A stoppage-time goal from Tom Cleverley gave Watford a 2-1 win over Arsenal at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening after a Troy Deeney penalty cancelled out Per Mertesacker's opener.
- Watford 2 Arsenal 1
- Mertesacker opens scoring
- Gomez denies Iwobi
- Deeney penalty equalises
- Cleverley scores winner
After a tight opening to the game, Mertesacker broke the deadlock as he rose to meet Granit Xhaka’s corner and head past Heurelho Gomes to put Arsenal ahead.
Hector Bellerin gave away a penalty in the 70th minute which Troy Deeney converted to bring the scores level, and two minutes into extra time, Cleverley fired home amid a mad scramble to hand Watford all three points.
It was a very tight affair in the opening minutes at Vicarage Road as both teams traded possession without either creating much.
Watford had the first chance of the tie 20 minutes in when Abdoulaye Doucoure held Bellerin off well before whipping in a good cross which deflected off Roberto Pereyra’s head but the Argentine couldn’t get enough contact to worry Petr Cech.
Arsenal's first chance came on the cusp of the half-hour mark as Mohamed Elneny let loose from 25 yards out, but his shot rose inches over the goal with Gomez seemingly beaten.
The breakthrough Arsenal needed came from Mertesacker, who easily rose above Cleverley to get on the end of Xhaka’s corner and head home to put the Gunners ahead five minutes before the break.
The goal sparked a good period for Arsene Wenger’s men who had several chances in quick succession, as Xhaka tested Gomez twice only for the Brazilian to pull out a couple of good saves to ensure Watford entered the break with the deficit at just one goal.
Watford started the second half positively and Richarlison found some space in the 52nd minute on the left flank before cutting in and trying to a curl a shot in which wasn’t too far away.
Danny Welbeck picked up an injury in the 60th minute which saw the introduction of Mezut Ozil. The midfielder made an immediate impact as he slid a ball in for Alex Iwobi whose shot from a tight angle was kept out by the fingertips of Gomez.
Bellerin then brought down Richarlison in the box and Neil Swarbrick immediately pointed to the spot. Deeney stepped up and made no mistake to level the scores with 20 minutes left to play.
The Hornets continued to search for a winner and Deeney teed up fellow substitute Etienne Capoue, whose shot deflected off Mertesacker and bounced off the outside of the post.
Almost two minutes into stoppage time, Watford had an array of chances and deflections in the box which eventually saw the ball fall to Cleverley who fired home into an open net to give Watford a late winner to move to fourth on the table.