Arsenal strengthened their UEFA Champions League bid with a 3-2 victory over Watford seeing the ‘Gunners’ climb into the Premier League (PL) top four – inflicting an eighth successive home PL defeat on the ‘Hornets’ in the process.
Seven home defeats in a row didn’t dampen the spirits at Vicarage Road as Watford flew out of the traps and had the ball in the net inside a minute through Emmanuel Dennis, but the linesman’s flag cut-short the Nigerian’s joy. How Watford were made to pay too – Martin Ødegaard finishing off a swift Arsenal move to fire the ‘Gunners’ ahead inside five minutes and again-meaning there would be no home clean sheet for Watford. Aaron Ramsdale wouldn’t be taking home a clean sheet either though thanks to a sublime finish from Cucho Hernández who thundered a bicycle kick past the Arsenal stopper.
A topsy-turvy game had another twist in store as Bukayo Saka robbed Tom Cleverley of possession 25-yards from goal, played a neat one-two with Alexandre Lacazette before rifling high into the roof of Ben Foster’s net to give Arsenal a HT lead. In a game full of sensational strikes, Gabriel Martinelli got his name on the scoresheet as yet another free-flowing Arsenal move was crowned by a stunning finish into the top corner from the Brazilian to leave Watford with a gargantuan task on their hands if they were to claim anything from the game.
Dennis spurned a glorious opportunity for Watford, as he couldn’t make a clean contact on Kiko Femenía’s teasing cross. Moussa Sissoko did grab a late consolation, but that was as good as it got for Watford, who remain saddled with the PL’s worst home record this season – a mere seven home points undoubtedly the reason they are embroiled in the relegation battle. As for Arsenal, it’s now four PL wins in a row and a provisional spot in the top-four ahead of the Manchester Derby, although with games in hand on their European rivals, Arsenal hold all the cards as they seek Champions League football for the first time since 2016/17.