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Valiant Watford Fail to Hold Dominant Tottenham Hotspur

Dominant Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte has garnered fresh hope at Tottenham Hotspur that they can finish in the top four this season but on the road they have struggled to score enough and dropped too many points. Spurs started 2022 away at Watford and despite the Hornets’ huge defensive effort, it was a dominant Tottenham Hotspur who closed the gap on fourth place.

Dominant Tottenham Hotspur Close Gap to Top Four

Dominant Tottenham Come Up Against Brave Watford Defending

Fans would have been hard-pressed to see a game where one side dominated the play so much but failed to find the net but that is exactly what happened in the first 45 minutes at Vicarage Road. Tottenham had 73% of the possession but were faced with a brave and all hands to the pump defensive line and could not make the breakthrough.

Emerson Royal was a constant thorn in the side of Watford on the right wing but his final ball left a lot to be desired with crosses not beating the first man, much to the consternation and frustration of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min who were left waiting for a quality final ball.

Penalty Shouts

Tottenham were left baffled to not get at least one penalty as the first half drew to a close with Kane clearly having his shirt pulled off his back and then Eric Dier being dragged down in the box but neither the referee nor VAR deemed either a penalty further fuelling the frustration that VAR is too inconsistent. Kane did well to stay on his feet but it might be argued that had he gone down, a closer look may well have been taken and Kane was questioning the referee as the two teams headed down the tunnel at the break, somehow goalless.

Watford Hearts Broken

Watford did come out at the start of the second half with a touch more attacking intent and they could have made Spurs pay for their wastefulness in the first half when Royal gave the ball away inside his own half and Josh King hit a fierce drive that needed a world-class save from Hugo Lloris diving to his left.

It didn’t take long though for Spurs to get back on the front foot and dominate the ball as Watford put everyone behind the ball and it looked like a rearguard action that was going to work. Son and Royal combined well and when the ball came into Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg all he had to do was score but managed to slip and once again the ball was cleared.

Son was then next to fluff his lines as Royal again fired the ball across the box but Son tried a flick and the ball went wide of the post. The South Korean was then denied when he hit a volley toward the goal and the Spurs fans were about to celebrate before Daniel Bachman somehow got to the ball. Son was shaking his head and no wonder – it was an incredible save and meant Watford were still heading for a hard-fought point before their hearts would be broken.

Fan Concern

In the 86th minute, the game was paused as referee Robert Jones reacted quickly to fan shouts that a fan on the stands had collapsed. Both sets of physios were quickly across and into the crowd and it is believed that the fan was stabilised before being taken to hospital. Praise must go to the fans, officials and physios for their quick actions.

Game Restarted

When the game re-started, Tottenham kept attacking and in the 96th minute finally got the goal and three points that they had so deserved for their total domination of the match. Son was fouled on the left and dusted himself off to whip the free kick in himself which was met with a header by Davinson Sanchez. Tottenham were victorious whilst Watford will feel unlucky to have lost for their efforts but they look like a team heading back to the Championship unless Claudio Ranieri can add more quality in the January Transfer window.

Tottenham are now two points behind North London rivals Arsenal who sit in fourth place but have two games in hand meaning Antonio Conte has Spurs right in the frame of mind to qualify for the Champions League after two seasons away but he also will be looking to strengthen in January with fixtures coming thick and fast between now and May.

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