Another slow start plagued Spurs out of the gate, as the Lilywhites’ winless streak extends to four Premier League matches.
Mauricio Pochettino named a standard starting lineup standard, opting however to start Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier while pushing Eric Dier into midfield.
The changes seemed to work early on, as Tottenham pressed high, trying to get the opener. Spurs broke forward with a great chance only six minutes in: Trippier flashed a cross towards goal. Harry Kane attacked the ball, but couldn’t get a final touch, his progress impeded by Watford’s defence. It was a valid penalty claim, one that should have been given.
Watford that struck first, capitalizing on a corner, where, inexplicably, Tottenham failed to place a man on the back post. Christian Kabasale got the better of Kane, who had to try compete on an aerial challenge from a standing start.
Tottenham kept battling for the equalizer, coming close again in the 23rd minute. Kane launched a deep ball into the path of Dele Alli who wasn’t able to get the decisive touch.
Only two minutes later Spurs pulled level through Son Heung-Min. Set free by Trippier, Christian Eriksen drove the ball down the wing and played across goal to Son, who connected for his fifth goal in all competitions.
It was a brilliant counterattack, something Spurs fans have gotten used to these past few seasons. Watford felt they had a penalty shout at the other end moments before, but referee Martin Atkinson wasn’t convinced Ben Davies’ challenge was unlawful.
The complexion of the match altered completely after the interval. In the 51st minute Tottenham were reduced to 10 men after Davinson Sánchez was given his marching orders. The Colombian tried to impeded Richarlison’s progress, instead catching him in the face with a impactful elbow.
Tottenham reshuffled after going down a man, managing to hold Watford off for the remainder of the game. The manager made a few changes, but none of them had the desired impact. Moussa Sissoko once again showed industry, putting Watford on the back foot on occasion.
The players responded well after going down a man. Dele is suffering from a poor run of form and should be rested for the Stoke match. It would be nice to see Erik Lamela in the starting team. It’s a perfect time to give the Argentinian his first start since a long injury layoff.
The gaffer had this to say after the match:
Tottenham are in dire need of a strong response against Stoke this weekend, or they could face falling further adrift of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United in the race for a top-four finish.