xhaka (8), Ozil (8), Walcott (7), Sanchez (7), Oxlade-Chamberlin (6).
Subs used: Gibbs (6), Wilshere (6), Elneny (6).
Man of the match: Granit Xhaka