Premier League
WatfordWatford1TottenhamTottenham Hotspur2

Watford 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

By Mandeep SangheraBBC Sport
Son Heung-min scores his fourth goal of the season
Son Heung-min scores his fourth goal of the season

Son Heung-Min scored a dramatic late winner as Tottenham moved up to third in the Premier League with victory over 10-man Watford.

Erik Lamela put the visitors in front when he stroked in a shot after Dele Alli dispossessed Craig Cathcart.

Odion Ighalo equalised when his determination helped him beat Eric Dier and poke home.

Nathan Ake was sent off for a challenge on Lamela before Son scored with a deft flick from Kieran Trippier's cross.

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Late drama at Vicarage Road

Tottenham had struggled to make the most of their numerical advantage following Ake's dismissal on 63 minutes.

Pochettino joy at 'very important' win

Indeed Watford looked the more likely goalscorers in the closing stages as they earned a succession of corners and could have taken the lead themselves.

Ben Watson's corner almost crept in before keeper Hugo Lloris fended the ball away, with goalline technology showing the ball was only inches away from going in.

Moments later, Spurs scored the winner. Trippier's crosses from the right had caused the hosts problems throughout and it was his delivery that led to Son's clincher.

There was a suggestion of offside in the build-up to the goal, but referee Anthony Taylor allowed it to stand.

Should Ake have been sent off?

Ake caught Lamela studs first and high on the leg as he attempted to get to a bouncing ball.

Taylor took his time before producing his red card to the apparent bemusement of the Watford left-back and the home dugout.

"My view was amazing but I don't like to talk about the referees. It is football," said Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores.

"It is difficult," said Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino. "From my point of view, it was an 'orange' or red - but more than yellow."

Ighalo v Kane

Apart from a meeting between two of the league's form teams, the match at Vicarage Road also saw strikers Ighalo and Harry Kane on the same pitch.

Ighalo showed strength and determination in scoring a goal that took him to 14 for the season and 30 in 2015.

Chances were infrequent for Kane and the closest he came was when a brave near-post header went wide.

He was more of a presence than his opposite number, though, was involved in more of the build-up play and also helped out defensively.

Watford striker Odion Ighalo's touchmap (left) compared to that of Tottenham forward Harry Kane
Watford striker Odion Ighalo's touchmap (left) compared to that of Tottenham forward Harry Kane

Man of the match - Son Heung-Min

Son Heung-Min (left) is congratulated by manager Mauricio Pochettino after his winner for Spurs
Son Heung-Min came on as a 68th minute substitute and made the most telling contribution

What they said:

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: "I feel sorry because we had possibility to draw and it was painful how we lost the match.

Flores 'proud' despite Watford defeat

"But I am really proud of my players. They fight a lot, have an amazing soul. The line between winning and losing is very small."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on whether Spurs can win the title: "In football a lot can happen. The most important thing is we believe - we have a strong squad to squad to fight for it."

He added: "The victory is very important for us, we worked hard to try and win and are happy because Watford are a difficult team and beat Liverpool recently.

"The condition of the pitch made it difficult to play how we usually play but we showed great maturity. We need to feel proud for the players. It was a great effort after only playing 48 hours ago."

The stats you need to know

  • Spurs have lost just one of their past 18 Premier League matches, winning nine
  • Watford scored with their only shot on target against Tottenham
  • Odion Ighalo has scored more league goals in 2015 than any other player in England's top four tiers (30)
  • Erik Lamela has scored four goals in his past five games in all competitions for Tottenham

What next?

Watford have another testing game at home when they welcome Manchester City to Vicarage Road on 2 January, while Tottenham face a trip to Everton a day later.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Gomes
  • 21Anya
  • 15Cathcart
  • 3BritosBooked at 52minsSubstituted forPrödlat 60'minutes
  • 16AkéBooked at 63mins
  • 22AbdiSubstituted forBehramiat 45'minutes
  • 23Watson
  • 29Capoue
  • 7JuradoBooked at 58minsSubstituted forNyomat 68'minutes
  • 24IghaloBooked at 65mins
  • 9DeeneyBooked at 64mins


  • 2Nyom
  • 5Prödl
  • 8Behrami
  • 17Guédioura
  • 25Holebas
  • 32Diamanti
  • 34Arlauskis


Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 4AlderweireldBooked at 81mins
  • 15Dier
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 16Trippier
  • 28CarrollSubstituted forSon Heung-Minat 68'minutes
  • 19DembéléSubstituted forEriksenat 45'minutes
  • 3Rose
  • 11Lamela
  • 20AlliBooked at 6minsSubstituted forChadliat 81'minutes
  • 10Kane


  • 2Walker
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 8Mason
  • 13Vorm
  • 22Chadli
  • 23Eriksen
  • 33Davies
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamTottenham
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Valon Behrami (Watford).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Watford 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kieran Trippier with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Kieran Trippier.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Danny Rose.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur).

  13. Post update

    Odion Ighalo (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur).

  15. Post update

    Etienne Capoue (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Watson with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Harry Kane.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Nacer Chadli replaces Dele Alli.

  20. Booking

    Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.