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Bournemouth 3-3 Watford: Draw after goal crazy first period

Bournemouth 3-3 Watford: Draw after goal crazy first period

Ryan Fraser’s goal rounded off a five-goal spell in 13 minutes during the first halfBournemouth and Watford took a point each from an exhilarating contest that saw all six goals – including five in an astonishing 13-minute spell – scored in an extraordinary first half.The Cherries twice recovered a two-goal deficit and then levelled again…

Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser’s goal rounded off a five-goal spell in 13 minutes during the first half

Bournemouth and Watford took a point each from an exhilarating contest that saw all six goals – including five in an astonishing 13-minute spell – scored in an extraordinary first half.

The Cherries twice recovered a two-goal deficit and then levelled again after Ken Sema’s strike to peg the visitors back to 3-3.

Troy Deeney’s textbook header from Sema’s cross gave the Hornets the lead and the striker grabbed his 117th goal for the Hornets when he lifted the ball over Cherries keeper Asmir Begovic after Gerard Deulofeu was tackled by Steve Cook.

But Bournemouth hit back thanks to Ryan Fraser’s free-kick deliveries, with Nathan Ake nodding in after visiting keeper Ben Foster brilliantly parried from Dan Gosling and Callum Wilson then looping in a header to bring the hosts level.

It took Watford just 85 seconds to restore their lead though, Sema collecting a Deeney knock-down to drive a left-foot shot into the corner from 20 yards.

However, that advantage lasted just over a minute as Fraser steered a right-foot shot into the bottom corner after Josh King’s dummy.

The result sees Watford move to eighth while Bournemouth remain 12th.

Defensive flaws contribute to classic

With Bournemouth captain Simon Francis and full-back Adam Smith both long-term absentees, the extent of manager Eddie Howe’s injury problems were highlighted by his selection of Junior Stanislas at right-back.

While the forward added to Bournemouth’s attacking threat it did little to stabilise them at the other end of the pitch, with the quality of their defending contributing to all of Watford’s goals.

The first came through a lack of organisation, with Sema allowed to run clear before hanging up a cross for Deeney, who found the net with his header despite the presence of several Bournemouth defenders.

Cook then slid into a challenge on Deulofeu but careered into Deeney’s marker Ake to present the ball to the Watford striker to score his second.

For Watford’s third goal, Deeney won a header in front of Ake and Jefferson Lerma stood too far off Sema to be able to block the forward’s shot.

With Watford hardly much better defensively, it led to a crazy end to the half.

Despite Foster brilliantly keeping out Gosling’s header, they allowed the hosts three free headers inside their penalty box while conceding their first.

And they were all at sea when King’s step over gave Fraser the time to pick his spot for Bournemouth’s third.

Little and large excel in game of contrasts

The physical presence of Watford captain Deeney was a nuisance throughout the game for the defensively weak visitors.

The hosts have now conceded 18 goals in their last six Premier League outings and they struggled to contain Deeney’s power particularly aerially, with the forward winning 50% of his headers.

Deeney’s movement was also good for both his goals as he intelligently held his runs to evade the attention of a home defence that he had outmuscled and outmanoeuvred.

In contrast, Bournemouth’s attacking thrust was expertly supplied by the diminutive Fraser, recalled by Howe after their 4-1 defeat at Manchester United on 30 December.

Fraser may only stand at 5ft 4ins but he was undeterred by a high Abdoulaye Doucoure challenge in the 29th minute and his technical quality and capacity to deliver dangerous set-pieces was the basis for Bournemouth’s revival.

The Scotland winger then displayed composure to equalise at the end of the chaotic goal-laden period when it would have been so easy to snatch at the chance.

Man of the match – Troy Deeney (Watford)

Troy Deeney

Watford forward Troy Deeney scored twice and contributed to the Hornets’ third goal in a performance that was full of the physicality he is renowned for – but also neat finishing and astute movement

‘Defences were not on top’ – what they said

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: “I don’t know what to think. I feel disappointed we haven’t won as we created so many chances, but you have to be pleased with the spirit of the players to come back from 2-0 down. Ryan Fraser was a constant menace and played an important role, and Ben Foster did very well to make a number of key saves. Junior Stanislas was outstanding [as a makeshift right-back], he did a valuable job for the team, added an attacking threat from slightly deeper and was defensively faultless.”

Should Doucoure have been sent off? “I think it was a straight red, Ryan was lucky not to pick up a serious injury from such a dangerous tackle. It was a very competitive game where both teams gave everything.”

