Watford hold ten-man Tottenham to a draw as Mauricio Pochettino's off-colour side continue to struggle

Watford 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1: Christian Kabasele put the home side in front only for Heung min-Son to equalise, with Davinson Sanchez handed his marching orders in the second-half

Darren Witcoop
Vicarage Road
Saturday 02 December 2017 18:02
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Spurs have only won one of their last six Premier League games
Spurs have only won one of their last six Premier League games

Tottenham might have stopped the rot, but sharing the spoils with Watford was not the outcome Mauricio Pochetitino would have had in mind.

Christian Kabasele's early opener for Watford was cancelled out by Son Heung-min.

But Davinson Sanchez's red card early into the second-half changed the course of this game, forcing 10-men Spurs to settle for a draw meaning it's now just two points earned from the last 12.

It might have halted a run of three successive away defeats, but Pochettino will be frustrated at the end result. Watford have shown they are no push-overs but, with a mounting injury list in defence, this was a game which was there for the taking for Tottenham.

That necessity was even more evident with Tottenham having already lost four league games, as many as they did throughout the whole of last season, to all but end their Premier League title hopes.

Even Pochettino conceded that his side are out of the running. But the Champions League, and place in next year's competition, was still well within in their sights.

Kabasele celebrates giving the hosts the lead

An off colour Spurs had never previously lost to Watford in eight previous Premier League meetings and they would keep that record intact. But only just.

Tottenham began on the front foot as Kieran Tripper's cross just evaded the on-rushing Harry Kane thanks to a combination of Sebastian Prodl and Kabasele.

Kabsele had made a telling contribution and then produced at the end of the pitch to head Watford into a 13th minute lead. It was all too easy, with Tom Cleverley's corner finding an unmarked Kabasele to nod home beyond Hugo Lloris.

Pochettino, despite his side's poor form of late, would have taken comfort out of Watford's home form against the big boys. Besides a 2-1 win over Arsenal, Watford have leaked 13 goals against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Son scored a leveller

And that tally would increase here as Watford were opened up all too easily. Christian Eriksen beat the offside trap and his cross was perfectly weighted for Son to tap home the 25th minute leveller.

Tottenham now had a foothold in the game but they still looked shaky defensively. Watford's pressing game forced another mistake and Abdoulaye Doucoure fired just past the far post in the 37th minute.

The game was almost exclusively being played out in Watford's half but the home side still posed a threat with the lively Richarlison causing Spurs no end of problems. Another burst forward from the Brazilian saw him contribute towards Sanchez's early exit, with the Colombian meeting his fellow South American with a raised forearm right in front of the dugout.

Watford demanded a red card while Pochettino pleased the case for Sanchez's defence. In the end referee Martin Atkinson sent him packing in a 52rd minute incident, deeming the elbow was intentional, which would have a big impact on the context of this game.

Sanchez was given his marching orders at the start of the second-half

Watford could now push forward at will with Lloris, up until this point, having been given a relatively easy ride. You sensed that was about to change. That duly happened as Doucoure met Cleverley's corner but his 25-yard shot bounced off the inside post and agonisingly out.

It was a major let-off for Spurs, who had really gone into their shell with Watford now gaining the numerical advantage. This game which had been simmering was now in danger of boiling over as Atkinson struggled to keep control.

Watford were piling forward in their first win over their visitors for 30 years with Etienee Capoue forcing Lloris into a routine from distance.

But Tottenham, with Kane in their ranks, knew they would need to create just one opening for their striker. That never came with Watford finishing the more frustrated with a handball shout against Eric Dier waved away moments before the final whistle.

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