Referee:Andre Marriner Attendance:20,141
Tottenham had scored a fortuitous opener as Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure bundled into his own net but, after winning their first four league games for the first time in 30 years, it is the Hornets who join Liverpool and Chelsea on maximum points at the top of the table.
To the delight of Elton John, who sat in the posh seats, and every one of their other supporters, it was Watford rather than Tottenham who maintained their 100% start to the season. It is four wins out of four for them in the league and, for the first time since 1987, Watford triumphed in this fixture.
Next up for Watford, after the international break, are Manchester United and a group of players with their own vulnerabilities. The likes of Deeney, unapologetically destructive on days like these, will target United’s pressure points with snarl and venom. “He is the captain, the spirit” said Gracia. “You can see always his example. He has not changed, he wants to win.”
Having had to man the barricades at the end of the first half, Spurs’ goal came from nothing eight minutes into the second. A loose clearance, an aimless low cutback from Moura and a freak deflection off Doucouré that wrong-footed Foster. The sort of goal that would normally be a hammer blow. “You don’t give away goals like that against teams like this. It can’t be our day. They haven’t had to do much to earn that…”.
There was a certain inevitability to the goal and we settled back to witness the defeat that was sure to come. But the players were of a completely different mindset and the goal seemed to galvanise them into action. First Gray hit a powerful shot that was just over the bar. Then Deeney hit a shot across goal that took a deflection off Vertonghen before coming back off the inside of the post. So close! Spurs were rattled and Dembélé went into the referee’s book for pulling down Hughes. Holebas took the resulting free kick which was met by Deeney who powered the header home to level the game and send the Rookery wild.
I had been saying “take a point” in my mind throughout the week leading up to this game. Suddenly though, it felt as though all three points were a very real possibility. As a corner came in, again a pinpoint delivery from Holebas, Craig Cathcart nodded it into the Rookery End net and Vicarage Road erupted. I had never seen us beat Spurs in my whole life. In fact, the last time we beat Spurs I would have only been 1 year old, back in 1994.