Arsenal benefit from bizarre Watford lapse and complete their first Premier League clean sheet away from home this season to maintain a top-four spot. What a nice sentence that must be to read for you Gunners.
Depending on how you look at it, it was not a trademark performance from the Gunners on Monday night, but it got the job done and that is all that matters.
Dwelling on the ball too long, Ben Foster allowed the speedy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to pressure and as he finally went to clear the lines, the ball rebounded off the forward’s planted foot and into the back of the net.
Things went from bad to worse for Watford a minute later with skipper Deeney shown a straight red for an elbow into the face of Torreira.
Despite their advantage, Arsenal were under the cosh for large parts of the game. Craig Cathcart the first to test Bernd Leno’s reactions, before the German’s acrobatics kept Etienne Capoue from netting a sumptuous free-kick.
Ben Foster made up for his earlier mistake at the beginning of the second period. A counter-attacking movement from the visitors found Mkhitaryan waiting at the host’s back-post, but the England stopper was on hand to deny the midfielder with an instinctive save.
Watford pressured for much of the remained of the game, Adam Masina the first to test the Gunners resolve with a stinging shot from 30 yards out, which pinged off the crossbar. Then Andre Gray was close to equalising with just 10 minutes on the clock, but for the heroics of Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Arsenal were lucky to come away with a point on the balance of things.
Aubameyang claimed the Man of the Match award, but we have got to hand Bernd Leno our unsung hero on this occasion.
On a day when Watford dominated the best chances of the game, it is difficult to deny that the German ‘keeper was the difference. Sensational reflexes kept out Craig Cathcart’s well-struck volley in the first-half, which we dare say would have tilted the game in Watford’s favour, and his flying save to keep out Etienne Capoue was equally as impressive. He only deserves Arsenal’s first clean sheet of the season.
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