Gazzaniga saves penalty to earn a point at Watford
Watford 0-0 Spurs
Sat 18 January 2020, 14:32|Tottenham Hotspur
Paulo Gazzaniga preserved a point and a first clean sheet in 10 games with a second-half penalty save from Troy Deeney as we drew 0-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday lunchtime.
The Argentine make a big save down to his right to deny the Watford skipper after Jan Vertonghen had been penalised for hand-ball - and we could have won it ourselves in added time when Erik Lamela's scrambled effort was millimetres away from crossing the line, only for Hornets debutant Ignacio Pussetto to make a last-gasp clearance. Lucas Moura had earlier been denied by Ben Foster in a good chance during the first period.
Gedson Fernandes came on for his Spurs bow in the closing stages following his loan move from Benfica in midweek, but a breakthrough eluded us for a third Premier League game in succession.
Lucas wanted a penalty for hand-ball against Craig Cathcart inside two minutes as we started well, finding space to advance on both flanks and producing some slick passing moves in a bid to break through. Heung-Min Son's effort took a deflection off Adrian Mariappa and forced a save from goalkeeper Foster while at the other end, left-back Japhet Tanganga found himself with a battle on his hands to contain the pace of Watford's right-winger Ismaila Sarr, who was creating chances for the hosts, Deeney unable to convert one of those as his attempted flick on a cut-back didn't come off.
It was turning into an open game with chances for both sides, with our best one falling to Lucas on 38 minutes but after being played in by Dele Alli, his shot from the angle was blocked by the advancing Foster. Son's first-time volley from Harry Winks' floated ball forward flew over the top two minutes later while Gazzaniga had to be alert to thwart both Nathaniel Chalobah and Deeney either side of those opportunities.
Watford began the second half purposefully, Sarr's cut-back left by Deeney for Abdoulaye Doucoure to strike but Giovani Lo Celso sliding in from behind did just enough to force him to shoot wide, with the Argentine international again helping out the defence moments later when he prevented Sarr from getting a clean volley on a falling ball six yards out.
Dele nodded Son's raking delivery from the right flank over the bar, Son ran onto Lamela's forward pass but fired over from a difficult angle and Lamela himself - on his first league start since October - saw his shot from inside the box deflected behind via a possible hand-ball that a VAR check ruled out. But when Vertonghen slid in to cover for Lo Celso's slip inside our box, Gerard Deulofeu's shot hit his arm and referee Michael Oliver awarded the hosts a penalty. Thankfully, Gazzaniga was equal to Deeney's effort, beating the striker's shot away to his right 20 minutes from time.
We pushed for a winner in the latter stages but just couldn't find one. Debutant Gedson was played in behind and swiped the ball dangerously across goal from the left, forcing the last defender to clear, Lamela had a couple of attempts off-target from distance and was just beaten to Aurier's dangerous cut-back by Foster at his near post before one last chance for the attacking midfielder in the 91st minute - his bundled effort from a grounded position in the box following another Aurier delivery just nicked off the line at the last second by Pussetto. Goal-line technology showed how close it was.
Lucas was denied by Watford keeper Foster and Lamela's late effort was somehow kept out by Pussetto, but the key moment of the game arrived in the 70th minute. Deeney stepped up to take the Hornets' penalty after a hand-ball decision against Vertonghen, but Gazzaniga made a bold save to keep us level. As it transpired, that action earned us a point.
Speaking after the goalless draw, Jose Mourinho told us: "It’s impossible to dominate against them for 90 minutes and when I say dominate, it’s even by having the ball, hiding the ball, by moving. It’s impossible for 90 minutes, so there is always a period when they go long, flicks, second balls, Deeney holding the ball, and it’s difficult. The boys coped well with it, so I’m pleased with them. The result is not the result we wanted, we showed from minute one we wanted a different result than this, but that’s the way it is."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Watford 0-0 Spurs
Watford (4-2-3-1): Foster, Mariappa, Dawson, Cathcart, Masina, Chalobah (Pereyra 79), Capoue, Sarr (Pussetto 89), Doucoure, Deulofeu, Deeney (c). Substitutes (not used): Gomes, Gray, Quina, Holebas, Kabasele.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen (c), Tanganga, Winks, Lo Celso (Gedson 79), Lamela, Dele (Eriksen 73), Son, Lucas. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Sanchez, Dier, Skipp, Sessegnon.
Yellow cards: Watford - Capoue 35, Doucoure 60; Spurs - Tanganga 19, Winks 60, Vertonghen 69.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
Venue: Vicarage Road, Watford.
Weather: Sunny, gentle breeze, seven degrees.