On Deeney saying Dan Gosling should have been sent off for a challenge on Tom Cleverley: “I don’t think it was dangerous. It was different to the Doucoure one, not a red card. I know Dan inside out, he’s an honest guy.”

On Deeney’s comments about both teams’ “Sunday League defending”: “I’d never accuse my players of that. Defences weren’t on top, we didn’t get one or two situations right, but we’re going through one of those spells where every shot against us seems to go in.”

Watford manager Javi Gracia speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “I am a little disappointed because after scoring three goals we have lost a good chance to win. It’s not easy to score three goals away from home.

“We conceded two goals from two free-kicks. We had to defend better. After that we competed well and we were looking for victory until the end.

Should Doucoure have been sent off? “Yes because in that moment I was seeing all the referee decisions were against us. Then I prefer to change him. I wanted to put Tom Cleverley on.

“I think there were different decisions with Nathan Ake as well. I think it was a penalty. We accept the decisions and try to do better next time.”

Goal crazy opening – the stats

  • The first half saw six goals scored; the most in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game since May 2015 (Southampton vs Aston Villa).
  • There were just 12 minutes and 41 seconds between the 2nd and 6th goals being scored.
  • Bournemouth attempted 12 shots on target; the most they have ever had in a Premier League match.
  • Ryan Fraser has been involved in 14 goals for Bournemouth in the Premier League this season (five goals, nine assists); the most by a Scottish player in the competition in a single season since Shaun Maloney in 2012-13 (also 14).
  • Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson has now been involved in 14 goals this season in the Premier League (nine goals, five assists) – the only English players to be involved in more are Harry Kane (18) and Raheem Sterling (15).
  • Troy Deeney has now scored seven competitive goals against Bournemouth as a Watford player; his most versus an opponent for the Hornets.
  • Deeney has now scored four goals from open play this season in the Premier League; two more than in 2017-18.

What’s next?

Bournemouth host Brighton in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday 5 January (12:30 GMT), while Watford travel to non-league Woking in the competition on Sunday 6 January (14:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Bournemouth

  • 27Begovic
  • 19Stanislas
  • 3S Cook
  • 5Aké
  • 11Daniels
  • 20Brooks
  • 4GoslingBooked at 60mins
  • 8Lerma
  • 24FraserSubstituted forMoussetat 82'minutes
  • 13WilsonSubstituted forIbeat 81'minutes
  • 17King

Substitutes

  • 1Boruc
  • 6Surman
  • 9Mousset
  • 10Ibe
  • 18Defoe
  • 21Rico
  • 26Mings

Watford

  • 26Foster
  • 21Femenía
  • 6Mariappa
  • 15Cathcart
  • 25HolebasBooked at 89mins
  • 16DoucouréBooked at 29minsSubstituted forCleverleyat 56'minutes
  • 29CapoueBooked at 50mins
  • 12SemaSubstituted forHughesat 71'minutes
  • 37Pereyra
  • 7DeulofeuSubstituted forSuccessat 90'minutes
  • 9DeeneyBooked at 33mins

Substitutes

  • 1Gomes
  • 3Britos
  • 8Cleverley
  • 10Success
  • 11Masina
  • 19Hughes
  • 20Quina
Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
10,261

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home25
Away11
Shots on Target
Home12
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Bournemouth 3, Watford 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Bournemouth 3, Watford 3.

Foul by Lys Mousset (Bournemouth).

Etienne Capoue (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lys Mousset (Bournemouth).

Adrian Mariappa (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Isaac Success replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gerard Deulofeu (Watford).

Booking

José Holebas (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.

Attempt blocked. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by David Brooks with a cross.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.

Attempt saved. Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt blocked. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Offside, Watford. Troy Deeney tries a through ball, but Gerard Deulofeu is caught offside.

Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

Attempt saved. Joshua King (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lys Mousset.

Attempt missed. Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Lys Mousset replaces Ryan Fraser.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Jordon Ibe replaces Callum Wilson.

Attempt saved. Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Joshua King (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Nathan Aké.

Attempt missed. Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by David Brooks.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Will Hughes replaces Ken Sema.

Delay in match Troy Deeney (Watford) because of an injury.

Hand ball by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

Attempt blocked. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Brooks.

Attempt missed. Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Brooks with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Ben Foster.

Attempt saved. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Fraser with a cross.

Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Tom Cleverley (Watford).

Foul by Dan Gosling (Bournemouth).

Etienne Capoue (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by José Holebas following a set piece situation.

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