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Watch Live: Watford v. Arsenal

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Watford host Arsenal at Vicarage Road on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), as the teams who are based at training centers in the same street north of London are both aiming for European qualification.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

On the back of reaching the FA Cup final (for just the second time in club history) Javi Gracia‘s Watford will be flying high as they chase a top seven finish.

As for Unai Emery‘s Arsenal, they remain in the hunt for a top four finish but Emery has faced Gracia’s teams in the past and knows this will not be an easy task in a busy week for the Gunners who face Napoli in the Europa League on Thursday.

In teams news for Watford, Ben Foster, Christian Kabasele, Daryl Janmaat and Adam Masina all come into the starting lineup.

Arsenal start Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up top, while Dinos Mavropanos also starts and Granit Xhaka has recovered from injury. Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and Alexandre Lacazette are all on the bench.


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Controversial opener, Sterling lead Man City past Watford

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  • Scoreless at halftime
  • Sterling nabs quarter-hour hat trick
  • Deulofeu scores off bench

Raheem Sterling‘s quickfire hat trick started with a controversial ruling as Manchester City beat Watford 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Gerard Deulofeu scored for the Hornets, who will feel aggrieved that Sterling’s seemingly offside first goal was ruled onside for unusual reasons.

City increases its table lead to four matches before Liverpool hosts Burnley, while Watford will stay 8th unless Wolves are worked over by Chelsea on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

David Silva flew to head a Riyad Mahrez cross toward goal, but the ball flicked wide of the goal as Man City came close to a ninth minute opener.

Watford’s second unit, so to speak, was stout and took some work to break down. Aguero’s pounded down header of a powerful Bernardo Silva cross just missed the near post in the 29th minute.

Foster made a fine leg stop on Aguero five minutes later, and Mahrez just missed the upper 90 in stoppage time as Watford made it to halftime on level terms.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Raheem Sterling was ruled offside in the 46th minute after Aguero played him through for a finish.

But wait… a conversation between referee and linesman ended with the decision for a goal, as Sterling was fine because a clearing attempt hit Sterling and went into the goal. A head scratcher.

City made sure to put some distance between itself and the decision through a Mahrez cross through the box for a Sterling tap-in.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

David Silva then cued up Sterling for the hat trick, the Englishman needing plenty of work to cut in front and finish.

Watford pulled one back when Troy Deeney flicked a header to substitute Deulofeu for a goal with the Spaniard’s first touch of the match.

Gabriel Jesus would’ve felt he was about to slot for 4-1 when Christian Kabasele slid to block his 85th minute shot.

Hot Hazard runs Chelsea past Watford

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  • Kabasele stretchered out of stadium
  • Hazard scores in each half
  • Pereyra nets terrific equalizer (video)

Eden Hazard scored a pair of goals to lead Chelsea back up the table in a 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road on Wednesday.

Roberto Pereyra scored a beautiful volley for Watford, but the Hornets will be more concerned with Christian Kabasele. The defender needed to be stretchered from the stadium after sliding into the goal post in a bid to block Hazard’s opener.

Chelsea is back into fourth, two points ahead of Arsenal and four back of Man City, while Watford finishes Boxing Day in the table’s ninth position.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Willian came near to making it 1-0 when Cesc Fabregas slotted him into the left of the box, and he beat Ben Foster but not the goal post.

Christian Kabasele slid hard into the post and needed plenty of help from the trainers. He tried to gut out a performance, but Adrian Mariappa needed to take his place.

Hazard missed a chance to open the scoring earlier in the half, but made no mistake in stoppage time. The Belgian squared his hips to shoot to the right, then kept dribbling and shot left after Ben Foster committed his body to the feint. Mateo Kovacic set up the goal.

Watford leveled the score within moments, a training ground play when saw Pereyra sneak atop the 18 for a volleyed finish inside the near post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Gerard Deulofeu thought he’d won a penalty off David Luiz in the 54th minute, but no whistle came for what appeared to be shoulder-to-shoulder.

Hazard won a penalty off Foster in the 57th, and left no doubt with his conversion.

N'Golo Kante and Troy Deeney missed chances at each end as the game reached its final 10 minutes.

Foster stopped a Willian chance cued up by Marcos Alonso in the 89th, the ensuing corner kick nearly serving the same purpose of a third goal.

