Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion

vs
August 26, 2017
Score: 0 - 0

Match Report

Brighton claimed their first ever Premier League point despite failing to break down 10-man Watford at Vicarage Road.

Uruguayan defender Miguel Britos was shown a first-half red card for a high and reckless challenge on Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert, who was lucky to escape injury.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Brighton came closest to making the breakthrough as they twice hit the post through Knockaert and Tomer Hemed.

But Watford’s 10 men held firm to claim a battling point that extends their unbeaten start to the season, as the Seagulls’ wait for a first Premier League goal since promotion goes on.

The hosts started brightly, with Nathaniel Chalobah seeing a goal-bound header blocked by Lewis Dunk and record signing Andre Gray missing from a Nordin Amrabat pull back.

Amrabat, who had looked dangerous for the hosts, was soon replaced by Craig Cathcart as head coach Marco Silva patched up his defence after Britos’ dismissal.

Brighton appealed for a penalty when Abdoulaye Doucoure put in a high foot while competing for a loose ball with Knockaert, but referee Graham Scott instead awarded an indirect free-kick.

Both sides pushed for the win in the final 10 minutes as Watford introduced club captain Troy Deeney and Albion threw on record signing Jose Izquierdo for his debut, but neither could make a telling contribution.

Britos protested his 24th-minute dismissal, but in truth there was little defending what was a dangerous two-footed tackle on Frenchman Knockaert.

Describing the challenge on Final Score, BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks said: “I have no doubt in my mind that is a red card. I have not seen a tackle like that in 40 years.”

On Twitter, Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker described it as “the most horrendous tackle”.

Speaking after the game, Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes said Britos had apologised to his team-mates, adding “we need to apologise to the Brighton players as well”.

“He knows what he did and I don’t think he did it intentionally,” Gomes continued. “He always goes for the ball and he goes fair, but he lost timing and caught the player.”

Britos – also sent off twice last season – is the second Watford player to be sent off in a week, after Jose Holebas saw red in the 3-2 EFL Cup defeat to Bristol City.

Watford manager Marco Silva: “It was a difficult match, it started really well for us, we had chances to score. After the first chance they created we lost emotional balance. We need to continue what we did before.

“The red card changed everything. But after that our players showed good spirit and attitude.

“I didn’t see it, but the information I have is that it [the decision to send Britos off] looked fair. I have spoken with the player and we need to be calm to think what we will do.”

Brighton manager Chris Hughton: “It is a concern [that Brighton are yet to score], yes, because on the balance of play and getting in areas we are, we should do better.

“We need to find a way to win these games, we hit the post twice and feel it is coming.

“I hope we are successful in this transfer window to get a bit more attacking threat. I hope I’ll be busy, can’t guarantee it, but we are trying as hard as we can. It is a difficult market.”

Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert: “We are glad to get our first point but we’re also disappointed not to get a win because we were playing against 10 men. We had a few chances but couldn’t find a goal.

“We showed better character today and there are some good signs for the future. We have two weeks to work hard during the international break.

“We knew it would not be easy because they kept good shape and in the end I think they were happy with a draw.”

Lineup

1. Matthew Ryan
2. Bruno Saltor GrauYellow Card
5. Lewis Dunk
6. Dale Stephens
10. Tomer Hemed
11. Anthony Knockaert
13. Pascal Groß
20. Solomon March
22. Shane Duffy
24. Davy Pröpper
29. Markus Suttner

Subs

4. Uwe Hunemeier
8. Jiri Skalak
12. Niki Mäenpää
14. Steve Sidwell
15. Jamie MurphySub13
19. Izquierdo MenaSub11
23. Liam RoseniorSub2