Spurs drop more points in feisty draw with Watford
Tottenham's title hopes look over after another stumble
02 December, 2017 — By Paul Cowling
FA Premier League
WATFORD 1 (Kabasele 13)
SPURS 1 (Son Heung-min 25)
TOTTENHAM”S Premier League title hopes have all but gone and we haven’t even got to Christmas.
Their baffling blip continued as they dropped vital points in a feisty encounter at Vicarage Road, but it could have been worse, as they played for most of the second half with ten men following a red card for Davinson Sanchez.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was going to watch a video of the incident, and all he would say was that the Sanchez foul ‘wasn’t intentional’
“It is how the referee interprets it, said the Argentine coach.
Pochettino made three changes from the side that slid to defeat at Leicester in midweek, with Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies and Son Heung-min coming in for Serge Aurier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.
Played out in a cold air and the persistent fall of misty drizzle, Spurs started on the front foot, but were dealt an early scare when Harry Kane slid into a post when trying to connect with a Trippier cross.
Fortunately for Spurs fans packing the away end, the prolific marksman was only down for a few moments and returned to action.
Against the run of play, Watford proved how much of a danger they are to the top teams this season: Kane was the only Tottenham player who bothered to jump, let’s alone move when a Watford corner came in on 13 minutes, but he was out-muscled by Christian Kabasele, who’s bullet header gave Hugo Lloris no chance. 1-0 Watford.
“I was very disappointed to concede the goal. We have to show more focus and concentration at set-pieces,’ bemoaned a slightly frustrated Pochettino.
Watford were now in the ascendency, And on 25 minutes they thought they should have been awarded a penalty, when Richarlison looked to have been bundled over in the area.
Referee Martin Atkinson waved away the protests, and Tottenham charged down the other end to equalise: Son Heung-min sweeping into an open goal after a cross from Christian Eriksen.
Emotions and crowd volume racheted up several notches at the start of the second half, when Spurs had centre half Sanchez sent off on 52 minutes.
The Colombian central defender raised an elbow to the face of Brazilian Richarlison.
The Watford striker was pole-axed as he surged down the touch line, and in front of Watford boss Marco Silva, who let the adjacent match officials know what he thought of the foul.
Fortunately, he didn’t cross swords with Pochettino, who was watching on from close by.
Spurs didn’t look as if the numerical disadvantage was having too much effect on their attacking intent, but Kane’s ankles and shins were getting a battering from constant, niggly fouls.
“Can we have a referee?’ belted out the Spurs fans, at the lack of protection for their talisman.
“I am not going to say anything about the referee”, explained Pochettino, when asked about the serial hacking down of Kane.
“But, I am so pleased with our character. I am frustrated with the result, because we deserved so much more”, explained Pochettino.
With the minutes ticking by, both teams weren’t holding back for the three points, but neither side could create much in the way of clear cut chances.
” The team always got forward and we were brave, reasoned Pochettino.
“We always had chances to score, and we didn’t offer any chances for them (Watford) to score.”
And with a near equal share of possession, a draw was a fair result, through Abdoulaye Doucore thumped the post with a long-range pile driver, and Eric Dier got away with one when his hand appeared to get in the way of a Richarlison goalmouth cross in injury time.
Within seconds, the whistle was blown on the match, and quite probably Tottenham’s tilt at the title.
WATFORD: Gomes; Mariappa, Prodl, Kabasele (Capoue 63) Femenia; Doucoure, Cleverly (Gray 87) , Zeegelaar; Pereyra (Carrillo 67), Richarlison, Deeney
Subs not used: Janmaat, Karnezis, Wague, Watson
TOTTENHAM: Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Verthonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Eriksen (Sissoko 63), Kane, Alli (Winks 86) , Son Heung-min (Lamela 77)
Subs not used: Vorm, Rose, Aurier, Llorente
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