Premier League
Watford2Bournemouth2

Watford 2-2 Bournemouth

Jermain Defoe scored his first Premier League goal since December
Jermain Defoe scored his first Premier League goal since December

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe praised veteran striker Jermain Defoe for his "huge" 92nd-minute equaliser that denied Watford victory at Vicarage Road.

The 35-year-old substitute pounced on a long free-kick to smash home from close range, as the Cherries came back for the second time in the game.

Defoe, who rejoined the Dorset side in the summer on a free transfer, had scored three goals this season until an ankle injury in December kept him sidelined until late February.

The England striker has now scored 15 goals in the 90th minute or later in the Premier League, more than any other player.

"I am delighted with Jermain's finish, it could be a huge one at the end of the season," Howe told BBC Sport.

"He is an incredible player and person. Coming back from injury he has looked sharp. I expected him to come on and make a difference and it was a fantastic finish."

Kiko Femenia had given Watford the lead on 13 minutes, volleying in Jose Holebas's cross from just inside the box.

Holebas then gifted the Cherries a penalty just before half-time as he pushed the ball away with his hand to stop Jordon Ibe getting to a rebound, after Orestis Karnezis had saved Junior Stanislas' shot.

Joshua King sent Karnezis the wrong way to roll his penalty in.

But the Hornets restored their lead four minutes after the break, Roberto Pereyra's low shot trickling past Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth, who hit the bar through Nathan Ake's header in the fourth minute, failed to create many chances in the second half, with Defoe going closest with a header in the 77th minute, seven minutes after coming on.

Watford looked set for three points that would have gone a long way to ensuring their Premier League safety, until Defoe's goal.

Both teams move to 37 points, nine points clear of the the relegation zone, with Bournemouth staying in 10th and Watford a place behind.

'Watford lost two points'

On average, the number of points to guarantee staying up in the previous 22 seasons is 36.6, so Watford can at least take consolation in having passed that mark.

Following successive league defeats by Arsenal and Liverpool, conceding eight goals, this was an improvement.

Defoe's equaliser prevented Watford from recording four straight home wins in the top flight for the first time since December 1986 under Graham Taylor.

But they are still unbeaten at Vicarage Road since a 2-1 defeat by Swansea on 30 December.

The defence will be of concern to Javi Gracia. King's penalty means the Hornets have conceded 27 goals in the first half of Premier League games this season - more than any other side.

"I can be disappointed because have lost two points in extra time," said Gracia. "But I am very proud of my players and squad, I can be happy with them.

"We were twice up in the scoresheet but it wasn't enough - we must take more advantage of the chances we had."

Cherries are the comeback kings

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Howe praises 'incredible' Defoe after Cherries equaliser

Bournemouth have now gained 17 points from losing positions this season - more than any other side.

"It's a great thing to have in your armoury, to know you can keep coming back, but obviously we don't want to keep falling behind," Howe told Sky Sports.

Defoe said: "We've got that mentality where we keep going to final whistle - we've scored a lot of late goals this season."

They do have an injury worry for their next game, after Junior Stanislas limped off at the end of the first-half.

Man of the match - Will Hughes

Will Hughes
Will Hughes (centre) justified his return to the starting line-up, with the midfielder producing an energetic all-round performance and assisting Pereyra's second goal. Watford suffered from his substitution on 75 minutes.

Watford share the goals around - the stats

  • Defoe has now scored 15 Premier League goals in the 90th minute or later - at least four more than any other player in the competition's history.
  • Bournemouth have now gained 17 points from losing positions this season - more than any other side.
  • Femenia was the 16th player to score for Watford in the Premier League this season - only Arsenal have had more (17, excluding own goals).
  • King has now scored three goals in his past seven league games - he had only managed to find the net twice in his first 20 this season.
  • Watford have conceded more goals from penalties (six) than any other side in the Premier League this season.
  • Will Hughes has had a hand in five goals (two goals, three assists) in nine Premier League games for Watford this season - as many as he managed in 38 Championship games for Derby County last season.

What's next?

Watford host seventh-placed Burnley on Saturday (15:00 BST), while Bournemouth host 17th-placed Crystal Palace (15:00 BST).

Line-ups

Watford

  • 30Karnezis
  • 2Janmaat
  • 5PrödlBooked at 56minsSubstituted forCathcartat 64'minutes
  • 6Mariappa
  • 25HolebasBooked at 42mins
  • 16DoucouréBooked at 78mins
  • 29Capoue
  • 21FemeníaSubstituted forRicharlisonat 81'minutes
  • 19HughesSubstituted forOkakaat 75'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 37Pereyra
  • 9Deeney

Substitutes

  • 1Gomes
  • 11Richarlison
  • 12Ndong
  • 15Cathcart
  • 18Gray
  • 20Lukebakio
  • 33Okaka

Bournemouth

  • 27Begovic
  • 24Fraser
  • 3S Cook
  • 5Aké
  • 11Daniels
  • 33IbeSubstituted forDefoeat 67'minutes
  • 16L Cook
  • 4Gosling
  • 19StanislasSubstituted forPughat 45+3'minutes
  • 17King
  • 13WilsonSubstituted forSurmanat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Boruc
  • 6Surman
  • 7Pugh
  • 8Arter
  • 14B Smith
  • 18Defoe
  • 42Simpson
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
20,393

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamBournemouth
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home16
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home7
Away4
Fouls
Home16
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 2, Bournemouth 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 2, Bournemouth 2.

Goal!

Goal! Watford 2, Bournemouth 2. Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nathan Aké with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

Booking

Stefano Okaka (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Steve Cook (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stefano Okaka (Watford).

Attempt saved. Andrew Surman (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Joshua King.

Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daryl Janmaat.

Hand ball by Stefano Okaka (Watford).

Steve Cook (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stefano Okaka (Watford).

Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

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

Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Charlie Daniels.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Charlie Daniels.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Andrew Surman replaces Callum Wilson.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Richarlison replaces Kiko Femenía.

Booking

Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Joshua King (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Orestis Karnezis.

Attempt missed. Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ryan Fraser with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Stefano Okaka replaces Will Hughes.

Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

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

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Daryl Janmaat.

Offside, Watford. José Holebas tries a through ball, but Roberto Pereyra is caught offside.

Offside, Watford. Will Hughes tries a through ball, but Kiko Femenía is caught offside.

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

Foul by Nathan Aké (Bournemouth).

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Jermain Defoe replaces Jordon Ibe.

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Craig Cathcart replaces Sebastian Prödl.

Attempt saved. Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Callum Wilson.

Foul by Will Hughes (Watford).

Lewis Cook (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Bournemouth. Lewis Cook tries a through ball, but Callum Wilson is caught offside.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City31273188216784
2Man Utd31215560233768
3Liverpool32199475354066
4Tottenham30187559253461
5Chelsea30175852272556
6Arsenal301461055411448
7Burnley31121092927246
8Leicester311110104743443
9Everton32117143853-1540
10Bournemouth32910133951-1237
11Watford32107154157-1637
12Newcastle3198143140-935
13Brighton31810132842-1434
14West Ham3189143957-1833
15Swansea3187162544-1931
16Huddersfield3287172553-2831
17Crystal Palace3279163150-1930
18Southampton31513132947-1828
19Stoke3169162958-2927
20West Brom32311182551-2620
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