Watford were well-beaten at Emirates Stadium as Arsenal eased to a 3-0 win over Javi Gracia’s men on Sunday.

The Hornets went behind with just eight minutes on the clock when Shkodran Mustafi headed in Mesut Ozil’s free-kick.

The Hornets were indebted to Orestis Karnezis for keeping the deficit at one at half-time as he made a number of smart first half saves.

Their resilience was broken soon after the interval, however, when Henrikh Mkhitaryan played in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who rounded Karnezis and turned in.

Watford were given an immediate chance to reduce their arrears to one when Roberto Pereyra, who was guilty of an awful first half miss, was fouled in the box by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Troy Deeney stepped up amid a chorus of boos and saw a poor effort saved by Petr Cech.

Arsenal made sure of the points when Mkhitaryan, whose movement troubled Watford throughout, fired in a third with 13 minutes to play.

Here’s how we rated the Hornets in North London.

Orestis Karnezis – 7

Watford Observer:

Made a smart save with the game in its infancy to deny Aubameyang an opener inside two minutes and was solid throughout.

His stop to prevent Mesut Ozil making it two before half-time showed great composure as he stood his ground and read the German’s effort to save with his feet.

Blotted his copy book with the failure to keep out Mkhitaryan’s strike which was straight at him, but the game was well gone by then.

Daryl Janmaat – 6

Much of Arsenal’s better moments came down the Dutchman’s side in the first half but he grew into the game.

As ever, a better presence going forward than defending and looks to have the starts of a promising relationship with Kiko Femenia on the right.

Sebastian Prödl – 4

Lost track of his man on a number of occasions and struggled to contain the free-movement of the Arsenal front line.

Panicked on the ball at times and a wayward clearance almost gifted Aubameyang a goal in the first half.

Adrian Mariappa – 4.5

Watford Observer:

The more composed of Watford’s centre-back paring but still looked all at sea as Arsenal frequently got in behind.

Made one superb first half tackle to bail out the hapless Prodl, but should really have conceded a penalty after clearing out Mkhitaryan with a reckless, studs-up lunge.

Jose Holebas – 6

A useful outlet going forward and put in a number of good crosses which Deeney and co really should have made more of.

However, his defending left plenty to be desired and he was outjumped by Mustafi for the Arsenal opener and lost track of Aubameyang for the host’s second.

Abdoulaye Doucouré – 7

Many billed this as an audition for the club Doucoure will join this summer and the Frenchman didn’t disappoint his potential future employers.

Energetic and typically efficient on the ball in the middle of the park and tested Cech with a low effort in the first half.

Etienne Capoue – 6.5

Has enjoyed a purple patch under Javi Gracia and once again put himself about to make a good impact in midfield.

Kiko Femenía – 6 Back in the starting line-up for the first time since December and deployed in a right-wing role. Got on the ball more in the first half before the pace caught up with him and he made way.

Roberto Pereyra – 6

Watford Observer:

One of his better recent displays and his mark would have been far higher if not for a glaring miss with the score at 1-0.

After Richarlison’s free-kick had come back off the post, Pereyra reacted quickest and had the Arsenal goal at his mercy but blazed well over the bar.

Richarlison – 7

Looked close to the player who had the beating of defenders up and down the country earlier in the season and enjoyed playing as a striker in a 4-4-2.

So unlucky to see a first half free-kick come back off the post and was denied a headed leveller by Cech’s smart stop late in the half.

Troy Deeney – 5

Watford Observer:

If you’re going to criticise a side’s apparent lack of bottle you need to back it up with a performance on the pitch. Missing a crucial penalty is not the way to do it.

Deeney’s cajones comments in the wake of Watford’s 2-1 defeat of Arsenal earlier in the season made him the pantomime villain at the Emirates.

Little surprise then that the Gunners fans took great glee in goading the Watford skipper when his poor spot kick was easily saved by Cech.

It was the biggest chance Watford had to get back in the game and the miss effectively ended the game as a contest.


Will Hughes – 6

Came on in place of Femenia and looked to get on the ball where possible but was always going to be tough ask to influence the game.

Stefano Okaka – 5.5

Struggled to get into a game which was all but lost by the time he was introduced and had minimal impact.

Miguel Britos – N/A

Not given long enough to make an impression.