An excellent win against an understrength and physical Watford side who spent much of the game behaving like dads trying to hack down their nippier, more skilful children after a bit too much liquid refreshment at a barbecue.
Paul Clement used the word ‘technical’ when describing our team in midweek and the four goals scored in this game prove his point perfectly. Each strike was full of purpose and precision, the fate of each shot never in doubt the moment it left the boot of Dele, Dier, Son and Son respectively. (The same cannot be said of Janssen’s efforts on goal but this is no time to dwell on the suffering).
The first goal in particular was something to behold. Moussa Dembélé’s break was halted crudely when he was hauled to the floor (not for the first time) by Doucoure. Anthony Taylor waved play on but whilst most of the crowd were still hurling derision at the WWE style challenge Dele Alli collected Son’s pass and from 25-30 yards curled the most sumptuous of shots over Gomes’s left hand and just inside the far post. It was a real thing of beauty.
We have watched him grow as a player these last two seasons and this sort of strike was yet another piece of genius to add to his CV and his repertoire. Like his volleys against Everton and Palace last year and his headers against Chelsea this may well be seen in the future as a landmark in his career, another step towards whatever it is that he will eventually become.
Whilst Alli took the applause, Dembélé was picked up by his teammates and Doucore was given the yellow card he deserved.
Our goal came after a ten-fifteen minute spell where we’d forced the Hornets back following their bright(ish) opening. Taylor was falling for Niang’s antics in front of Trippier which allowed them to float in a few free kicks whilst Success attempted, without erm, success, to exploit any space he could find behind Davies.
Alli’s strike led to more pressure from us, Dier’s thumping finish was followed by Son’s delightful left foot low curler. 3-0 at half time.
Three was soon four in the second half when Son beat Gomes at his near post with a half volley from Trippier’s cross and that, apart from a couple of shots against the bar and misses from Son and Kane that would have had the haters out in force with flaming torches if Janssen had been the perpetrator, was that.
We turn up, the team turn up, they’re brilliant, we bask in their reflected glory. It’s become routine. But don’t let it. Don’t let this brilliant and brilliantly motivated side ever get taken for granted. They, like the ground (only three games left), will not be around forever.
Bournemouth next week.
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