Sunday 15 September 2019

Digne rescues last-gasp point for Everton to spare Coleman's blushes

Everton 2-2 Watford

Everton's Lucas Digne celebrates scoring. Photo: Reuters
Everton's Lucas Digne celebrates scoring. Photo: Reuters

Richard Jolly

Not for the first time, Watford were left to rue events involving Marco Silva.

The Hornets seemed set for revenge over the manager who had rejected them when he tried to join Everton last season.

They were on the brink of recording a maiden win at Goodison Park when Lucan Digne - one of Silva's summer signings - curled in an injury-time free-kick to spare the Portuguese a chastening defeat against his old employers.

And Watford's pain was increased by the sight of Richarlison - another of their old boys - scoring Everton's opening goal, their sense of pain compounded because the goal should not have stood.

However, they mounted a fine comeback, with a Seamus Coleman own goal and an Abdoulaye Doucoure header putting them ahead. But then Digne stepped up open his Everton account and rescue a point for the Toffees.

Richarlison, who failed to score in his final 28 games for Watford, scored his eighth goal of an embryonic Everton career, on 15 minutes with a precise finish after the offside Theo Walcott appeared to get a touch in the build-up.

Watford's Troy Deeney. Photo: Reuters
Watford's Troy Deeney. Photo: Reuters

Watford were further aggrieved when Yerry Mina escaped what should have been a second yellow card and manager Javi Gracia confronted referee Kevin Friend on the pitch at half-time.

The travelling supporters thought they had an equaliser to celebrate when Roberto Pereyra's free-kick nestled in the side netting. It had actually gone wide of Jordan Pickford's near post.

Mina made the most of his reprieve by blocking Doucoure's goal-bound shot while Pickford parried a crisp strike from Troy Deeney. It proved the prelude to a dramatic turnaround.

Gerard Deulofeu came on and fed the overlapping Kiko Femenia. He found Pereyra with a low cross and the Argentinian whipped a first-time shot that bounced back off the post, struck the unwitting Coleman and rebounded into the Everton net.

The luckless Everton captain was culpable when he was outjumped by Doucoure as the midfielder completed a swift turnaround by heading Watford into the lead. Pereyra, who provided the cross, was Everton's tormentor again.

Watford required cool heads to see things out, but Christian Kabasele immediately gave Everton the chance to level, jumping needlessly into Mina following a Digne throw-in.

This time the referee got his decision right, pointing to the penalty spot.

But Gylfi Sigurdsson, who had missed against Fulham in September, failed from 12 yards again as his spot-kick struck Ben Foster's trailing leg.

Kabasele got away with that error, but not another when he handled the ball on the edge of the box and Digne curled in the resulting free-kick.

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