Watford 2-3 Arsenal: Classy Gunners survive late scare to go fourth


rsenal scored three magnificent goals but were forced to sweat in a nervous finish as they beat Watford 3-2 to finish fourth in the Premier League.

Martin Odegaard’s deft opener was nullified by Cucho Hernandez’s bicycle kick, but superb finishing from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli secured the Gunners a fourth straight league win, despite Moussa Sissoko gave Watford hope of salvaging a point with a late strike.

They enter the top four for now at least, with Manchester United in action later on Sunday in the derby against Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta has named an unchanged starting XI, with Emile Smith Rowe expected to return to the squad after a stomach bug delayed by a positive Covid test.

It looked like the visitors had fallen behind by less than 20 seconds when Emmanuel Dennis passed Aaron Ramsdale, but the offside flag came to the rescue of the Gunners and they quickly capitalized on the reprieve with a fifth-minute opener .

Saka and Odegaard traded wide passes, the former entering space and smartly pulling back for the Norwegian to head into the bottom corner for his fifth goal of the season.

The Hornets fought back quickly, however, as Hernandez produced a sensational acrobatic finish off Kiko Femenia’s cross to level the scores.

Watford enjoyed a brief period of rise, but the momentum swung as Arsenal regained the lead through brilliant Saka, who pinched the ball from Tom Cleverley before crashing past Ben Foster from the layoff. ‘Alexandre Lacazette.

The third goal on the other side of half was perhaps the choice of an excellent group, a quick throw-in from Saka starting a quick move that saw Cedric Soares and Odegaard involved before Lacazette made it to the assist again, this time on the way. of Martinelli, who finished with as much emphasis as Saka.

Substitute Eddie Nketiah hit the post with what would have been decisive before Sissoko passed Ben White and fired through Ramsdale to leave Arsenal hanging on for a crucial three points.

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