By 90Min
January 02, 2019

Bournemouth and Watford played out a thrilling 3-3 draw, with all six goals coming in the first-half at the Vitality Stadium.

The Cherries twice came from behind as Javi Gracia's side were left frustrated by their defensive frailties - with the hosts scoring their three goals within six crazy first half minutes.

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After an even start to the game, the first chance fell Bournemouth's way as a deflected cross fell to Jefferson Lerma 20 yards out. However, the Colombian's first-time effort was shanked high and wide.

The Cherries were made to pay in the 13th minute as Watford took the lead. A well worked move down the right-hand side saw Ken Sema's dinked cross headed home by Troy Deeney. 

Watford doubled their lead in the 26th minute with Deeney pouncing on a loose ball in the box before lashing a fierce strike into the top corner giving Asmir Begovic no chance.

Bournemouth pulled a goal back in the 33rd minute as Ben Foster's fantastic save from a Steve Cook header was only parried as far as Nathan Aké who scored his second goal in two games. 

The Cherries completed the comeback in the 36th minute through an exquisite Callum Wilson header, which looped over Foster and into the top-right corner after Fraser's set piece delivery.

Parity only lasted for two minutes as Watford regained the lead in the 38th minute. A long punt upfield by Foster was flicked on into the path of Sema who volleyed a ferocious strike into the bottom corner.

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However, there was a third goal in three minutes as Bournemouth came down the other end to equalise once again. A Junior Stanislas cutback rolled across the 18-yard box and found Fraser who fired emphatically into the bottom corner. 

The second half was a relatively tepid affair in comparison, though Josh King did waste a wonderful opportunity to snatch all three points - the legs of Foster salvaging a point for the Hornets.


Key Talking Point

Bournemouth's form has dipped dramatically since the start of the season, with the Cherries losing five of their last six matches. Much of this poor form has been down to their woeful defensive record.

With Eddie Howe's side conceding 16 goals in their last six games, the question was whether they could shut out a dangerous Watford attack. The answer was a resounding no as Bournemouth conceded three first-half goals, showcasing all of their defensive frailties.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Begovic (6), Cook (5), Aké (7), Daniels (5), Stanislas (7), Gosling (6), Lerma (5), Fraser (8), Brooks (6), Wilson (8), King (7)

Substitutes: Mousset (6), Ibe (6)

STAR MAN: With a goal and an assist to his name, Fraser was Bournemouth's talisman against Watford. The Scotsman missed a guilt-edge chance with his side 1-0 down but recovered from this setback superbly.

Fraser now has five goals and nine assists in 21 Premier League appearances, making him an integral component in Bournemouth's free-scoring attack.

WORST PLAYER: Aside from Nathan Aké, Bournemouth's entire back three looked shaky as they conceded three goals in the first half.

However, Steve Cook was the worst of the three as he struggled to cope with the pace of Gerard Deulofeu throughout. Bournemouth simply have to defend with greater diligence if they are to regain their early-season form.


Key Talking Point

Watford have been in excellent goalscoring form lately, managing to score in each of their last six games - including fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City. 

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This impressive run continued as the Hornets stormed into a 2-0 lead after just 26 minutes. However, Javi Gracia's side showed an element of naivety as they allowed Bournemouth back into the game not once but twice. If they are to get consistent results, they'll have to become more disciplined defensively.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Foster (7), Femenia (6), Mariappa (6), Cathcart (6), Holebas (6), Doucouré (5), Capoue (6), Sema (8), Pereyra (7), Deulofeu (7), Deeney (8)

Substitutes: Cleverley (5), Success (5) Hughes (6)

STAR MAN: Despite being subbed off after 71 minutes, Ken Sema put in an exceptional performance for Watford. His pace and power was devastating on the break and Bournemouth struggled to deal with the Swede.

Capping off his fine performance, Sema scored arguably the goal of the game as he hammered a volley into the bottom corner to put Watford 3-2 up, even if it was for just a minute.

WORST PLAYER: Whilst he provided a threat in the attack, Abdoulaye Doucouré seemed like an accident waiting to happen for the away side.

The French midfielder was booked in the first half for a reckless challenge on Fraser but could easily have been sent off. Doucouré was always on a tightrope after this and was hooked in the 56th minute.

Looking Ahead

Following this eventful game, Bournemouth face Brighton at home in their FA Cup Third Round fixture as they look to put together a cup run for their fans.

Watford, meanwhile, have a somewhat simpler task as they face Woking. The Hornets will be expected to win that tie comfortably, and will no doubt look to rest some of their jaded first team regulars.

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