Once again critical errors were Arsenal’s downfall as Watford fought back from two goals down at half time to secure a share of the points.
Our second half efforts were contrasting to our first half, and in the end we were scrabbling for a draw, with the home side galvanised thanks to the two gifts we gave them.
And gifts they were, with the first of their goals coming from a goal kick that was taken short, and Sokratis finding a Watford player in our own box rather than the designated target. It left an easy job for Tom Cleverly to fire home.
Then, yet another penalty given away as David Luiz stuck out a lazy leg to bring down Roberto Peyrera who dusted himself down to despatch the penalty past Leno.
It was the third game in a row we have given away a penalty, two of them from David Luiz errors. It simply isn’t good enough, and Watford smelled blood. We were hanging on in the end, with the Hornets buzzing around a prone Arsenal side and they were lucky not grab a winner in the final minutes, with Doucoure firing straight at Leno when found just six yards out.
It should have been so different, as Emery named Pepe, Aubameyang and Ozil together for the first time, and Auba in particular was in clinical form.
The first goal came from a point of consternation for home fans, as Watford complained for a free kick that was never going to be given. Sead Kolasinac paid no heed and roved forward, found Aubameyang just inside the box and the striker spun and shot in one movement, leaving Foster no chance.
The second goal was a beauty. The most consecutive passes before a goal this season culminated with Mesut Ozil slipping through a delicious through ball into the box, which Maitland-Niles picked up after timing his run. The right-back squared it for a lurking Auba who made no mistake from close in.
It left us two goals up with just the second half to contend with. While Watford had troubled us in the first half, we looked like we had enough to stifle them.
So the second half was a real shock to the system, and we couldn’t keep the home team quiet.
What can we take from this game?
Luiz for The Bench
Twice now we have seen Luiz make errors that have led to penalties. When we have a completely capable central defender on the bench in Calum Chambers, it must be a straight swap for our next game. Holding isn’t far off either, so the Brazilian can be swapped out in our team. He did a fair amount right in this game, but yet another error isn’t the greatest shout for him to remain in the side.
Emery Subs Were Wrong
Up until Emery took out Dani Ceballos, we were coping. Then, the Spaniard was hooked and our bridge was gone, leaving nothing but pressure on our shoulders. Ceballos takes the pressure off and is the conduit in possession, and we didn’t have that for the last half an hour. It killed our hopes and Emery must take the can for it.
31 Shots Conceded
The most amount of shots Watford have EVER had in a PL game. That reeks of something wrong in our defence and tactics. Too much space afforded in dangerous areas, defenders standing off, midfield not pressing. In fact, where is our press? It is completely non-existent. We stood off criminally and we paid a big price.
Short Goal Kicks Shooting Us In The Foot
Guendouzi in the first half got caught in possession from a short goal kick, then in the second half Sokratis gave the ball away slackly. It won’t be the first time this costs us. When facing an effective press, can’t we just boot it long?
Next up is Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday, followed by Aston Villa at the weekend at The Emirates.