Arsenal screamed injustice They spurned their chances – Football Sports News


Arsenal screamed injustice They spurned their chances Watford 2-1 Arsenal: Tom Cleverley strikes late to seal memorable win for hosts as Arsene Wenger and his side suffer yet more away day misery. Arsenal screamed injustice but they left with what they deserved. They spurned their chances, succumbed to blind panic and were reeling, heaving, hanging off the ropes, well before Tom Cleverleys crashed injury-time winner finished them off. A dubious penalty — Richarlison falling cheaply under minimal contact from Hector Bellerin — triggered Watfords comeback and offered some protective cover for Arsene Wenger. He seized it, though his rage in the tunnel at the end had subsided by the time he sat down to talk. It was no penalty, no goal. But after 1-1, there was no need to panic, he said. The substitutes told the real story, though. Wenger tried to bring Jack Wilshere on, was scuppered by an injury to Laurent Koscielny and dispatched the Englishman back to the bench — to a chorus of uncomplimentary chants from Arsenals fans. Marco Silva brought Troy Deeney on. Wenger should have known there would be attrition because Watford have scored late goals in their last three games and predictably Deeney was the fulcrum. He metaphorically thumped a fading Arsenal side, in which Mesut Ozil became non-existent after missing a gilt-edged chance to put them two goals clear. I know Im not technically gifted, Deeney said last night. But if you want to come and fight with me Ill win all day.. The real suffering for Wenger resides in the fact that their first defeat at Vicarage Road in 30 years is relatively insignificant. The usual platitudes were afforded to the visitors. Everyone here spoke deferentially about what a challenge this would be against the aristocrats, though it was a very proletarian kind of contest for long periods of the opening half. It took a set-piece against the run of play to send Arsenal ahead against a side that had not won at home all season and sieved six goals against Manchester City in their last match here. Per Mertesacker capitalised on Silvas questionable decision to make 5ft 9in Cleverley his marker. There was only ever going to be one winner, once the German had eased away from the Englishman. Briefly, Ozil looked like he might make Arsenal fly. He arrived in place of Danny Welbeck, whose departure just beyond the hour Wenger attributed to a hamstring strain, and immediately threaded a pass which should have put Alex Iwobi on the scoresheet. The Nigerians shot was palmed away adroitly by Heurelho Gomes but it was a bad miss. So was Ozils strike at the Brazilian goalkeeper minutes later. Then came the penalty and one of those desperate capitulations which have been the soundtrack of the late Wenger years. Richarlisons fall was theatrical as he and Bellerin raced into the penalty area but the Spaniard did himself no favours by throwing his arm out towards the forward. It was the Arsenal players reaction which revealed most: he hardly seemed concerned. Deeney thumped a right-footed penalty far to Petr Cechs left. Silva defended the Brazilian against any claim of simulation. It can be 50:50, not an easy decision. A short contact, he said. He then embarked on a more significant discussion of how he had unearthed Richarlison from Fluminese in what is beginning to look like one of the finds of this summer. We analysed him for a month and a half. We watched him play in Brazil, of course. I did my job. Our staff did their job. Wenger used to unearth players like this. Watford were threatening long before the winner. Richarlison hammered a speculative effort into the side netting and Mertesacker deflected substitute Etienne Capoues shot against the base of the post. But Ozil, who is 29 on Sunday, epitomised Arsenals feckless inability to steel themselves against Watfords late drive to convert one point into three. He was drifting aimlessly through midfield when the winner was struck home by the unmarked Cleverley, who seized on a Deeney shot deflected into his path off Mertesackers knee. Arsenal spurned three chances to clear in that phase alone. It only compounds the grief for them that Watford climb to fourth; territory which was once on the fringe of Arsenals own expectations. Silva was still not making big promises last night. We have one goal – to remain as a Premier league club, he said. Wengers own side sit sixth, nine points and light years adrift of Manchester City. Were not too looking at Manchester City but looking at ourselves, he said, which sounded true. Everyone is shocked in the dressing room, he said, which did not.

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