Watford 0-0 Tottenham: Gazzaniga rescues Spurs in drab draw

Sat 18 January 2020 | 14:44

Tottenham were unable to break down Watford and were grateful to Paulo Gazzaniga for claiming a point.

Troy Deeney saw a penalty saved as Tottenham saw their Premier League winless run extend to four matches with an uninspiring 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.

Jose Mourinho's men have suffered a significant drop in form in recent weeks, and now have just one win from their last six league games following a dour stalemate with Nigel Pearson's relegation-threatened side.

With Christian Eriksen not introduced until the 73rd minute as links with Inter persist and loan signing Gedson Fernandes left on the bench until the 80th minute, a Tottenham team missing the injured Harry Kane lacked the creativity to break Watford down.

They did, however, almost grab an underserved win in stoppage time with goalline technology ruling Ignacio Pussetto had managed by the smallest margin to clear Erik Lamela's bundled effort away to safety.

Watford's best chance came when Jan Vertonghen handballed inside the area but Deeney's spot-kick was well saved by Gazzaniga.

Spurs move up to seventh, eight points off the top four, while Watford - now unbeaten in six league games - are 16th, two points clear of the drop zone as their revival under Pearson continued.

Mourinho will have been satisfied with his side's defensive performance in a low-key first half, having seen them previously record just one clean sheet since he took over in November.

However, Spurs' lack of an attacking spark must have served as a concern for the Portuguese, with Lucas Moura the only player to fashion a chance of real note, the Brazil international denied by the onrushing Ben Foster after being played in by Dele Alli.

It was Watford who took the initiative after the restart, though, and Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ismaila Sarr wasted close-range chances before Deeney saw an effort deflected wide.

Son Heung-min curled over on the break for Spurs, who were granted a significant reprieve in the 70th minute when Deeney failed from 12 yards. 

Vertonghen blocked a Gerard Deulofeu shot with his hand and Michael Oliver duly pointed to the spot, only for Gazzaniga to make a low save to his right from Deeney's poor penalty.

Lamela came agonisingly close to securing all three points as he looked to bundle home Serge Aurier's low cross, but debutant Pussetto cleared the ball just before it crossed the line to deal Spurs another setback in their quest for Champions League football.

What does it mean? Deficiencies laid bare for shot-shy Spurs

Tottenham had just seven shots to Watford's 15 in a match many will have expected them to win. Mourinho would obviously love to have Kane available, but even he would have struggled to influence a game in which Spurs displayed a striking lack of ingenuity.

Pussetto preserves a point

Watford fans will be hoping that Pussetto can make contributions at the other end of the pitch, but the impact he made in denying Argentine compatriot Lamela could prove crucial come the end of the season.

Deeney denied

The Hornets would be four clear of the drop zone had Deeney not failed from the spot. He has missed three of his last six penalties having scored 12 of the first 13 he took beforehand.

Key Opta Stats:

- Tottenham have failed to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2013.  - It is also just the second time a side managed by Jose Mourinho has failed to score in three league games in a row (Man Utd, October 2016). - This result ended a run of 93 Premier League games without a 0-0 draw for Tottenham, the second longest such run in the competition's history (Man Utd, 114 games ending May 2002). - No side has kept more Premier League clean sheets than Watford so far in 2019-20 (8). However, the Hornets have also failed to score in a league-high 11 Premier League games this season. - Tottenham kept their first Premier League clean sheet away from home in 382 days, since winning 3-0 at Cardiff on New Year's Day 2019. - Deeney has failed to score three of his last six Premier League penalties – he had only missed one of his first 13 taken in the competition. - Tottenham are winless in their last six Premier League games in which Harry Kane has played no part (D3 L3), failing to score on four occasions in that run.

What's next?

Tottenham host another side scrapping for survival as Norwich City visit north London on Wednesday, a day after Watford make the trip to the Midlands to face Aston Villa.

source: SportMob