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Cleverley hits late winner as Watford beat Arsenal to go fourth

Cleverley hits late winner as Watford beat Arsenal to go fourth


Arsenal were the victims of a dodgy penalty and an injury-time winner as they threw away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 away at Watford.

Per Mertesacker headed Arsenal in front from a corner on 39 minutes, but the second half played out in disastrous fashion for Arsene Wenger's side.

Minutes after Mesut Ozil had missed a huge chance for 2-0, Richarlison clearly dived to win a penalty which Troy Deeney tucked away on 71 minutes. As Arsenal timidly tried to close the game down, Tom Cleverley struck in injury time to move Watford, not Arsenal, fourth.


For just over an hour this looked like an efficient and professional away performance from Arsenal -- unspectacular, admittedly, but effective. It all unravelled from there.


The result, clearly, and the nature of the performance in the second half, which bordered on insipid at times. Arsenal lacked quality in the final third and looked utterly unconvincing as they attempted to manage the game towards the end. Oh, and injuries to Danny Welbeck and Laurent Koscielny.

Manager rating out of 10

4 -- Marco Silva showed how to turn a game as his introduction of Deeney in the second half transformed this as a contest. By contrast, Wenger's substitutions were ineffective. He was completely outfoxed by his opposite number.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Petr Cech, 6 -- Could do little about a well-hit penalty from Deeney but was made to look a little foolish by Cleverley's scrappy winner.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 7 -- Defended as stoutly as usual as Watford were restricted to few chances on goal, but a late injury saw him withdrawn, which will be a big concern.

DF Per Mertesacker, 7 -- Wenger should consider giving his captain more game time on this evidence as he defended impressively for most of the match and scored the opener with a towering header. However, he was relieved to see a big deflection off his chest hit the post with seven minutes left and ended the match as an auxiliary forward in desperation.

DF Nacho Monreal, 7 -- Continues to impress. Monreal always looked alert and stuck his boot in when required. Even stepped into midfield on occasion.

MF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- The Spaniard could consider himself very unfortunate to concede the penalty as Richarlison clearly made the most of minimal contact. Didn't do enough elsewhere.

MF Granit Xhaka, 7 -- Showed his intent after 13 minutes when lofting a gorgeous ball over the top. Xhaka was in confident mood and his corner for Mertesacker's goal was a fantastic delivery.

MF Mohamed Elneny, 5 -- Kept the ball moving in midfield but Arsenal are crying out for something more than Elneny offers.

MF Sead Kolasinac, 5 -- Charged around the pitch as usual but he didn't bring enough quality in the final third of the pitch.

FW Alex Iwobi, 6 -- Had one of the best chances of the game when his near curling effort was tipped round the post on 63 minutes. Too quiet though.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, 5 -- Worked hard enough but his decision-making was suspect at times, particularly when wasting a great counterattack with a poor pass on 54 minutes. Arsenal wanted more effective link-up play and introduced Giroud.

FW Danny Welbeck, 6 -- The forward was playing his first game in almost a month after returning from injury and put in a good shift, almost connecting from close range on 34 minutes, before being forced off with yet another muscle injury.


FW Mesut Ozil, 5 -- Arsenal lacked quality with the final pass before his arrival but he almost set up Iwobi for a goal within minutes with a perfectly judged pass. But when Iwobi returned the favour minutes later, his finish was poor with Heurelho Gomes at his mercy. Watford promptly scored.

FW Olivier Giroud, 6 -- Got a header on goal but didn't make the impact required.

DF Rob Holding, N/R -- Jack Wilshere was primed to come on for the closing stages but when Koscielny was injured, it was Holding who made it on. He was poor for Watford's winner.

Tom is one of ESPN FC's Arsenal bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter @tomEurosport

Manchester City continued their high-scoring start to the Premier League season with a 7-2 against Stoke.

City have now scored 29 goals in eight games this season and sit two points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United, who could only manage a 0-0 draw with Liverpool.

Goals from Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and David Silva in the opening half hour put Pep Guardiola's side in a commanding position, before Mame Biram Diouf and a Kyle Walker own goal looked to have brought Stoke back into the game.

However, a second goal from Gabriel and further strikes from Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva made sure of the points for City as they racked up a seventh win in eight games.

United's trip to Liverpool again failed to live up to expectations as Jose Mourinho's safety-first policy saw him once more frustrate the hosts at Anfield in a goalless draw.

United goalkeeper David De Gea made one brilliant reaction save from Joel Matip in the first half but Jurgen Klopp's side failed to break down well-organised opponents.

It is a criticism which has been regularly levelled at United this season but was perhaps excusable on this occasion considering the rivalry and the quality -- United began the day joint top -- they faced.

While United were not as dour as in last season's game here, there was no doubt Mourinho had reined in the attacking intent of a side which had previously scored 33 goals in 11 matches.

Crystal Palace ended a run of seven defeats without scoring by beating Premier League champions Chelsea 2-1 at Selhurst Park.

Palace went ahead courtesy of a Cesar Azpilicueta own goal in the 11th minute, when Yohan Cabaye's effort was deflected past Thibaut Courtois in the Chelsea goal.

The lead was short-lived as Tiemoue Bakayoko headed Chelsea level from a Cesc Fabregas corner in the 18th minute.

But Wilfried Zaha, on his return from injury, slid Palace back in front at the end of the first-half to earn them a much-needed first win of the season.

Arsenal gave away a lead to lose 2-1 away to Watford as Tom Cleverley netted an injury-time winner.

Arsenal had gone ahead in the 39th minute when Per Mertesacker headed home from Granit Xhaka's corner.

However, Watford found a route back into the game when Troy Deeney converted from the penalty spot after Hector Bellerin was deemed to have fouled Richarlison.

The hosts snatched victory in the dying moments of the game as Cleverley seized on a loose ball to smash home.

The result sees Watford up to fourth, with Arsenal trailing fifth-placed Chelsea on goal difference.

Tottenham won their first Premier League game at Wembley, beating Bournemouth 1-0.

Christian Eriksen was set up to score by Dele Alli three minutes into the second half.

Eriksen looked to have set Harry Kane up to score a second shortly before the hour mark but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Kane was also denied twice at point-blank range as Spurs searched in vain for a second goal.

Michail Antonio's 19th-minute strike was not enough to earn 10-man West Ham three important points against Burnley.

Antonio rounded Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope to score following a long ball forward from Joe Hart.

Soon after the Hammers were a man down when Andy Carroll received two yellow cards in the space of 99 seconds, the second of which was for contesting an aerial ball.

And Burnley made their numerical advantage count thanks to Chris Wood's equaliser in the 85th minute.

Tammy Abraham scored either side of half-time to give Swansea a 2-0 win against newly promoted Huddersfield.

The hosts capitalised on a mistake by Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl to take the lead in the 42nd minute.

Then, three minutes after the break, Chelsea loanee Abraham added a second following good work from Jordan Ayew.

That victory ended Swansea's run of four games without a win, but saw Huddersfield go a fourth game without scoring.

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