Lads stung by Hornets
Watford 2-1 Spurs
Sun 02 September 2018, 17:56|Tottenham Hotspur
Two headers from set pieces saw Watford come back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday afternoon.
After dominating the first 45 minutes without really hitting our stride, we got our noses in front when Abdoulaye Doucoure turned Lucas Moura's cross into his own net.
But an aerial double from the hosts inside a seven-minute spell saw the scoreline turned upside down, Troy Deeney guiding a header from a free-kick past Michel Vorm and Craig Cathcart converting from a corner to ensure Watford maintained their 100 per cent start to the season at the expense of our own.
It was the first time Watford have got the better of us in the Premier League era. Indeed, you have to go back to May, 1987, for the last time the Hornets claimed maximum points in top-flight action.
The first period brought some tidy work in the middle third and strong hold-up play by Harry Kane as we won seven corners to Watford's one, but a paucity of clear shooting chances saw the match remain without score.
Dele Alli cunningly guided a looping header from Toby Alderweireld's ball forward over the advancing Ben Foster but also over the bar 12 minutes in, while Deeney subsequently headed Watford's best chance of the half over Vorm's bar in the Dutch goalkeeper's first appearance of the season.
Dele sprung Lucas through Watford's defence on 22 minutes and the forward produced a nice first touch, but the retreating Christian Kabasele did just enough to prevent him from pulling the trigger, while Dele himself was relieved to see the off-side flag go up after failing to convert Christian Eriksen's cross with half-time on the horizon.
The breakthrough arrived eight minutes into the second period with Watford unable to cope with our spell of pressure around their box. Dele's chip into the danger zone saw the hosts get their wires crossed with the ball spilling out to Lucas on the right, his delivery turned into his own net at the near post by the retreating Doucoure.
From there, we had to defend our box under heavy pressure from the hosts and after Deeney's venomous cross spun off Alderweireld's head and hit the crossbar, Watford drew level in the 69th minute when Jose Holebas' in-swinging free-kick was headed home by the Hornets' skipper.
Seven minutes later, after more Watford pressure, a corner was delivered into the box and Cathcart shook himself free to send a header flying inside the near post.
Our best chance to level also came from an aerial assault, Kane heading onto the top of the net from Kieran Trippier's delivery while Eriksen's injury-time free-kick was flicked behind.
Deeney's header kick-started Watford's comeback. It came amid a spell of pressure from the hosts as we failed to push on after a fortuitous opener and was followed within seven minutes by Cathcart's winning goal. Watford had all the momentum once Deeney found the net.
"It's disappointing and a very painful defeat," said Mauricio Pochettino. "I think it was an even game in the second half and it’s disappointing when you score, 1-0 up and then to concede two goals in that way. It’s very, very disappointing - there’s not another word to find.
"This is the reality if you don’t fight in the way that you need to fight. To play football is one thing, to compete is different. Today in the first half I think we didn’t compete in the way we should to win and be a contender."
Watford 2-1 Spurs
Watford (4-4-2): Foster, Janmaat, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas, Hughes (Chalobah 85), Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra (Mariappa 90), Gray (Success 70), Deeney (c). Substitutes (not used): Gomes, Femenia, Masina, Sema.
Spurs (3-1-4-2): Vorm, Alderweireld (Llorente 81), Sanchez, Vertonghen, Dembele (Winks 86), Trippier, Eriksen, Dele, Davies (Rose 89), Lucas, Kane (c). Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Dier, Wanyama.
Reaction on Spurs TV
Goals: Watford - Deeney 69, Cathcart 76; Spurs - Doucoure (OG) 53.
Yellow cards: Watford - Capoue 52, Success 90+3; Spurs - Dembele 68.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
Venue: Vicarage Road, Watford.
Weather: Sunny, 23 degrees.