Saturday 20 October 2018

Arsenal v Watford – story of the match

Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored for Arsenal.

Shkodran Mustafi
Shkodran Mustafi

By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport

Arsenal saw off Watford to secure their first Premier League win in four games and continue their recovery from a disastrous run of results.

Despite returning to winning ways at AC Milan on Thursday night, Arsene Wenger’s side were without a Premier League victory since February 3 as they welcomed the Hornets to the Emirates Stadium with pressure mounting on the Frenchman.

But goals from Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were enough to secure a fairly comfortable 3-0 win over Watford, who had a second-half Troy Deeney penalty saved by Petr Cech.

Tweet of the match

Gary Neville pokes fun at more swathes of empty seats at the Emirates Stadium. Gunners boss Wenger had suggested a poor attendance against Manchester City last time out was due to the cold weather.

Star man – Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan, centre, made one and scored one as Arsenal breezed past Watford

The focal point of Arsenal’s slick attacking play, Mkhitaryan cut open Watford’s defence for Aubameyang’s goal then got on the scoresheet soon after with a low finish.

Moment of the match

Cech’s penalty save from pantomime villain Deeney, his first spot-kick stop in the Premier League since February 2011. It came just moments after Arsenal went 2-0 up and ensured his first clean sheet in 12 games and his 200th overall in the Premier League.

Data point

When Mustafi headed home Mesut Ozil’s inviting free-kick he scored the Gunners’ 1000th home goal in the Premier League era. Manchester United are the only other team to pass this mark.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Petr Cech 8 (out of 10), Ainsley Maitland-Niles 6, Shkodran Mustafi 7, Rob Holding 7, Sead Kolasinac 6, Mohamed Elneny, 7 Granit Xhaka 7, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 7, Mesut Ozil 7, Alex Iwobi 7, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 7. Substitutes: Danny Welbeck (for Iwobi 67 ) 6, Calum Chambers (for Mustafi 73) 6, Jack Wilshere (for Mkhitaryan 78) 6.

Watford: Orestis Karnezis 6, Daryl Janmaat 6, Sebastian Prodl 6, Adrian Mariappa 6, Jose Holebas 6, Abdoulaye Doucoure 7, Etienne Capoue 6, Kiko Femenia 6, Roberto Pereyra 5, Richarlison 6, Troy Deeney 5. Substitutes: Will Hughes (for Feminia 62) 6, Stefano Okaka (for Pereyra 67) 5, Miguel Britos (for Janmaat 80) 5.

Who’s up next?

Arsenal v AC Milan (Europa League, Thursday March 15)
Liverpool v Watford (Premier League, Saturday March 17)

Press Association

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