Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Tottenham 1 – 0 Watford

Son Heung-min marked his 200th Premier League appearance with the winning goal as Tottenham maintained their 100% start to the season against Watford.

The result means Spurs will top the table heading into September’s international break, while Watford are 12th.

It also sees Nuno Espirito Santo become just the second Tottenham boss to win his first three league games in charge of the club, with the last man to accomplish that feat being Arthur Rowe in 1949.

But they were made to work hard for their victory by an accomplished Watford side who were unfortunate to concede when Son’s inswinging free-kick deceived goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann and found the bottom-right corner.

While Harry Kane was unusually quiet on his first top-flight start this term for Tottenham, Steven Bergwijn, Eric Dier and Dele Alli all had chances for the hosts.

However, Xisco Munoz’s side offered plenty of attacking threat of their own.

Juraj Kucka twice failed to capitalise on good opportunities to score and Emmanuel Dennis also gave Spurs some uncomfortable moments.

There was a feeling of buoyancy as Spurs emerged before kick-off, with Kane in particular receiving a rousing reception from the home supporters.

And that positivity was still sweeping around the stadium at full-time with a 300th Premier League home win in the bag.

While newly promoted Watford are likely to have disparate objectives for the rest of the season, Spurs’ victory and performance sets them up nicely for a challenging run of fixtures when the Premier League resumes.

London derbies against Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal are next on the agenda for Nuno’s side.

And aside from the relief of keeping Kane – their main goalscoring threat – they also appear to have become more solid in defence since Nuno arrived in the summer.

Spurs are yet to concede a league goal this term and the way in which Dier and Davinson Sanchez both threw themselves in front of efforts that look destined to end up in their net underlined a new attitude to defending.
Watford looked aggrieved to have gone into the interval trailing after holding Spurs at bay for much of the first period, and even without the likes of Troy Deeney they showed plenty of attacking intent.

Nigerian forward Dennis was particularly lively coming in off the left to present his marker Japhet Tanganga and the covering Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg with a number of problems.

Ismaila Sarr’s pace was also an outlet on the opposite flank – with the Senegal international twice having chances to open the scoring early on.

The Hornets were also unfortunate to see Kucka’s goal-bound effort blocked by Spurs defender Dier during a frenetic start.

Even after Spurs went ahead there always seemed a route back into the game for them, however Xisco will be conscious that for all their fine play, they mustered just two shots on target.

-BBC

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