Premier League 2017/18: Watford 2-1 Arsenal, Player Ratings
It's been coming for 30 years for Watford to finally win against Arsenal and given the two line-ups announced before kick-off, it seemed like the right time for the Hornets to do so.
Arsene Wenger’s men, fresh from five victories in a row before the international break, couldn’t hold on to their first-half lead come the final whistle. Marco Silva's men went 1-0 down thanks to a Per Mertesacker header in the first but as is the case with them this season, they clawed their way back and gave their fans three points.
Here's how the players fared:
Heurelho Gomes (C) - 7/10
Captain from the beginning with Troy Deeney starting on the bench, Heurelho Gomes was asked to come to Watford's rescue quite often and pulled off five saves for his side making him just as vital as the goalscorers for Marco Silva.
Adrian Mariappa - 6.5/10
Was kept busy with a charging Danny Welbeck for most of the game but once the Englishman hobbled off, he seemed to be rather free. Did decent by getting four interceptions and two successful tackles.
Christian Kabasele - 7/10
The Belgian six-footer was called into action often thanks to a rather lively Alexander Lacazette but managed to get nine clearances, three interceptions and kept Oliver Giroud later in the game on a leash. A clean, professional performance from someone who hasn't had the best of runs lately.
Miguel Britos - 7/10
The most successful defender of the back-three was Miguel Britos. He won five duels of the seven he proceeded with, kept troubling Alex Iwobi and Alexander Lacazette with his holds and played the ball out deep surprisingly accurately.
Kiko Femenia - 6.5/10
The Spaniard didn't have the best of games often being outmuscled by the likes of Sead Kolasinac but contributed decently to his side's win with two critical interceptions and two tackles.
Tom Cleverley - 7.5/10
You never would've thought that the former Manchester United man would get the win given he was the one always at the centre of the park but his effort was excellent and he deserves all the credit for being a nuisance to the Arsenal midfielder throughout the game. Beaten too often but for tonight, that doesn't matter.
Abdoulaye Doucoure - 7/10
An 88.9% pass accuracy rate meant that Abdoulaye Doucoure was at the heart of most of Watford's attacks, continuously supplying balls into the first three. Got ahead more than his partner, Cleverly, but also got his hands -- feet, in this case -- dirty with excellent defensive contributions.
Jose Holebas - 6.5/10
Jose Holebas didn't have the best of games at left-wing-back with poor passing accuracy, nonexistent key passes and just one successful dribble all game. Lucky for him, the lad in front of him took all the blows and did all the work. Marco Silva needs to shore up the Greek international.
Roberto Pereyra - 7/10
There was this one moment in the game when Roberto Pereyra got the back and effortlessly beat two Arsenal defenders getting away into the final third. Barring that, he didn't contribute too much. Was dispossessed too often and could surely use the chance to go back to his prefered position in the middle of the park.
Andre Gray - 6/10
Andre Gray is fast -- especially when he's up against Per Mertesacker -- but the German kept him quiet all evening. Gray should've stayed in the final third near the edge of the box but was often the one dropping in to receive the ball in the midfield. His role needs to be made clear, it seems.
Richarlison - 8/10
A classic British display for the 20-year-old Brazilian although Watford's first might credit his nationality more. Won the most duels in the team, got into the box well, tested Petr Cech a couple of times and when it mattered most, he even went down for his team. Proving to be quite the pain in the buttocks for Premier League teams.
Troy Deeney - 7/10
Was on the pitch for only 27 minutes but the captain scored the all-crucial equaliser and helped his side score the second to see his team rise to fourth in the table. Phew. The Hornets are having quite the season and even though Deeney isn't seeing many minutes on the grass, his contribution when on is huge.
Andre Carrilo - 6/10
An exciting winger but he didn't do much coming on together with his captain. His passing was the only memorable contribution with him notching one key chance.
Etienne Capoue - 6.5/10
He scored against Arsenal last year and he nearly did so again with his effort hitting the post albeit thanks to two deflections. The Frenchman is a no-nonsense midfielder and his surging direct runs caused Arsenal a lot of problems in the final ten minutes of the game.