The Premier League came back with a bang this past weekend in the wake of the international break, as all twenty teams put their best foot forward in an attempt to build some real momentum and kick on after a fascinating start to the new campaign.
Two such clubs that were eager to make an impact were Watford and Arsenal, and as reported by BBC and Sky Sports, they both did so in their own way as they played out a fascinating 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.
Arsenal were forced to soak up some early pressure in the first 15 minutes or so of the game, with Watford showcasing new energy after the most recent chapter of their managerial merry-go-round. Alas, the gulf in class between the two teams became a little bit more evident when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was able to turn and slot the ball into the back of the net following a great run forward from Kolasinac.
A new era
Then, ten minutes later, Aubameyang was on hand to double Arsenal’s advantage – and yet even after doing so, it still felt like they were being pressed back by Watford.
Early on in the second half an utterly horrendous error from Sokratis at the back swung the door wide open for Watford to edge their way back into the game, before a bizarre challenge from David Luiz allowed Roberto Pereyra to slot home the equaliser from the penalty spot.
The Gunners allowed an unbelievable 31 shots to fly in from the Hornets, leading many to wonder what Unai Emery’s objective is really going to be for this season as he continues to struggle with these defensive woes.
“Physically they are stronger than us so we want to break the lines from the goal-kick and connect to Mesut Ozil, like we did with the first goal.
“We have young players, we are working to improve and they will gain experience from matches like today. We can grow up and learn with these mistakes.
“We knew that 2-0 was not enough at half-time. ”
Those were the words of Unai Emery, whereas for new Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores, he was understandably a little bit happier than most.
“Have I missed the Premier League? Yeah. I miss all these kind of emotions – I love it.
“I was really happy with the performance of the players. We have one point against a very tough team. It’s good for our confidence. We are positive.”
Arsenal face a return to the Europa League later on this week before facing Aston Villa in the Premier League, and it’s safe to say that we need to see some changes before too long.
Watford, on the other hand, finally showcased the kind of grit and determination that got them all the way through to the FA Cup Final last season.
Now, they just need to take this season by the scruff of the neck and capitalise on this performance, because if they do, we can’t imagine a scenario in which they are in the relegation scrap.