By 90Min
September 29, 2018

Arsenal had to dig deep to overcome a determined Watford side at the Emirates in an action-packed game as Craig Cathcart's own goal and Mesut Ozil's strike sealing the win for the Gunners.


As the first half progressed Unai Emery's side grew into the game and should have had a penalty when Christian Kabasele caught Lacazette, the Frenchman's honesty perhaps costing his side. The former Lyon striker then missed a golden opportunity to put his side ahead when through on goal, dinking wide of the right hand post.

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The second half continued in the same light with both sides creating chances. Bernd Leno, introduced at the break for the injured Petr Cech, had to be alert to deny both Troy Deeney and Andre Gray.

Arsenal eventually made the breakthrough against the run of play as Craig Cathcart diverted past Foster from substitute Alex Iwobi's cross. Minutes later Mesut Ozil doubled the Gunner's lead as he tapped in from Lacazette's cut-back to secure an important three points for Emery's side.

Check out our breakdown of the game below.


ARSENAL 


Key Talking Point

The Ramsey-Ozil conundrum. 

With a wealth of attacking midfield options at his disposal, Arsenal manager Unai Emery has struggled to find the solution as to who should start in support of Lacazette. 

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Both Ramsey and Ozil are at their best when deployed centrally behind the striker, and it is clear that Emery wants both midfielders in his side. 

So far the Welshman has largely been deployed as chief creator in the no.10 role, meaning Ozil is forced to play off the right where he has looked out of place and often ineffective.

Emery must work to utilise the German's creativity in the final third while offering better protection for Bellerín, who has been left exposed at right back all too often this season. 

With news of Ramsey's contract talks reaching a stand-still there is a possibility that in weeks to come Ozil will be afforded the chance to occupy the number ten role that his skill set is certainly better suited to.

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Player Ratings


Starting XI: Cech (5); Bellerín (6), Holding (6), Mustafi (5), Monreal (6); Torreira(4), Xhaka(6); Ozil (6), Ramsey (6), Aubameyang (7); Lacazette (8).


Substitutes: Leno (7), Iwobi (6), Wellbeck (5).


STAR MAN - Lacazette was a threat throughout. The Frenchman was guilty of missing chances in the first half but was pivotal in the latter exchanges.

He put Cathcart under pressure before the defender inadvertently poked the ball under his keeper and then teeing up Ozil to secure victory for his side.


WORST PLAYER - Lucas Torreira has shone when given game-time following his summer transfer from Sampdoria. 

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The midfielder provides the steel and bite that Arsenal fans have been crying out for in the middle of the park, though Saturday was an afternoon to forget for the Uruguayan.


The high press from Gracia's Watford side saw the 22 year-old lose possession on countless occasions in the first half. Despite a poor showing, the midfielder looks like an astute signing.


WATFORD


Key Talking Point

Troy Deeney and Andre Gray have been a revelation up top together this season. The two centre forwards have developed a fantastic understanding since Gray's arrival from Burnley in the summer of 2017.

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Following a slow start to his career at Vicarage Road, Gray has scored three times this season and has shown he is capable of pressing from the front with Deeney.

The partnership between the two Englishman will prove pivotal over the course of the season as Watford look to build from their impressive start.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Foster (6); Navarro (5), Cathcart (6), Kabasele (6), Holebas (6); Hughes (7), Doucouré (5), Capoue (6), Pereyra (6); Deeney (7), Gray (7).


Substitutes: Success (5), Femenia (N/A).


STAR MAN - Deeney's ability to link with his midfield was a key feature of the game. The target man provided a constant threat with his aerial ability and was unfortunate not to score in the second half. 

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The Hornets captain has rediscovered his best form this season after struggling last term. The striker's passion and drive lifts his teammates around him and will be key for Javi Gracia's dogged approach.


WORST PLAYER - Marc Navarro, making his Premier League debut, looked to get forward at every opportunity in the first half.

For all his attacking intent, the Spaniard was wasteful as he spurned numerous opportunities to deliver telling crosses into his centre forwards.

MB Media/GettyImages

Kiko Femenia, on the bench in the absence of Daryl Janmaat, will be frustrated after being introduced to the action so late with his fellow countryman struggling to provide any attacking threat down the right.


Looking Ahead

Arsenal face a lengthy midweek trip to Azerbaijan side FK Qarabag in the Europa League before taking on Fulham in Saturday's early kick-off next weekend.

No doubt frustrated by a game that his side dominated for large parts, Javi Gracia's side will be eager to return to winning ways as they take on Eddie Howe's Bournemouth next weekend.

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