Watford inflict our first defeat of pre-season
Watford 2-1 Spurs
Sat 05 September 2020, 17:23|Tottenham Hotspur
Heung-Min Son's late penalty wasn't enough as we suffered a 2-1 defeat at Watford in our final match of pre-season on Saturday afternoon.
The South Korean star, wearing our captain's armband for the first time in the absence of a number of other senior players due to international duty, slotted home 11 minutes from time after Erik Lamela was upended in the box.
Andre Gray had earlier added to Dominingos Quina's opener with a penalty of his own as Watford took a 2-0 lead in at half-time and despite Son seeing a late shot saved and Dele's appeal for a further spot-kick waved away, it was the hosts who claimed the victory in an at-times feisty affair at Vicarage Road.
Indeed, the hosts had four players booked with Dele also going into referee Jarred Gillett's notebook as the challenges flew in, but the word 'commitment' was embodied right at the end of the game by Son when he motored back to clear Marc Navarro's long-range shot towards the empty net off the line with goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga having gone up for a last-ditch corner.
With the Premier League starting next weekend, all roads now lead to our clash with Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday week.
There were first appearances of pre-season for Davinson Sanchez and Tanguy Ndombele against the Hornets while Academy products Dennis Cirkin and Harvey White added a youthful element to our starting XI with many of our senior European players away representing their countries.
Quina blasted over from the left angle before being denied by some great defending from Cameron Carter-Vickers while Serge Aurier powered a header from Lucas Moura's corner wide in the opening exchanges. Quina found a breakthrough out of nothing on 20 minutes, though, lashing a shot past goalkeeper Joe Hart from 25 yards.
Son tried to respond but was denied by Daniel Bachmann at his near post, with the Watford stopper subsequently collecting Cirkin's clever ball over the top just ahead of the onrushing Dele. Cirkin was the unfortunate player penalised as the Hornets won a penalty in the lead-up to half-time, though, the young left-back adjudged to have dragged back Christian Kabasele as he entered the box with Gray planting home from 12 yards to double his side's advantage six minutes before the interval.
Quina got between defenders and lobbed half-time substitute Gazzaniga but saw his attempt drop wide while White made a great recovery run to help the retreating Carter-Vickers finally deny Gray as he wriggled through on goal, but chances were few in number as both sides saw players go into the book.
Jack Clarke provided a spark with a dangerous cross from near the byline on the right, but Lamela couldn't make the most of it in the area. The Argentine's snap-shot on 65 minutes forced a save from Bachmann before we finally got off the mark with 11 minutes remaining, Lamela bundled over by Glenn Murray before Son helped himself from the resulting penalty. Lifted by the goal, we pushed for a leveller, Son's angled shot repelled by the keeper with Dele's big shout for another penalty waved away in the aftermath, but it was Watford who had the final attempt when they tried to break away following our corner, which Gazzaniga had gone up for, but Son's determination saw him get back to clear Navarro's shot off the line as it trickled towards the unguarded goal.
Watford 2-1 Spurs
Watford: Bachmann, Ngakia (Crichlow 88), Dawson (Sierralta 58), Kabasele, Wilmot, Chalobah (Phillips 58), Cleverley (c) (Stevenson 88), Quina (Penaranda 64), Dele-Bashiru (Murray 64), Estupinan (Navarro 70), Gray (Joao Pedro 52). Substitutes (not used): Parkes, Agyakwa.
Spurs: Hart (Gazzaniga 46), Aurier, Sanchez, Carter-Vickers, Cirkin (Foyth 46), Ndombele (Clarke 46), White (Bowden 81), Lamela, Dele, Lucas, Son (c). Substitutes (not used): Okedina, Devine, Marsh, Scarlett.
Goals: Watford - Quina 20, Gray 39 (pen); Spurs - Son 79 (pen).
Yellow cards: Watford - Chalobah 14, Phillips 69, Pedro 76, Penaranda 81; Spurs - Dele 72.
Referee: Jarred Gillett.
Venue: Vicarage Road, Watford.
Weather: Sunny intervals, gentle breeze, 18 degrees.