By 90Min
April 24, 2019

Watford manager Javi Gracia has acknowledged the importance of his side's hard-fought 1-1 draw against Southampton on Tuesday evening, but despite the goal they conceded he refused to place blame on any of his players.

The match started in dramatic fashion, as Shane Long capitalised on a mistake from defender Craig Cathcart to steal the ball and chip over keeper Ben Foster, scoring the quickest goal in Premier League history within seven seconds.

The Hornets struggled to find the equaliser, but eventually managed to snatch a point to keep them in the running for a Europa League spot through a strike from Andre Gray in the last minute of regular time.

The mistake that led to Long's early goal wasn't Watford's only lapse in judgement in recent weeks, as Foster also made a mistake that was punished by Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last time out, however Gracia refused to criticise any of his players.

Speaking post-match, as quoted by the Watford Observer, Gracia said: "We conceded in the last games two similar goals. But if we speak about players like Ben Foster and Craig Cathcart, they are players who are always very concentrated. 

"It’s something, in my opinion, that sometimes happens and you never know exactly why."

The draw saw the Hornets move up to seventh, one point above Everton, in a season that has already seen them break their record for most points accumulated in the Premier League and reach the final of the FA Cup.

Reflecting on the game, Gracia added: “The first goal was very strange. We conceded an early goal and after Southampton played better, in my opinion, in the first half. They could kill the game in that period.

“In the second I think we found a better balance playing that way and at the end of the game we scored a goal. It’s true we could have scored another one but I like to give value to the point today.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

“It’s an important point and now we focus on the next game. We have to play three games in these eight days and we have to be ready for the next one.”

Next up for Watford is another home match against Wolves, who they last faced in the FA Cup semi-finals, as they look to build up their momentum for the business end of the season. 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)