10-man Watford hold on against Brighton to share the spoils at Vicarage Road

Watford 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 0: Miguel Britos was shown an early red card after his dangerous tackle on Anthony Knockaert but the visitors were unable to capitalise on their advantage

Ed Elliot
Vicarage Road
Saturday 26 August 2017 16:10
Heurelho Gomes punches the ball away under pressure from Anthony Knockaert
Heurelho Gomes punches the ball away under pressure from Anthony Knockaert

Brighton were twice denied by the woodwork as they picked up their first-ever Premier League point with a goalless draw at 10-man Watford.

Miguel Britos' 24th-minute dismissal was the main talking point of the game, with the Watford defender sent off for a dangerous, studs-up challenge on Anthony Knockaert.

Albion were unable to turn their numerical advantage into three points, however, with Knockaert curling against the left upright midway through the first half, before Watford defender Christian Kabasele diverted the ball onto the same post before the break.

Seagulls manager Chris Hughton had called for more attacking purpose from his team ahead of kick-off and he opted to hand Knockaert his first league start of the campaign, with record-signing Jose Izquierdo named on the bench.

Miguel Britos is shown a straight red for his challenge on Anthony Knockaert

The hosts, who had new loan signing Andre Carrillo among their substitutes, began the brighter and Nathaniel Chalobah saw a goalbound header blocked by Lewis Dunk before their most expensive purchase - Andre Gray - missed his kick when the ball was pulled back by Moroccan Nordin Amrabat.

Brighton battled back and Knockaert came within a whisker of a 16th-minute opener, cutting in from the right and bending a superb left-footed effort which rebounded back off the left post.

The away side had more cause for frustration a few minutes later when they appealed in vain for a penalty after Davy Propper's deflected drive appeared to strike the arm of Sebastian Prodl.

Watford were then reduced to 10 men when makeshift left-back Britos jumped in on Knockaert after the Frenchman had been sent scampering down the right-wing by Dale Stephens.

Referee Graham Scott had no hesitation and replays suggested he was correct to rush over and brandish the red card.

Knockaert attempts to get away from Andre Gay

The dismissal was the Uruguayan's third in 20 Premier League games and it increased the pressure on his side for the rest of the afternoon.

Winger Nordin Amrabat, who had given Albion left-back Markus Suttner plenty of problems early on, was sacrificed, with Craig Cathcart sent on to shore up the defence.

Seagulls centre-back Dunk then flashed a header across goal as the visitors looked to quickly make their numerical advantage pay, before Solly March's left-wing centre was diverted onto the left post by Kabasele.

Watford struggled to turn the tide back in their favour, although Chalobah did go close with a powerful low shot from distance which went the wrong side of the left post in the closing minutes of the half.

The Hornets suffered a further setback when first-half substitute Cathcart was forced off injured in the opening moments of the second period and replaced by Carrillo.

Watford came away with a hard-fought point 

Albion striker Tomer Hemed hooked the ball inches wide in the 52nd minute as the visitors continued to dominate, then Knockaert again went close with a low, angled drive which Heurelho Gomes turned behind for a corner.

Watford striker Gray flashed a shot wide at the other end as the hosts tried to hit their opponents on the counter-attack.

Both sides made attacking changes in the final 10 minutes, with Watford introducing captain Troy Deeney and Albion bringing on debutant Izquierdo.

Neither, however, could prompt a breakthrough as the game ended all-square to extend the hosts' unbeaten start to the season and leave Albion continuing to search for their first goal.

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