Jose Holebas

Controversy runs through Southampton draw with Watford

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  • Gabbiadini puts hosts ahead
  • Watford denied PK shout
  • Saints have Austin goal ruled out
  • Holebas ties it

Jose Holebas’ deflected 82nd minute strike salvaged a point for Watford against Southampton on Saturday.

Manolo Gabbiadini had given Saints a first half lead, and both teams were denied goals before Holebas’ marker.

The point gained gives Watford 20, and 7th place. Southampton is 17th with 8 points.

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Saints took a lead from a surprising source, well, as surprising as a striker goal can be for a viewer.

Gabbiadini took advantage of a Roberto Pereyra miscue and hammered a shot home for 1-0.

Striker Danny Ings left the match with an injury in the 40th minute, replaced by Charlie Austin.

Watford’s second half began well, and the Hornets believed they’d won a penalty when Nathaniel Chalobah was taken down by Nathan Redmond. No call came, however, and it was a fortunate let-off for Saints.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Maya Yoshida had a hard shot deflected out for a Saints corner, their fifth of the game, in the 63rd minute.

Austin looked to have made good on Southampton’s threats in the 66th, but it was pulled back while Saints were deep in celebration.

Watford found its equalizer when a ball fell to Holebas outside the 18, and his shot took a wicked turn to beat Alex McCarthy.

Gabbiadini curled a ball into the hands of Ben Foster moments later.

Premier League Preview: Watford vs. Everton

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
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  • Watford has two wins in last 14 PL matches
  • Toffees won 3-2 at Goodison on Nov. 5
  • Watford leads all-time 19W-3D-3L

Two top half hopefuls meet at Vicarage Road in a reprise of an early season thriller when Watford hosts Everton on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Everton is in a battle for seventh with Burnley and Leicester City, and could finish the weekend there with a win and help.

Watford has to chance to finish in the top half. It’d be there already had it not coughed up a 2-0 lead to then-caretaker manager David Unsworth‘s Everton in a 3-2 loss on Nov. 5.

What they’re saying

Watford’s Jose Holebas on the match“We have to do something in this game. When we played there, we were 2-0 up and gave the game away in that way – it is unacceptable for me. I was a little bit emotional because I know that this season we have lost some points [from winning positions].”

Everton’s Sam Allardyce on his style critics“The type of football we’ve produced isn’t rubbish, we’ve produced proper football in terms of what we’ve tried to achieve. The past reputation is not the reality if you ask the players, so you look at the football we’ve played since I’ve been here.”

Prediction 

2-1 to the Toffees. Neither team is in great form but Everton have more potent attacking options.

Everton 3-2 Watford: Toffees climb back for win

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  • Richarlison nets 4th PL goal
  • Kabasele nabs first
  • Niasse pulls one back
  • Everton first win since Sept. 23

Leighton Baines converted a stoppage time penalty to complete a big comeback for a 3-2 win over Watford at Goodison Park after a thrilling five-goal second half on Sunday.

Ex-Toffee midfielder Tom Cleverley missed a 101st minute penalty during 12 minutes of stoppage time.

[ MORE: Baines, Unsworth react ]

Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored to lead Everton back from a 2-0 deficit, and out of the drop zone. The Toffees climb into 15th, sending West Ham into the drop zone.

The Hornets got second half goals from Richarlison and Christian Kabasele, but drop 10th.

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Richarlison worked around Jordan Pickford but couldn’t maneuver his shot inside the gaping frame, letting Everton off the hook in the first half’s best chance.

The Brazilian had a similar chance to start the second half, and buried it.

Another Brazilian, Watford goalkeeper and captain Heurelho Gomes, had to leave the match with injury and was replaced before the hour mark by Orestis Karnezis.

Kabasele made it 2-0 when he got past Phil Jagielka to head home, but Niasse struck within three minutes to bring the Everton deficit back to one. Calvert-Lewin then supplied this equalizer:

Then Jose Holebas, who infamously won a late goal against Liverpool, took down Aaron Lennon in the box to set up a huge chance for Everton. Baines buried it.

The Toffees held on through 12 minutes stoppage to ice the huge win.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Middlesbrough 0-1 Watford: Holebas stunner sends Hornets into top half

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It wasn’t pretty, but it worked as Watford earned its third win of the season behind an absolute peach of a goal from Jose Holebas shortly after halftime.

Watford did most of its damage on the break as its pace and directive down the flanks proved effective in breaking down the defensively stout Middlesbrough.

The first half was a chippy affair with plenty of fouls but few true chances on net. The opening 20 minutes was all Middlesbrough, with the hosts holding nearly 70% of the possession as the clock ticked towards halftime. There were few true efforts on goal, but they worked a solid chance on 25 minutes with Stewart Downing firing just wide after a popped-up ball fell in his lap.

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Middlesbrough could consider themselves lucky past the half-hour mark as Antonio Barrigan, already booked nine minutes prior, hauled down Isaac Success on the break, but was not given his marching orders by referee Roger East. The resulting free-kick was the best chance of the half for the visitors, but neither Holebas nor Younes Kaboul could get a head to the dangerous delivery.

Success, on his full debut for the club after five substitute appearances, proved bright on the counter-attack, drawing a host of fouls that put Middlesbrough in danger. Cristhian Stuani was also lucky to stay on the field, already having been booked when he kicked Success in the chest with an errant boot just after halftime.

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After 54 minutes, the game sprung to life suddenly. Out of nothing, a wonder strike from Holebas put Watford in front. Success went down in the penalty area screaming for the referee to point to the spot, and with Roger East not biting, the clearance fell to the feet of Holebas outside the penalty area, who ripped a screamer into the top corner of the net.

The game exploded open as Watford continued to counter with pace. Success remained dangerous, and again Barrigan got away with hacking down the Nigerian on the touchline as Watford looked to counter past the hour mark, with what again seemed a card-worthy incident went completely unpunished. The Spaniard was immediately withdrawn by Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka along with the booked Stuani.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Boro would finish the match with 64% of possession, but couldn’t do much at all with it, putting 10 shots towards Watford’s net, but only three on target. They also racked up a whopping 15 fouls and four yellow cards, proving to be their undoing. The win for the visitors pushed them into the top half of the table on 11 points, while Middlesbrough remained on eight points. Watford’s clean sheet is also its first of the season.

WATCH: Jose Holebas howitzer puts Watford in front

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Watford traveled to Middlesbrough with the chance to move into the top half of the table, and after a scoreless first half, they took the lead following the break out of seemingly nothing.

WATCH LIVE: Middlesbrough vs. Watford live on NBCSports.com

The first half of the game had few chances, with more fouling than anything else, and viewers felt the game needed something to bring it to life. They would get it shortly after halftime.

In the 54th minute, Isaac Success went down in the penalty area after what appeared to be a foul, but with referee Roger East letting play continue, the ensuing clearance only fell to Jose Holebas just outside the corner of the box, who with one touch exploded the game to life as he ripped through the ball, sending it screaming into the top corner for a 1-0 Watford lead.

The goal is the second of the season for Holebas, with both coming from outside the box.