Watford recover from two-goal deficit to draw with Arsenal

Arsenal's Joe Willock, rear, falls as Watford's Christian Kabasele tackles during their English Premier League soccer match between Watford and Arsenal at the Vicarage Road stadium in Watford near London, Sunday, Sept., 15, 2019. (Alastair Grant/AP)

WATFORD, England — Quique Sanchez Flores returned for his second reign as Watford manager and watched his team fight back to earn a well-deserved 2-2 draw against visiting Arsenal on Sunday in the Premier League.

Flores, who left Watford in 2016 but returned to take over from the fired Javi Gracia, was left holding his head as Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno denied Abdoulaye Doucoure what would have been a dramatic winner in injury time.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice for Arsenal but the visitors had no answer to Watford in the second half and will be relieved to have escaped with a point.

Flores’ side made the better start but Arsenal scored against the run of play in the 21st minute after Dani Ceballos won the ball with a crunching tackle on Will Hughes. Sead Kolasinac ran forward and passed to Aubameyang, who stopped the ball with his left boot and spun around to fire it in with his right.

It was almost 2-0 minutes later after Ceballos found Mesut Özil, whose cross Aubameyang just failed to reach. Özil was making his first appearance of the season. The former Germany midfielder was the victim of an attempted carjacking before suffering a bout of illness.

Özil showed just what Arsenal had been missing in the 32nd when he split the Watford defence with a brilliant ball to send Ainsley Maitland-Niles though. The Arsenal right-back crossed to give Aubameyang a simple finish for his second goal.

It was the Gabon striker’s fifth goal in five league games.

Players from both sides got involved in a fracas at the end of the half, which started when Watford defender Jose Holebas took issue to a kick from Nicolas Pepe. Matteo Guendouzi rushed in to defend his Arsenal teammate and was duly booked, along with Holebas, who protested long after the halftime whistle was blown.

Arsenal was lacklustre after the break and gifted Watford a goal back in the 53rd, when Leno passed to Sokratis, who attempted a straight ball forward to Guendouzi. Gerard Deulofeu intercepted the ball, which fell to Tom Cleverley to hammer back past Leno for 2-1.

The visitors continued to wobble as Watford’s confidence surged. David Luiz fouled Roberto Pereyra just inside the penalty area and the Argentine midfielder dusted himself off to equalize from the spot in the 81st.

Callum Wilson’s brace helps Bournemouth beat Everton

BOURNEMOUTH, England — Callum Wilson scored twice to help Bournemouth beat Everton 3-1 for the side’s second Premier League win of the season on Sunday.

Richarlison came closest for Everton early on, when the Brazilian forward thumped an effort from distance off the crossbar.

Wilson put the home side ahead after a corner four minutes later, heading in from close range after Joshua King somehow missed from even closer.

Richarlison produced a fine cross for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to equalize before the break. It was the Everton forward’s first league goal since scoring against Newcastle in March.

But poor defending thwarted Everton’s hopes of even claiming a point. Substitute Ryan Fraser restored Bournemouth’s lead in the 67th with a free kick that took a slight deflection off Fabian Delph.

Wilson claimed his second goal five minutes later, when again the visiting defence should have done better as Wilson calmly lifted the ball over Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook made his first start since December after recovering from anterior cruciate ligament damage to his right knee.


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