Watford relegated after valiant comeback falls short at Arsenal
Arsenal - Watford: Troy Deeney and Watford could not rescue their club from its unsteady ways, the Hornets relegated following a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Championship Sunday.
Deeney scored a penalty and Danny Welbeck also scored for Watford after Arsenal built a 3-0 lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s two goals and an assist to Kieran Tierney.
[ MORE: Deeney lets loose after relegation ]
Watford needed a win thanks to Aston Villa’s draw but could not complete the comeback despite six minutes of stoppage time. The Hornets finish a point and two goals worth of goal differential back of safety.
Arsenal finishes eighth with 56 points and can only clinch Europa League football with a win over Chelsea in the FA Cup.
Three Two things we learned
1. Give Mullins due despite failure: Watford is an absolute mess, as their years-long and silly habit of firing managers on a whim probably undid them. Regardless of whether Nigel Pearson was liked or not, he had a better chance of finding something from matches against Man City and Arsenal than an interim boss.
That said, Mullins delivered some smarts by putting four forwards in his team against an Arsenal team that doesn’t always defend well. Danny Welbeck playing as a “kinda” midfielder delivered a goal and Watford was always going to concede. At least he made it fun.
Troy Deeney deserves better, but he might score 30 next year in the Championship. Who will be with him?
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
2. Tierney gives hope of versatility: How much more interesting is Arsenal if the longtime Celtic left back Tierney is healthy, productive, and allowing Arteta to utilize Bukayo Saka almost exclusively in attacking roles? The 23-year-old has looked good since getting healthy and claiming a regular role.
Man of the Match
Aubameyang was wonderful, even if his first goal came from the spot. Arsenal should do whatever it can to get every single advantage for the FA Cup Final against Chelsea, because if they miss out on Europa League and Aubameyang leaves they may not be back in the Champions League picture next year.
Arsenal - Watford recap
Dani Ceballos tore into a shot that Ben Foster slapped out for a corner in the first 60 seconds of play.
VAR helped Arsenal to the penalty spot early, as Michael Dawson fouled Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang delivered from the spot.
The Gabonese star laid off for Tierney’s goal before popping and overhead kick past Foster in the 33rd minute to make it 3-0.
Deeney have gave Watford life before halftime but would it be enough?
Ismaila Sarr set up Welbeck in the 66th minute to move Watford back within reasonable hope given Arsenal’s topsy-turvy defensive record.
It didn’t materialize and Watford’s most recent spell in the top flight is over at five seasons.