By 90Min
April 01, 2018

Watford manager Javi Gracia was proud of his players despite being left disappointed as the Hornets twice lost the lead and had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Watford took the lead within 15 minutes when Kiko Femenia claimed his first goal for the Hertfordshire club. But Bournemouth hit back just before the break as Josh King converted a penalty, after José Holebas had handled the ball in the area.

Watford restored their lead soon after half-time as Roberto Pereyra scored within minutes of the restart. However, Watford conceded a late free kick which led to Bournemouth's Jermain Defoe slotting home an injury time equaliser, ensuring points were shared on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking after the game, via Watford Observer, Gracia said on the performance: "I can be disappointed with the result because we have lost two points in extra time. 

"But I feel proud of my players, of the team, the squad because we were twice up on the scoresheet and we try until the end but the team scored in extra time and we need to improve many things.

“Today, I think we had different chances to score in the first half but Bournemouth are a good team, a well organised team and they have scored a lot of goals this season from set pieces and we know they are dangerous in this situation. They scored in extra time and we have lost two point.

Having suffered consecutive defeats against Arsenal and Liverpool before the international break, Watford looked to be heading to victory on Saturday, until they conceded a free kick in injury time which led to Bournemouth's equaliser. 

And there were questions over whether Watford substitute Stefano Okaka had fouled the Cherries' Steve Cook. But, when questioned, Gracia opted to discuss how his side dealt with the free kick rather than focus on the referee's decision.

He said: “If the referee says it’s a foul, it’s a foul, I don’t say anymore. After that there is a long pass, there is a first pass, after that there is a second ball, it is not offside and we need to improve in that situation. It’s our responsibility to defend better in that situation. I think we deserve more points but it’s one point more and we continue.”

The draw leaves both Watford and Bournemouth on 37 points in the Premier League as the two sides look likely to secure places in England's top division for another season. 

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