clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary Goals:
What conclusions should be drawn from this bracing encounter between two teams determined to give no quarter? Was it two points dropped for Spurs as their run without a Premier League win extended to four matches? Or was it a point earned, after being forced to play most of the second half with 10 men? For Watford, should they have taken greater advantage of the dismissal of Davinson Sánchez in the 52nd minute? Or had they proven they can go toe to toe with the big teams and compete?
It is rare that a referee gets booed off the pitch by both sets of fans, but Martin Atkinson managed to upset the supporters of Watford and Tottenham at the end of a hard-fought draw in which the visitors had to play almost 40 minutes with ten men.
Football isn’t supposed to be played in the summer, that’s the maxim. It’s a winter sport. The mental image of condensation on your breath, scarves and hats, cups of bovril, stamping your feet to keep warm is a romantic one, the clichéd “can they hack it on a December midweek in Stoke” a derisive put-down to your fancy dan foreign types. They can’t, is the implication. Not being British obviously makes them inferior because they don’t make them tough wherever it is that they’re from whereas we’ve done it. We’ve been to Stoke midweek, braved the elements and the parking and the food, and we’re tougher for it. It’s still bollocks though. Cold isn’t fun, cold and wet less so. This is, admittedly, an intro that could have been more aptly stored up until Stoke away midweek in January… but the elements were an overriding consideration today as the clammy damp chill clung to your cheeks and any attempt to make a noise was muffled by suffocating condensation. It was Spurs at home, a vitriolic bad-tempered affair typical of this fixture, and yet the atmosphere had none of Tuesday’s bravado. Damp, cold. Slightly sullen.
While we really should have had a last minute penalty, a draw was a fair result and I would certainly have taken a point before the game. To be disappointed with a draw against Tottenham shows how far we have come and it was a very entertaining game. We have played all of the top six now and have only been outplayed by Manchester City. It will be a tough trip to Burnley next week, but the Premier League is finally a fun place for Watford fans and that is something to relish.
A cross from Richarlison from the left smacked the outstretched arm of Dier in the penalty area. 18,000 Watford fans cried “HANDBALL!” in unison along with the 11 players on the pitch. It was blatant and clear for all to see, unfortunately the only people who didn’t spot the offence were the officials.