Watford 1-1 Spurs - report from Vicarage Road
Sat 02 December 2017, 17:00|Tottenham Hotspur
It felt like a case of what might have been as it ended all-square in the Premier League at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
It didn't end level in terms of players though as Davinson Sanchez received a straight red card for a foul on Richarlison after 52 minutes. Our 10 men dug in, defended well and continued to look for a winner without carving out too many clear-cut chances.
We had ended the first half and started the second half in the ascendancy, so who knows how it might have panned out 11 against 11, but it wasn't to be.
Earlier, Watford took the lead on 13 minutes when Christian Kabasele guided home a header from Tom Cleverley's corner.
We responded in positive fashion and levelled 12 minutes later when Christian Eriksen laid one on a plate for Heung-Min Son to turn home his third goal of the league campaign at a ground on which he always seems to perform well, having netted a last-gasp winner two seasons ago. There was to be no repeat of that this time, however, as we worked tremendously hard to avoid conceding a second goal with the numbers against us.
Mauricio Pochettino made three changes to the team that started at Leicester on Tuesday - Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies and Son came in for Serge Aurier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko. Harry Winks returned from illness as a second-half substitute alongside Erik Lamela.
Goal: Watford 1-0 Spurs - Christian Kabasele - 13mins
Watford had barely threatened but caught us on a counter-attack and Trippier needed to rush back to divert Richarlison's cross for a corner. Cleverley floated the set piece in and Kabasele rose at the near post to angle a downward header across Hugo Lloris and home.
Goal: Watford 1-1 Spurs - Heung-min Son - 25mins
It was no surprise to see the equaliser come from our right. Trippier, always an outlet, fed the ball in to Eriksen and he delivered the perfect cross for Son to tap home from close range.
Above: Christian Eriksen and Richarlison.
Red Card: Davinson Sanchez (Spurs) - 52mins
Richarlison looked to break down the left, Sanchez came across to meet him and looked to lead with his arm in blocking him off. Richarlison went down and referee Martin Atkinson showed the red card. Eric Dier stepped into the back four as we were forced into a reshuffle.
Woodwork: Abdoulaye Doucoure close for hosts - 63mins
Cleverley's corner was headed out to Abdoulaye Doucoure, whose curler from 25 yards looked in all the way, only to strike the inside of the post and bounce to safety.
Chance: opening for Sissoko - 73mins
We continued to get into good positions with 10 men, albeit without really carving out clear-cut opportunities. Our best chance of the half fell to Moussa Sissoko when Harry Kane's first-time pass sent the substitute clear in the right channel, he drove into the box where his shot took a slight deflection into the side-netting.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"I feel disappointed and pain, and it's painful because after 20 minutes we dominated the game but we conceded from a set-piece. The team is like 'it's happened again and we need to fight' and showed great character. We scored a great goal from Son and at 1-1, I thought we played much better in the first half. In the second half we're a little unlucky because to play with 10 men for 40 minutes was difficult, but we always fought for the win. It was an amazing effort and I'm so proud about that."
Jan Vertonghen said
Watford (3-4-2-1): Gomes, Mariappa, Prodl, Kabasele (Capoue 64), Femenia, Cleverley (Gray 88), Doucoure, Zeegelaar, Pereyra (Carrillo 68), Richarlison, Deeney (c). Substitutes (not used): Karnezis, Janmaat, Wague, Watson.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen (Sissoko 64), Son (Lamela 77), Dele (Winks 86), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Aurier, Rose, Llorente.
Goals: Watford - Kabasele 13; Spurs - Son 25.
Yellow cards: Watford - Cleverley 35, Kabasele 51, Zeegelaar 73, Richarlison 88; Spurs - Vertonghen 71.
Red card: Spurs - Sanchez 52.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
It's matchday six and the final group match of our Champions League campaign against APOEL of Cyprus at Wembley on Wednesday night (7.45pm). We are already guaranteed top spot in Group H.
After that, we're back at Wembley for the visit of Stoke City in the Premier League next Saturday (December 9, 3pm).
The Potters won 2-1 at home to Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.