Watford vs Arsenal final score: Gunners superior in entertaining match
Watford vs Arsenal was exciting from the first minute but rarely looked likely to be anything but a win for the visitors at Vicarage Road, as the Gunners claimed a 3-2 win on Sunday.
Bukayo Saka had a goal and an assist, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli also scored, and Alexandre Lacazette had two assists in a wide-open affair.
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Watford had a goal chalked offside after 25 seconds and had the score 1-1 through Cucho Hernandez in the 11th minute, but Arsenal reclaimed the lead in the 30th and did not look bothered until Hernandez assisted the Gunners’ ex-North London derby rival Moussa Sissoko in the 87th minute.
Arsenal moves into fourth place on 48 points before fifth-place Manchester United (47 points) visits Man City in a late morning derby. Watford stays on 19 points, three points shy of the bottom three.
Watford vs Arsenal final score, stats
Watford 2, Arsenal 3
Goals scored: Hernandez (11'), Odegaard (5'), Saka (30'), Martinelli (52'), Sissoko (87')
Shots: Watford 12, Arsenal 16
Shots on target: Watford 6, Arsenal 4
Possession: Watford 42, Arsenal 58
Three things we learned from Watford vs Arsenal
1. Free (maybe too free) Gunners are worthy winners: Arsenal left chances around for Watford to collect from the first half-minute onward, but only because they were enjoying their attack. Sissoko’s late goal forced the Gunners to tighten up and it provided a bit of a nervy ending, but only a bit. This looked a lot like the Arsenal we watched in the later stages of Arsene Wenger’s career, but before it went off the rails: Fun and unbothered but also closer to the edge than any Gooner would like for their match day.
2. Hodgson’s men open it up: Watford didn’t quite deserve a point but it gave plenty of hope to Roy Hodgson and the home support, especially on a day that Ismaila Sarr was unavailable to play. The Hornets can challenge teams on any given day, but their backs remain the reason they’re unlikely to find safety any time soon. Samir had a poor day and Tom Cleverley wasn’t much better in front of him.
3. Lacazette’s playmaking, hold up play making the difference: The French striker hasn’t been Mikel Arteta’s cup of tea from time-to-time but he’s showing that he’s up to the task of hassling back lines, finding the open man, and being a pest in so many different ways. Lacazette may not be a title-contending striker, but it would also be interesting to see how he’d do with, I don’t know, Man City?
Man of the Match: Cucho Hernandez - Yes, really. Odegaard and Saka were both very good and Lacazette an obvious stalwart, but Hernandez’s spectacular goal and late assist were part of a two-key pass, two tackle, eight duels won day.
Saka, Odegaard ooze class
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