The ‘cojones’ game.
For Watford this was the thrilling story of another last-gasp triumph thanks to a 92nd-minute goal by Tom Cleverley following an equaliser from the penalty spot by Troy Deeney. For Arsenal it boiled down to a tale of two Germans and one 20-year-old Brazilian.
Richarlison’s late winner at Swansea City was good, and his equaliser at the death at West Bromwich Albion too was important too. But this Watford fight-back, sealed by Tom Cleverley’s 90th minute winner, sparking carnage at Vicarage Road, was the best of the lot.
Considering that the primary criticism of Mesut Ozil is that he does not do enough to seize control of games, it is a cruel twist of fate that it was his error that swung this match away from Arsenal. Clean through on goal, with almost enough time to stop and brush the hair out of his eyes, Ozil had the most welcoming of opportunities to extend the lead given to his side by an unlikely Per Mertesacker header.
We’ve noted this before, but if you were to list the things you missed about the Second Division, floodlit matches at the Vic would be up there. And no, this wasn’t strictly an evening game but the sun was on its way home for “Strictly” and beans on toast by kick-off and the marvellous focused intensity of such occasions was thick in the air. The 1881’s latest magnificent flag shrouded the Rookery as the teams came out and then rattled back down the stand like an opening curtain on the spectacle.
Given the two away games and the international break, this was the first home game since Toddy passed away, so it was a sombre crowd that gathered. There was a huge contingent of Norfolk Horns in attendance and Toddy’s son, Chris, came along, which was just lovely. I doubt he has ever been hugged so much before. Glasses were raised, happy memories exchanged and there was a determination to sing our hearts out for Toddy as well as the lads.
Well then, where do I start? In all honesty I don’t really know. You all know what’s coming, you all know what happened, it’s no secret. So is there really any point in going through the motions and talking about the rest of the game? Or should I just waffle on about how Tom Cleverley’s 92nd minute winner epitomised Watford’s fighting spirit this season, or how it capped one of the most memorable nights at Vicarage Road?