Abdoulaye Doucoure

Fortunate Spurs take point from woeful day v. winless Watford

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Watford can’t buy a break, drawing lackluster Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 in North London on Saturday.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s first half goal looked like it would be all Watford needed to collect its first win of the year, but Dele Alli poked home after a late Watford mix-up.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Spurs’ 12 points have them seventh, while Watford stays winless in taking its fourth point.


Three things we learned

1. Rudderless Spurs get gift for Dele: Take away Heung-Min Son‘s early second half rip off the bar, and Tottenham did nothing. However, a massive 86th minute mix-up for Watford’s back line opened the gates for Dele Alli to poke home an equalizer. VAR said he didn’t handle the ball, and Spurs had their path to a point. Can the fortunate finish help Dele refind his form?

2. Deulofeu active, defied by VAR: The ex-Barcelona prodigy was everywhere for Watford and should’ve earned a penalty in the first half, where we learned that VAR is not going to overrule a referee anything unless there’s blood or a visible broken bone in the box. There would’ve been no chance of an overturning had it been ruled a penalty on the field.

3. Son important for Spurs: While much of Tottenham’s team has looked out of sorts this season, South Korea’s Heung-min Son continues to produce (sometimes in solo fashion). He rattled a second half shot off the bar to help shake the cobwebs from Spurs, and his dribbles showed an energy not present in many of his teammates. It’d be fair to say he kept his team alive long enough for a moment like Dele’s fortunate finish.

Man of the Match: Dele Alli — It was a day for a bit of redemption, as the struggling playmaker got his goal and was dangerous despite very little help. Son was good, but Harry Kane and Lucas Moura were among those to toss up the shoulder shrug emoji for most of the day.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

An early injury to Danny Welbeck could’ve lowered the morale for the visitors, but the defiant Hornets went ahead in too easy fashion.

Spurs back Danny Rose lost his way tracking a long diagonal ball, and Doucoure waltzed behind the back line to collect a Daryl Janmaat cross that swept around no less than three Tottenham players. Nice looking goal, pitiful defending.

Jan Vertonghen‘s sloppy slide then clipped Gerard Deulofeu, but VAR would not deem the decision a clear and obvious error.

Heung-min Son struck and inspired move out of halftime, working Craig Cathcart to rip a shot that Ben Foster just touched onto the cross bar in the 49th.

At the other end, Deulofeu found Roberto Pereyra, but the Serge Aurier made a supreme intervention to block the shot.

Spurs had so few answers on the day, with Deulofeu remaining a menace, but that mix-up at the back allowed Dele to pounce for a point.

PL AT HALF: Spurs trail at home; Brighton down a man

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Six 10 a.m. ET kickoffs are at the break in England, with Tottenham and Leicester losing at home.

Tottenham 0-1 Watford – NBCSN [STREAM]

Miserable defending from Spurs saw Abdoulaye Doucoure walk onto a Daryl Janmaat cross for an easy goal. Danny Welbeck has been injured for the Hornets.

Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Adam Webster‘s stock continues to rise as he did to pound a Pascal Gross free kick into the goal, but Villa leveled the score through Jack Grealish.

Leicester 1-1  BurnleyNBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Chris Wood is a unit, and if we tell you he scored you can probably guess the style of goal. Jamie Vardy answered the bell with a goal off a Harvey Barnes pass before halftime.

Wolves 0-0  Southampton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Raul Jimenez saw a goal ruled off for a handball, but found the opener before halftime. WAIT! That one was taken off the board as well!

Bournemouth 0-0 Norwich  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Cherries dominating the chances but yet to lay down a marker.

Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Allan Saint-Maximin producing chances at both ends, but finishers not finishing.

Brighton shines on three-star Opening Day at Watford

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The Graham Potter era at Brighton and Hove Albion is off to a flier, as the Seagulls dispatched Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An Abdoulaye Doucoure own goal started the scoring for Brighton, with Florin Andone and Neal Maupay scoring second-half markers in the win.


Three things we learned

1. Graham Potter has the same initials as Pep Guardiola and is the next tactical wizard of world football (Obviously we’re kidding, but Brighton scored 35 goals last season. They’re at three after Opening Day).

[ MORE: Potter, Maupay react to win ]

2. Watford had less than half of the possession despite their status as hosts, and would’ve felt it wasn’t their day from the moment star of last season Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a nutmegging own goal.

3. Brighton record signing Neal Maupay made a strong first impression. The ex-Brentford man will be one to watch as finds comfort in his new digs.

Man of the Match: Lewis Dunk – Despite a late yellow card, the captain and interventionist was spectacular at the back


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The opening goal was a cluster of problems for Watford, who couldn’t get muster on a clearing attempt before Doucoure flicked the ball through his keeper’s legs for a 1-0 setback at the half-hour mark.

Solly March is a lucky man. The Seagulls’ playmaker gave away the ball early in the second half but Lewis Dunk made a saving block on Andre Gray‘s rip.

Andone then banged in a Davy Propper cross to put the Hornets in further trouble.

Maupay zipped onto a through ball to finish Brighton’s scoring, an excellent exclamation point for the start of a new era.

Who would make a PFA Team of the Year without Top Six teams?

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The PFA Team of the Year was dominated by Manchester City and Liverpool, to no one’s surprise, though which players comprised the team surprised many.

For example, the team may be without the league’s Golden Boot winner.

[ PL PREVIEW: Brighton v. Newcastle ]

Mohamed Salah was left off the team, likely due to his cold form while the players were voting for the peers, and he’d be an easy part of any “The Best of the Rest” list (along with Christian Eriksen, Roberto Firmino, Harry Kane, and Eden Hazard).

But we’ve added another angle, as we’ll make a “Best Outside The Top Six of the Year.” Here is a team to join the PFA Team of the Year.


“No Top Six” Team of the Year

Fabianski (West Ham)

Wan-Bissaka (Palace) – Tarkowski (Burnley) – Duffy (BHA) – Digne (Everton)

Gana Gueye (Everton) – Ndidi (Leicester City)

Felipe (West Ham)- Doucoure (Watford) – Fraser (Bournemouth)

Raul Jimenez (Wolves)

Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s 3.8 tackles per game led all backs, full or center; His 2.4 interceptions per match rate isn’t far off from the leader: Cardiff’s Sol Bamba (who just misses).

Shane Duffy and James Tarkowski lead the league in clearances, and are also 1-2 in blocked shots.

Only Hazard has more assists than Fraser’s 12, tied with Eriksen, who also is Top Two in key passes per game.

And even this list leaves out quality like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Joao Moutinho, and Neil Etheridge. Wild.

Deulofeu leads Watford to win at Huddersfield Town (video)

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  • Deulofeu scores two more
  • Grant pulls one back very late
  • Watford a point clear of 8th place Wolves

Watford reclaimed seventh place through a Gerard Deulofeu brace, as the Hornets won 2-1 at Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

Karlan Grant scored in stoppage time for the already-relegated Terriers.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Deulofeu’s goal was delightful, even if quite aided by Huddersfield’s defense.

The Spaniard dribbled into the box and popped a shot off the inside of the far post for 1-0.

Town was just a step or a touch off all day, despite some lively play from Leandro Bacuna.

Andre Gray and Christoph Schindler nearly came to blows after the striker pestered a ball-bobbling Jonas Lossl in the 59th minute.

Aaron Mooy hit a low shot to Watford keeper Ben Foster in the 63rd.

The Hornets put it to bed as the clock hit 80, with Deulofeu cranking an Abdoulaye Doucoure rebound under Lossl (when in all actuality he was a bit fortunate, as he should have hit it at any other part of the net).

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]