Sky Sports: Martin Odegaard opened the scoring with the first of three beautifully-worked Arsenal goals when he slid a low finish past Ben Foster after exchanging passes with Saka in the early stages (5). Watford responded well, with Cucho Hernandez netting the pick of the afternoon’s goals when he slammed home a stunning overhead kick from Kiko Femenia’s right-wing cross (11).
The Guardian: Chances were missed at both ends after that and there was rancour when Watford’s fans showed loud disapproval at Roy Hodgson’s substitution of Louza. “I’ve got to keep trying to pick the team to win games and not the team the fans would like to see because I don’t trust their judgment all the time,” Hodgson said. “I don’t think I can ask any more of the players than what they gave today.”
BHappy: These are strange times, however, and so here we are. The Ukrainian flag displayed by the Rookery twice pre-match – first as teams entered the arena and second, hesitantly, as the teams alternated around the centre-circle in a co-ordinated show of solidarity with Ukraine – would not, it seems, have met the approval of Chinese broadcasters and by implication the Chinese government; the former had declined to screen any Premier League matches this weekend in the light of such planned actions. The flag display, whilst a fine thing and well co-ordinated, feels somehow inadequate in the circumstances. It’s not quite standing in front of a tank, is it? And yet the fact that a government feels strongly enough about controlling the narrative told to its people to effectively ban its broadcast is testament to the impact it can have – or at least that they believe it can have. Well done all.
Fran’s Watford blog: Dennis really should have reduced the deficit when a low cross from Femenía reached him on the far post but he somehow miscontrolled and the ball spun away from goal. The visitors made a couple of substitutions replacing Martinelli and Lacazette with Pépé and Nketiah. Watford had a chance to strike back when a poor pass from the visitors reached Dennis who broke into the box but his pass to Kamara was intercepted. Arsenal then broke down the other end and the substitute, Nketiah, had a shot that hit the post. But the next goal of the game was scored by the Hornets as Sissoko brought the ball down in the box, beat the defender and squeezed the ball under Ramsdale to reduce the deficit to a single goal. Each side made a substitution at that point with Cleverley making way for debutant Kalu for the home side and Holding replacing Ødegaard for the visitors. When five minutes of added time was announced, it was the Hornet faithful cheering. Could we get a point from this game? Kalu had a great chance to grab the equaliser when he played a one-two with Sissoko and tried a shot from distance which was caught by Ramsdale. Kalu impressed again with a lovely ball towards Dennis that was intercepted. But the most notable thing during added time was the timewasting from the visitors which was most irritating when Tierney was thrown the ball by Hernandez and decided to drop it. Cucho’s follow-up throw was a little more vigorous but did not merit the Arsenal player collapsing as if he had received an upper cut and shame on the referee for booking the Watford player for his opponent’s play-acting. The final whistle went on a defeat for the Hornets that was greeted with applause from the home fans.