EPL 2017/18: Watford 2-1 Arsenal: 4 standout performers.

In Saturday’s evening kick-off, Watford welcomed London rivals Arsenal to Vicarage Road. In a game between two teams vying for a premature top 4 spot, it was Watford who capitalised on an open Premier League table. The Hornets snatched an injury-time winner to sink the Gunners and move into 4th place. Goals from Troy Deeney and Richarlison were enough for Marco Silva’s men to record a famous victory.

Here are the four standout performers of Watford’s 2-1 win over Arsenal.

Per MertesackerPer Mertesacker

At 33 years of age, Per Mertesacker is way past his physical prime and in his last season for Arsenal, it’s a surprise to still see him starting for the Gunners. However, injuries forced Arsène Wenger to reshuffle his defensive three. In came the Big German and he put in a performance worthy of his captain status.

The German rose up in the 38th minute to head home from a Granit Xhaka corner to give Arsenal the lead. Besides that, the 33-year-old didn’t play like his age suggests he should. Per completed 48 passes, won 12 aerials, successfully completed 2 tackles and gave Arsène Wenger a new selection dilemma.

Abdoulaye DoucouréAbdoulaye Doucouré

The French midfielder was an ever-present figure in the middle of the park against the Gunners. He was constantly closing down Arsenal players and cutting off passing lanes to the forwards. Marco Silva has used the 24-year-old as a defensive CM to break up play and start counter attacks.

Against Arsenal, Doucouré executed his role down to a tee, he made 3 tackles, completed 89% of his passes, won 2 aerials and made 48 passes. He put in a performance of the highest order and ensured Arsenal’s MF pivot were ineffective in attack.

Alexandre LacazetteAlexandre Lacazette Arsenal

Scoring goals shouldn’t be the only criteria Alexandre Lacazette is judged upon. Against Watford, the Frenchman proved why he’s such a perfect fit for Wengerball. Watford refused to play in a defensive manner which therefore gave Lacazette ample amounts of space to run into.

He responded by making several intelligent runs behind the defence. His clever movement thus opened up space for others to play in. He didn’t score, but with limited service, he did his best to open up avenues for others.


The 20-year-old Brazilian star tirelessly ran up and down the left flank trying his best to make things happen for the Hornets. The right wing-back Hector Bellerín was restricted in his attacking endeavours as he was constantly pinned back by the exploits of Richarlison.

In the end, rightly or wrongly, his mazy runs led to a Watford penalty, which eventually turned the game on its head. He was the primary source of Watford’s attacking threat, successfully completing his dribbles, creating 1 chance, attempting 3 shots on target and completed 15 passes in the final third.


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