Three talking points as Watford claimed a dramatic late draw against West Brom
Richarlison scored a dramatic header deep into time added on as Watford fought back from two goals down to claim a last-gasp point against West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
Two goals in the space of three first-half minutes had given the hosts a healthy lead, with Salomon Rondon finding the net on his return to the starting line-up before Jonny Evans headed in a second.
However, Abdoulaye Doucoure finished off an intricate passing move shortly before the break to halve Watford’s deficit and, after that, they dominated possession as they looked to force an equaliser.
It came in the most dramatic style, as Richarlison popped up in the 94th minute to head home from Jose Holebas’ perfect in-swinging free-kick, preserving Watford’s unbeaten away record in the top-flight.
The Brazilian’s late heroics sees Marco Silva’s side rise up to fifth in the Premier League standings following their fourth win in seven games, with West Brom also moving up to tenth with the point.
Richarlison strikes at the death again
Do you ever get the sense of déjà vu?
Watford new boy Richarlison was the late hero for the second week running as he popped up in the dying moments to secure the Hornets a point at West Brom, maintaining their unbeaten away record.
The plucky 20-year-old – who arrived from Brazilian side Fluminense for £12 million during the summer transfer window – smashed home a 90th minute winner against Swansea City last time out but he went one better at the Hawthorns, heading home in the 94th minute in a breathtaking finale.
There was a lot of trepidation surrounding his move to Vicarage Road but he has certainly already gone a long way to winning over the Watford supporters, earning his team three points in the space of seven days.
His performances have deserved the goals, too, with Richarlison making things happen in the opposition territory – only Harry Kane has attempted more shots (22) than the Brazilian’s tally of 16.
Many Watford fans would have expected record signing Andre Gray to be the one making waves early on in the season, but it seems that they’ve found a new cult hero in the form of the youngster.
Pulis frustration as West Brom focus falters
After their mightily impressive start to the 2016-17 season, which saw the Baggies flirting with the European spots until the middle of December, they might have expected a similar start this time out.
However, it has not quite come together for Tony Pulis and his side since securing back-to-back wins on matchdays one and two, going winless in their last five Premier League games dating back to August.
It has been a relatively favourable runs of matches, as well, with West Brom drawing against Stoke City, West Ham and Watford whilst also falling to a defeat against newly-promoted side Brighton & Hove Albion, and Pulis will see it as a big missed opportunity as they prepare to face the sides at the top.
On this occasion they were literally seconds away from securing a morale-boosting win only for Richarlison to strike and it’s fair to say a rare lapse in concentration and discipline has proven costly.
Pulis himself said after the game that it was ‘hard to take’, with it no doubt feeling like a defeat despite earning a point, and they’ll need to pick themselves up to face Leicester after the international break.
Marco Silva’s rejuvenation of Watford continues
Watford’s incredible turnaround under Marco Silva shows no signs of relenting so far as they avoided defeat for the sixth time this season – in seven matches – with their last-minute heroics.
Their unbeaten run came to an end with an abrupt 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City but, whilst many would have expected them to continue on a downward slide after that, the Hornets have bounced back in impressive fashion to cement their excellent start, sitting fifth in the league.
It is all a far cry from their campaign last time around, where they sat in 11th place after seven matches of the season with three defeats to their name, eventually limping to a 17th place finish.
It shows just how much of an impact Silva has had on the dressing room since arriving over the summer, instilling a never-say-die attitude that leaves his players playing for each other on the pitch.
Last season they would have limped to full-time had they been losing but they battled until the end and ultimately got their just rewards on Saturday, and there’s a real sense of belief around Vicarage Road for the first time since Watford earnt their promotion back to the top-flight back in 2014-15.
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