Spurs capitalised on an error from Hornets goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis as Christian Eriksen set up Alli and the England midfielder scored from 12 yards out. Kane doubled Spurs’ lead early in the second half from Kieran Trippier’s pull-back and Jan Vertonghen later headed against the post.
The game was played in a subdued atmosphere, with plenty of empty seats dotted around the ground, and Spurs were often there for the taking. There was a slight air of edginess about their play and Pochettino frowned at his team’s tentativeness in the final third, especially when Kane spurned a decent shooting opportunity with an awkward piece of control in the 12th minute. Watford sensed an opportunity to exploit that unease, showing inventiveness on the break, and Spurs’ defenders were relieved to see Hugo Lloris deny Andre Gray in the 25th minute.
Watford’s traditional poor springtime form meant they had gone five matches without a victory, conceding 15 goals in the process, so the decision to pair the Italy international Stefano Okaka in attack with Troy Deeney was a brave one with the former chairman Elton John, watching on from the stands. Yet it almost paid off as early as the fourth minute when Deeney found space on the right and his cross was headed against the crossbar by Okaka.
It had been a thoroughly entertaining half of football. Watford were a completely different team from last week, playing positively and battling for everything. We had managed 11 shots on goal, but without really testing Hennessey. The Watford fans were also putting in a good performance, loud and proud in support of their team, which was essential as Palace usually bring a very noisy crowd with them.
Whilst we go another game without a win, we did at least see a bit of fight and spirit and a much better performance than recent weeks. With safety all but confirmed that’s all we ask for during the run-in and we got that during this game.
Watford keeper Orestis Karnezis had been a virtual spectator before the goal, and his side perhaps deserved a point that would have eased any lingering fears the 12th-placed Hornets have of being dragged back into trouble.
Theoretically Javi Gracia’s men are not out of the relegation woods themselves but they started here as if convinced they were already safe in practical terms. A ridiculous five-minute spell from Roberto Pereyra summed up most of the first half. In the 27th minute he took their first corner and hit it straight out of play. Ninety seconds later he did exactly the same thing. And soon after that he was booked for diving.
Huddersfield doesn’t look like Watford, feel like Watford, smell like Watford. For one thing it’s tentatively and occasionally gloriously sunny as we arrive, which is something that Watford hasn’t been on matchday for a while. For another it’s, like, hilly and that. Daughter 1 blinks away her sleepiness as we emerge from the car… “is this really Yorkshire?”, as if we were in Narnia or Magrathea.
It was another very frustrating afternoon for Watford fans. Our team had certainly been better in the second half, but it was hard to argue that we deserved anything out of the game. Huddersfield seemed to want it more, even if they did have only the one shot on target.
Watford were toothless, pathetic even. We had four shots the entire game and just two on target. The lone striker isn’t working anymore. Deeney can win aerial duels but then he has no one running onto his knockdowns. When he doesn’t win aerial duels however we have no back up, to have three strikers we haven’t been able to score consistently all season or in some cases be given the chance is incredibly frustrating.
clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary Goals: 1
As at all Premier League grounds, there was a minute’s applause for Ray Wilkins, whose passing at the ridiculously young age of 61 hit me rather hard. His time at Vicarage Road was not one that is remembered fondly by Watford fans, but when I met him at the kit sponsors do, I found him to be a lovely man (unlike Vialli). It was pleasing that the applause in his memory started well before it was instructed.