Troy Deeney's penalty secures a point for Watford against Sunderland
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 16/05/16 7:29am
Troy Deeney’s second-half penalty secured a point for Watford as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sunderland in Quique Sanchez Flores’ final game in charge.
Earlier in the game, Jack Rodwell and Jeremain Lens scored for Sunderland, either side of Sebastian Prodl's strike for the home side.
With the pressure off, Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce made nine changes from his side's 3-0 win over Everton in midweek as he handed starts to Jordan Pickford, Tom Robson and Rees Greenwood in a youthful-looking line-up.
Both sides struggled to fashion clear-cut openings in the early stages with Watford's Almen Abdi going closest with a low shot from the edge of the box that flew inches wide.
Sunderland's first real chance came on the half hour mark when Lens picked out Duncan Watmore with a lovely dinked pass to the far post and the England U21 man volleyed back across goal where N'Doye was lurking but Miguel Britos managed to clear over the crossbar.
The game's first goal came in the 39th minute when Lens found Rodwell at the back post and he coolly slotted past Heurelho Gomes to put Sunderland in front.
They should have been two ahead moments later when Watmore was played in behind the Watford defence and finished past Gomes, only to be flagged for offside. Replays appeared to show he was on.
Watford drew level straight after half-time when Prodl outmuscled John O'Shea to power home a header from Adlene Guediora's corner. The visitors appealed for a push in the back but referee Kevin Friend was unmoved.
Sunderland were soon back in front however, as Watmore found Lens with a measured through ball and he beat Nathan Ake with a skillful dummy, before slotting the ball past Gomes.
The visitors came close to making it three when Dame N'Doye found the back of the net with a stooping header from Sebastian Larsson's free-kick. But the linesman again came to Watford's rescue as the goal was disallowed for offside.
The home side got back into the game when O'Shea was penalised for a foul on Jurado. The Irish international looked to have won the ball in a 50/50 challenge but his leg was high and he caught Jurado on the follow-through.
Deeney made no mistake from the resulting spot-kick as he sent Pickford the wrong way to secure a point for the home side.
Watford: Gomes (6); Cathcart (6), Britos (6), Prödl (7), Ake (6); Abdi (6), Guedioura (6), Watson (5), Jurado (6); Deeney (7), Ighalo (6)
Subs: Paredes (5), Suarez (6), Amrabat (5)
Sunderland: Pickford (7), Yedlin (6), T Robson (6), O'Shea (5), Kone (6), Larsson (6), Rodwell (7), Lens (7), Watmore (8), Greenwood (5), N'Doye (6)
Subs: Jones (6), M'Vila (5), Honeyman (5)
Man of the match: Watmore