Watford’s late equalizer against Newcastle proves a fair reward for a commendable away performance,
As they snatch a point away from the desperate grasp of their relegation rivals to halt a run of seven straight defeats.
Though the Hornets were able to salvage a morale-boosting draw, their hosts will be ruing defensive deficiencies yet again – allowing Saint-Maximin’ wonder-strike to become overshadowed by another failure to win.
Despite a switch to a more direct style bearing some fruit, Eddie Howe will be increasingly concerned, as Newcastle remains entrenched inside the bottom three.
NEWCASTLE UNITED (4-3-3): Martin Dubravka;
Kieran Trippier, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Paul Dummett;
Jonjo Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Joelinton;
Ryan Fraser, Chris Wood, Allan Saint-Maximin.
SUBS: Karl Darlow, Emil Krafth, Miguel Almiron, Mark Gillespie,
Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, Joe Willock,
Elliot Anderson, Jamal Lewis.
WATFORD (4-3-3): Ben Foster;
Jeremy Ngakia, Samir, Craig Cathcart, Hassane Kamara;
Juraj Kucka, Moussa Sissoko, Edo Kayembe;
Josh King, Emmanuel Dennis, Joao Pedro.
SUBS: Daniel Bachmann, Francisco Sierralta, Tom Cleverley, Kiko Femenia,
James Morris, Ozan Tufan, Juan Hernandez,
Christian Kabasele, Ken Sema.
Shelvey sweeps a ball down the left towards Saint-Maximin, who still has a lot of work to do, and the Frenchman takes advantage of a slip by Ngakia, to drive towards the box at pace and drill home a powerful finish at the near post – leaving Foster completely flat-footed. Newcastle go 1-0 up
Ranieri’s changes pay off, as Femenia chases onto a ball down the right and clips in a delicious ball towards the penalty spot, from where Pedro beats Lascelles in an aerial challenge and plants the ball past Dubravka into the bottom-left corner. Incredible drama at St James’ – it is now 1-1 with just minutes to go!
So, what’s next for Newcastle and Watford?
Having picked up a point from the first of three crucial fixtures – with Burley and Norwich still to play before the end of the month – Watford can feel confident of widening the gap between these clubs in the coming weeks.
Newcastle, meanwhile, Will hope to bounce back to beat Leeds at Elland Road next week.
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