Wasteful Newcastle is still looking for its first win after missing plenty of chances to improve an early lead before drawing Watford 1-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Sean Longstaff scored a terrific goal from well outside the box in the first half-hour but Ismaila Sarr’s fourth goal of the season settled the split.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
Joshua King had a late goal taken off the board by VAR for offside, and Newcastle was fortunate to escape with a win after a very wasteful first half gave way to giveaways and Watford shots.
The point is Watford’s seventh and ends a three-match losing run. The Hornets are 11th, four points ahead of the bottom three.
Newcastle’s three points — all draws — are enough to move them out of the bottom three on goal differential, with Wolves, Tottenham, and Palace next on the docket.
Watford vs Newcastle final score, statistics
Final score: Watford 1, Newcastle 1
Scorers: S. Longstaff (23′), Sarr (72′)
Shots: Newcastle, 19-15
Shots on goal: Newcastle, 5-4
Possession: Watford, 53%
Three things we learned from Watford vs Newcastle
1. Wasteful Magpies, Hornets will rue result, celebrate breathless finish: It was end-to-end stuff to finish the game at Vicarage Road and both teams will know they entertained without the required finish. Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin and Watford’s Ismaila Sarr were live wires, but where was the help. Joshua King probably did not enough to request a start with Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis. Watford will also know they were fortunate to have 10 men given a brutal performance from Juraj Kucka, though Newcastle might’ve played the last 10 minutes with 10 after a silly kick from yellow-carrying Javi Manquillo.
2. The Saint-Max effect: How was Sean Longstaff able to load up four shots from distance, scoring one and flushing another over the net? Easy, Watford’s defenders were basically only worried about Allan Saint-Maximin. Miguel Almiron has been putting in good shifts along with “St. Max,” but it’s the Frenchman who is the driver of any sort of interest in Newcastle’s performances.
3. Sarr they going to help him? Sarr got his goal but Watford failed to find him rather often, even with Matt Ritchie manning Sarr’s side of the pitch. That said, Sarr also seemed far too interested in hitting the deck to draw free kicks at times — he drew four — even taking a dive egregious enough to draw a scolding from Ritchie. Well, that doesn’t require an “even” given Ritchie’s love for banter, but Watford’s star could’ve had a second goal (or earlier first) if he just played on.
Man of the Match: Allan Saint-Maximin
An assist to go with five key passes, he might’ve been responsible for a Longstaff hat trick on another day.
Watford vs Newcastle recap
An early Newcastle giveaway forced goalkeeper Karl Darlow into the hero’s role when Joshua King set up Emmanuel Dennis for not one but two close-range shots.
Newcastle won a series of corner kicks, two that saw Sean Longstaff hit shots from outside the box. So it was a surprise that Watford didn’t close down Longstaff when Allan Saint-Maximin played another short ball to him outside the 18 for a smashed finish that Ben Foster probably should’ve saved.
The Magpies really put Watford under pressure, and Longstaff could’ve had another if he didn’t whiff on a near-perfect Allan Saint-Maximin feed. The French wizard was again key to the day for Newcastle, but they’ll regret leading by only one at the break.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Miguel Almiron forced Foster into a 65th-minute save and Joelinton took an extra touch with the rebound before the keeper stopped the Brazilian’s nutmeg bid. Joe Willock was soon into the box off a Saint-Maximin feed, and Foster saved for a corner kick.
But Willock lost Ismaila Sarr on a 73rd-minute corner kick and the Magpies’ myriad failures to find a second goal was punished by the Hornets star.
Both teams could’ve taken all the points. First Joshua King had the ball in the goal for Watford only to see VAR deny him for offside, and then Saint-Maximin sent Jacob Murphy on goal only to see a cheeky chip easily corraled by Foster.