Everton, Watford settle for 2-2 draw at Goodison

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  • Richarlison opens the scoring (15′)
  • Coleman (OG’ – 63′) and Doucoure (65′) flip the script
  • Digne steals a point with late FK (90’+5)

If Monday’s meeting between Everton and Watford — the first time Marco Silva faced his former club — was any indication of how Hornets fans feel about the Toffees’ new manager, they made it abundantly that clear Silva will long be a despised man in parts of London.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Those traveling fans — inflatable snake props and all — nearly got the last laugh after erasing an early deficit before ultimately conceding a back-breaking equalizer in second-half stoppage time.

Everton took their lead after 15 minutes, in highly controversial fashion, lending further credence to the idea that video review would improve refereeing in the Premier League.

It was Richarlison who victimized his former team, but not without a massive no-call assist from the assistant referee. Theo Walcott stood in a clearly offside position when Andre Gomes touched the ball into space — whether to himself or to Walcott is unclear. Walcott took an obvious touch before Gomes resumed service, cutting the ball back for Richarlison near the penalty spot for a smooth finish Ben Foster.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The score remained 1-0 beyond the hour mark, at which point the soccer gods flipped this game on its head and shook loose every frenzied occurrence one can wish to see in a game of soccer.

Clumsy own goal? Check, courtesy of Seamus Coleman (WATCH HERE).

Leaping-salmon headed goal? Check, courtesy of Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Penalty kick awarded? Check, courtesy of Christian Kabasele‘s needless foul.

Penalty kick saved? Check, courtesy of Foster, versus Gylfi Sigurdsson.

All in the span of five frenetic minutes, from the 63rd to 68th.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In fairness, such a drastic swing in momentum had been coming, as Watford slowly but surely gained more and more control following the restart. Doucoure got on the end of Roberto Pereyra‘s lofted cross into the six-yard box just two minutes after Coleman’s gaffe pulled the visitors level.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Watford appeared to be home free until the game’s final seconds, when Lucas Digne curled an unstoppable free kick past Foster from 22 yards out. It was Kabasele who, again, committed the offense and gave away the chance.

Bournemouth ‘on fire’ as they surge up to fifth

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Bournemouth have 16 points on the board after eight games of the Premier League season.

At this stage last season they only had four points from a possible 24.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Eddie Howe’s youngsters smashed 10-man Watford 4-0 on Saturday to secure back-to-back wins in the Premier League as they’ve won five of their opening eight games of the season. In a week where the club revealed they aren’t moving ahead with plans to move to a new stadium and instead stay at their 11,000 capacity home at the Vitality, at least their ambition on the pitch shows how far they can go.

Howe was delighted with the manner of the win at Watford and believes his team are capable of beating anyone, on their day.

“We are very pleased with the result. This is a tough place to come and Watford have been in good form. It wasn’t the perfect performance but we are happy,” Howe told Sky Sports. “We believe we are capable of beating anyone when we are on top of our game. It is good that I think there is room to improve. We like to stay in the background and as underdogs. We will go about our work in a controlled way.”

Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, Welsh youngster David Brooks (who has now scored in back-to-back games) detailed the key to Bournemouth’s incredible start.

“Hopefully I can continue this form but the main focus was three points and we got that. As an attacking player you want to create and score as many as you can. The boys are on fire,” Brooks said. “I came here to prove I was good enough for the Premier League and I hope I am doing that.”

Brooks, 21, is certainly making a big difference and alongside Callum Wilson and Josh King they tore Watford apart as Christian Kabasele was sent off in the first half and gave a penalty kick away. The combination of pace and slick passing has seen Bournemouth begin this season by surprising many, but Howe and his players don’t seem that surprised with their form.

Bournemouth’s fixture list has been kind to them, as the only top six team they’ve faced so far is Chelsea, but they’re making the most of their fine early season form. This is their best-ever start to a PL season in their fourth campaign in the top flight and it has set them up for a decent run of games coming up.

Next up they have a South Coast derby against Southampton after the international break, then they play Fulham, Manchester United and Newcastle before facing Arsenal.

So, we could well be talking about Bournemouth making a sustained challenge to finish in the top six and qualifying for Europe between now and December. On this form, they could be the Burnley of 2018-19.