Ismaila Sarr nodded home his third goal in two games as Watford played out a 1-1 draw with Newcastle at 3PM. A Sean Longstaff strike opened the scoring with an action packed match, this is how I rated the Watford players.
Ben Foster – 6/10
The cliche ‘a game of two halves’ could not be more appropriate for the 38 year old which makes it hard to reflect overall on his performance. It was a car crash of a first half, failing to get in the way of Longstaff’s goal when his hand was very much in place to divert the danger. A horrible clearance that was closed down should’ve resulted in further damage and was a huge let off. He did well to reduce the inevitable second goal from a shocking Cathcart back pass not letting Saint-Maximim get around him with ease. Despite frequently poor distribution he ultimately saved the hosts in the second half, denying Murphy when through on goal in the last couple of minutes and a few smart saves prior to rescue what was looking like a nightmare day at the office.
Kiko Femenia – 6/10
It’s clear the Spaniard gives the side more comfort when distributing into forward areas and the Sarr link up showed promise during the match albeit there was no standout moment. Looked in control defensively despite Joelinton a more sizeable presence.
William Troost-Ekong – 7/10
Came out with some commanding play when Newcastle looked to counter in the second half, winning a number of duels to get Watford going back the right way. Very fortunate his poor decision to slide into a challenge in the first half was just outside the box and not inside the 18 yard box. Despite so many openings for Newcastle he was not accountable in an error ridden match.
Craig Cathcart – 5.5/10
Some strong moments including a great clearance from a cross late one perhaps overshadowed by a particularly disastrous back pass which should’ve resulted in a fatal second Newcastle goal. When Foster made his howler he helped out massively with a good recovery. In possession again a lovely switch of play is generally paired with a real discomfort when trying to get the ball moving into midfield.
Danny Rose – 7.5/10
A high class left back performance with some beautiful control and guile opening his body up and driving into space on numerous occasions. His passing was inventive and naturally meant not everyone hit its target, coupled with a rash challenge in the second half which resulted in a yellow card. A nice corner taken resulted in the equaliser but probably the most accomplished player on the day.
Moussa Sissoko – 6/10
The most consistent player in the middle of the park for the Hornets, I felt like the Frenchman fulfilled his role well, protecting the ball and making safe and sensible decisions. You could argue he could do a little more with his physicality to get into the opposition but Xisco will be happy that Sissoko is more reliable than anyone in midfield at the minute. Unlucky not to sneak a late winner where Darlow got down well to stop his shot.
Juraj Kucka – 4.5/10
A wild display and too many careless or inaccurate passes. A bit clumsy out of possession there’s no doubt Watford were better in midfield with the final three they finished the match with which didn’t include Kucka. Walked a bit of a tight rope on a yellow card, again just failed to get the better of his opponents and I’m not sure there was a great deal of an understanding with us team-mates
Tom Cleverley – 4.5/10
A poor 45 minutes before being substituted at the break due to concussion. A first half with wayward possession and unforced errors.
Ismaila Sarr – 6.5/10
Somewhat disappointing he didn’t maximise the opportunity to get at Matt Ritchie following the full backs yellow card. Struggled to get into the game particularly in the first half, some really helpful defensive work and a goal though still made sure that the winger is Watford’s key man even if everything isn’t going his way.
Josh King – 6/10
You’ve got to feel for the striker at the minute, his neat lay off to Dennis within the first couple of minutes testifies his selfless work for the team and is lacking much service from a selfish point of view in front of goal. Typically his late winner was chalked off for offside. Overall his inclusion in the game is not constant but he is certainly providing a focal point for the side even if his lack of support at times means he’s guilty of surrendering possession.
Emmanuel Dennis – 5.5/10
Like Sarr very disappointed Dennis really get at Manquillo when he was on a yellow card. There were a couple of openings for Dennis where he cut in and had shots blocked where otherwise they were likely to find the net. Not particularly his fault he didn’t see a great deal of the ball in the game but he failed to register a real impact.
Jeremy Ngakia – 6.5/10
Peter Etebo – 7/10
Ozan Tufan – 6.5/10
Joao Pedro – 6/10