It was a case of what might have been for Watford for a second weekend running, as the Golden Boys were made to pay for missed chances during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat against Arsenal.

The Hornets more than held their own for 80 minutes and almost took the lead through substitute Isaac Success, whose lofted effort over substitute Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno agonisingly struck the post.

Troy Deeney forced a good save from Leno just after the break and Roberto Pereyra came close to opening the scoring with a lovely curling effort which just flew over the bar.

But the Golden Boys were made to pay for those missed chances when Craig Cathcart turned into his own net with ten minutes remaining and Arsenal effectively wrapped up the victory two minutes later through Mesut Ozil’s close range strike.

Here’s how we rated the Golden Boys:

Ben Foster – 6.5

Didn’t really have much to do. Commanded his box well and made a good save low down to beat away Xhaka’s driven low effort. Showcased his excellent distribution with an excellent goal-kick which almost released Gray in the first half and was solid when called upon. Could do nothing about both of Arsenal’s goals.

Marc Navarro – 6

A solid if unspectacular Premier League debut. Did the defensive side of his game well and got forward to support Watford’s attacks whenever possible but his final ball let him down on a number of occasions.

Christian Kabasele – 8

Another excellent display from the Belgium international. Was fortunate not to concede a penalty when he tripped Alexandre Lacazette but fortunately for the Hornets, the Arsenal man admirably tried to stay on his feet. Marshalled both Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang superbly throughout, making a couple of excellent challenges in the second half to stop some of Arsenal’s attacks.

Craig Cathcart – 6

A mixed game for Cathcart. Gifted possession to Lacazette early on to allow him to race through on goal. Recovered from that slow start and made a good tackle to prevent Mesut Ozil with a free run at goal early in the second half and like Kabasele, marshalled Arsenal’s front two well. Unfortunate to put through his own net for Arsenal’s opener.

Jose Holebas – 6.5

Set piece delivery was much improved compared to last time out against Fulham with his crosses causing Arsenal lots of problems. Put in an excellent delivery from just inside his own half to find Deeney lurking at the far post in the tenth minute and put in another good ball to find Kabasele before the break. However, both of Arsenal’s goals came from players breaking free down his side.

Will Hughes – 6

A quiet game for Hughes, who showed what he could do in flashes. Did a lot of hard work off the ball and almost opened the scoring for the Golden Boys when his clever low effort went just wide. Faded after a bright start, but did show some nice touches and pieces of skill when in possession.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 5

This was by no means Doucoure’s best game in a Watford shirt. Didn’t look his accomplished self on the ball and was dispossessed on a number of occasions. Started to improve in the last 20 minutes but was needlessly booked for dissent for punching the ball away.

Etienne Capoue – 7

Another good game from the Frenchman who has looked revitalised under Gracia since his appointment. Worked hard throughout, breaking up play on a number of occasions and had to be more disciplined against the Gunners. When he had the chance to run forward, he glided past a couple of Arsenal players with ease. Turning into one of Watford’s more consistent players.

Roberto Pereyra – 7

A strong display from the Argentine, who was called up the national team for the first time in three years on Friday. Neat and tidy in possession in what proved to be a quiet first half for the Argentine. Grew into the game after the break, causing Bellerin problems at full-back and almost scored a lovely goal with a curling finish which just flew over the bar following a trademark run down the left. Didn’t shirk his defensive duties either in what was another good display.

Troy Deeney – 7

The Gunners couldn’t live with his physicality at times. Played a lovely ball that almost played Gray through on goal within the opening three minutes and almost set-up Hughes with a good knockdown from a Holebas cross. Tracked back to great effect in the early stages and forced a good save from Leno just after the break with a smart low effort. Chased down Arsenal’s defence on a number of occasions and did a lot of good work up front.

Andre Gray – 6

Struggled to get into the game early on but became more effective following the break, forcing Leno into a straight forward save on the hour mark. Did excellently to track back and dispossess Ozil in what proved to be his last contribution.


Isaac Success – 7

Looked really lively after coming on and was so unfortunate not to open the scoring when his lofted effort clipped the base of the post. Success looks a changed player from the one we’ve previously seen at Watford and given his recent performances, he must be in line for a Premier League start soon.

Kiko Femenia – N/A

Came on for the final few minutes in place of Navarro but had little time to make an impression.