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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Tottenham stung by Watford as Gracia's men continue 100 per cent start

Spurs took the lead through a Doucoure own goal before Deeney and Cathcart head Watford to 2-1 win at Vicarage Road

Watford goalscorers Craig Cathcart, left, and Troy Deeney celebrate as Watford maintained their winning start to the Premier League season against Tottenham. AFP
Watford goalscorers Craig Cathcart, left, and Troy Deeney celebrate as Watford maintained their winning start to the Premier League season against Tottenham. AFP

Watford came from behind with two set-piece goals to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Vicarage Road, ending the visitors' 100 per cent record and maintaining their own perfect start to the Premier League season.

After a tepid first half, Tottenham were gifted the lead when Abdoulaye Doucoure scored an own goal in the 53rd minute.

Yet Watford responded well to going behind and were level in the 69th minute after Troy Deeney headed home Jose Holebas’ free kick.

Craig Cathcart completed the turnaround, heading home from another Holebas set piece 14 minutes from fulltime - meaning Watford climbed to third, having won their first four top-flight games for the first time, while Spurs slipped to fifth.

"We showed a lot of character," Watford captain Deeney told Sky Sports. "We were disappointed in the first half but we showed resilience. A lot of teams would fold after going behind to Tottenham.

"At 0-0 we went away from our game and made a lot of silly mistakes in the middle of the pitch. But we got back to what we do. We caused them problems and we're big lumps - not many defenders like it.

"This result gives us confidence. Four wins is a huge achievement. But we cannot get too carried away because we've got Manchester United next."

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For Watford, their brilliant start to the season continues and they sit with Liverpool and Chelsea as the only teams to have won every game so far.

The drama of the second half could not have been predicted after an opening 45 minutes that will not live long in the memory.

Spurs enjoyed the better of the play and might have taken an early lead as Dele Alli headed over when he perhaps had more time following Toby Alderweireld's pinpoint long ball.

Deeney's header from Daryl Janmaat's cross was an even better chance for Watford soon after, but the striker could not keep his effort down.

And the clear opportunities after that dried up, with Lucas Moura getting a volley horribly wrong and Davinson Sanchez heading over as Spurs looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

It did not take Pochettino's side long to get on the attack after the break and Christian Eriksen had their first efforts on goal, but Ben Foster saved both with ease.

In the end, it needed a Watford player to put through his own net to give Tottenham a 53rd-minute lead.

After the Watford defence failed to clear the ball properly, Moura drove the ball across goal and it cannoned off Doucoure and into the bottom corner.

Watford were inches away from being beneficiaries of an own goal themselves when Deeney robbed Sanchez of possession and his cross was headed against the crossbar and then post by a fortunate Alderweireld.

Deeney decided to take matters into his own hands in the 70th minute as he climbed highest from Jose Holebas' dangerous free-kick to power a header into the bottom corner.

And they showed their prowess from set-pieces again seven minutes later when Cathcart thundered an effort in from a corner to put his side in front.

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