Post-Match Report

Arsenal 2-0 Watford: How it happened

Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring against Watford

Watford -

Emirates Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Arsenal
      
                  C. Cathcart (80 og)
                   Ozil (83)
            
   crest
Arsenal
C. Cathcart (80 og)
Ozil (83)
2 0
  Watford
   crest
Watford

WHAT HAPPENED

For the second weekend in a row, two goals in the space of three second-half minutes gave Arsenal a hard-earned victory at Emirates Stadium.

We weren't at our best against an in-form Watford side, but stood up to the physical challenge well, and eventually sealed all three points thanks to a late own goal, and Mesut Ozil's third in four outings. 

It could have been a much more comfortable afternoon had Lacazette scored when one-on-one with Ben Foster inside 20 minutes.

The Frenchman, who could have won a penalty in the opening five minutes when Christian Kabasele appeared to trip him inside the area picked Craig Cathcart's pocket 25 yards out, then raced through on goal. He got his attempted chipped effort all wrong though, and the ball bounced harmlessly wide.

It was a fast-paced game, end-to-end, with half-chances coming at both ends, and neither midfield able to take control.

Will Hughes and Abdoulaye Doucoure both flashed shots wide for the visitors, who had started with a confidence befitting a team in fourth-place.

They were organised defensively as well, and we didn't have a shot on target until the 40th-minute when Granit Xhaka stung Foster's palms with a first-time left foot shot from 20 yards.

The half ended with Petr Cech going off with an injury, to be replaced by Bernd Leno making his Premier League debut. And the German was soon making a vital intervention. He got down superbly to deny Troy Deeney early in the second half, getting a strong hand to his shot and turning it round the post for a corner. It was a great save, and just what he would have wanted so early after being introduced.

Arsenal were next to threaten, but Lacazette couldn't direct his header goalwards when picked out by Pierre-Emmerick Aubameyang.

The game was finely balanced, Leno was looking solid in goal, but it was a superb sliding challenge by Holding on 74 minutes that prevented Watford taking the lead when he charged down Isaac Success's shot at close range.

The substitute Success then had an even better chance, when he turned Holding, sprinted away and clipped the ball over Leno, but just wide. A huge let off.

Arsenal made them pay. Alex Iwobi injected some dynamism after coming off the bench, and created the opener. His low cross from the right wing was diverted goalwards by a combination of Lacazette and Cathcart at the near post - it looked as though the Watford man got the last touch.

Just like against Everton last Sunday, once Arsenal had their noses in front, they killed the game off soon afterwards. Iwobi and Lacazette were involved again, swapping passes before the latter teed up Ozil to finish neatly.

Job done, seven wins in a row, up to fifthplace and the momentum continues to build. 

WHAT'S NEXT

Arsenal set off for Azerbaijan for the first away Europa League match of the season, against Qarabag. In a change to last season's routine, Unai Emery's side will travel early on the Wednesday, and train in the hosts' stadium the night before the game. Then it's a quick turnaround - despite the six-hour flight - after the game to head to Fulham for a midday kick-off on Sunday.