Watford 0 Arsenal 1
MNF was a tale of two Watford mistakes.
Goalkeeper Ben Foster gifted Arsenal an early goal after 9.06.
Aubameyang used his explosive pace to ambush Foster, sprinting across the loitering keeper from outside his peripheral vision and blocking the keeper’s left-footed clearance with his shin. The ball rebounded into the net.
A cute move by a cunning predator? Yes! Auba pounced.
Then, three minutes later,Troy Deeney clipped Lucas Torreira on the face with his forearm and ref Craig Pawson consulted his linesman and sent Deeney off
So the match was over in 12 minutes.
Three points in 12 minutes, thanks very much!
The “game” that followed was a non-event.
After about 35 minutes, co-commentator Alan Smith said, “You wouldn’t know it was ten against eleven.”
That was what 500,000 of us were thinking.
The match was entirely dull and neither side looked like scoring and when Ozil replaced Torreira at half-time, I said, “They’ve got ten each now.”
In 47 minutes I wrote in my notebook: I don’t think there will be another goal. So I started thinking about Napoli.
By not using Alexandre Lacazette at Watford, Emery was telling us that his main man in Thursday’s Europa League second leg will be the tenacious Frenchman, who will have to ride challenges, turn sharply, keep trying to pinch a yard against the second best team in Serie A.
I have faith in Laca, a tremendous pro.
Napoli v Arsenal is on Thursday night and you won’t see the home team cough up two gifts in this one.
This morning I saw Aubameyang say he’d been trying to score that goal for a long time.
WATFORD: Foster, Janmaat, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina, Femenia, Capoue, Doucoure, Hughes, Deeney, Gray. Subs: Gomes, Britos, Mariappa, Success, Sema, Chalobah, Navarro.
ARSENAL: Leno, Mustafi, Koscielny, Mavropanos, Monreal, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Iwobi, Aubameyang.
Subs: Cech, Elneny, Lacazette, Ozil, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Kolasinac.