Everton 2-2 Watford: Premier League – as it happened

A gorgeous free-kick from Lucas Digne five minutes into stoppage time rescued a point for Everton against Watford at Vicarage Road

We’ve not heard from the managers yet, but Sky don’t seem remotely interested in doing so, so I’m going to stop hanging about. It’s been a blast. Bye!

What Carragher doesn’t know about own goals isn’t worth knowing. He’s the Thierry Henry of the own-goal.

Andy Hunter has filed his match report from Goodison Park:

Watford fans brought inflatable snakes to taunt Marco Silva but were deflated when Lucas Digne’s stoppage-time free-kick denied them a first victory since October. Three points, the only true way to punish their former manager, were in sight when Christian Kabasele handled just outside his penalty area. The visitors were resigned to their fate before the French full-back floated the ball inside the top corner to rescue a point for Everton.

More here:

Troy Deeney has a quick word:

You’ve got to give credit to the boy, putting it in the top bin in the last minute. We felt we were the best team in terms of knowhow and stuff, we played the game really well.

He’s asked about the referee’s decisions in the first half:

The refs have got a tough job. I’m not going to come out and start hammering them. We as players just want a bit of respect when we’re talking. There’s always talk about respecting the referee … We tried to have a chat with him and felt he fobbed us off. That was the team talk done because we felt the whole world was against us. Unfortunately we just fell a bit short. We’ll take the draw and move on to Cardiff last week.

Holebas, who is never far away from a temper tantrum, strops from the field, gesticulating wildly. You’d have thought that once he gets to the dressing-room Kabasele will be fielding a couple of pointed remarks about his wild stoppage-time arm-waving habits.

Final score: Everton 2-2 Watford

90+7 mins: And that’s it! A pretty decent and wildly dramatic game of football, and Watford’s long search for a victory at Goodison Park continues!

90+7 mins: Watford attack at the death! Deulofeu escapes down the right, goes past one defender and passes to Pereyera, but he scuffs the ball roughly halfway between the goal and Troy Deeney.

GOAL! Everton 2-2 Watford (Digne, 90+6 mins)

And Digne curls it in! That’s absolutely lovely!

Lucas Digne curls in the free-kick.
Lucas Digne curls in the free-kick. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters


90+5 mins: Another long ball sails towards the Watford rearguard, and Kabasele leaps with his hands in the air. The ball hits one of them, and Everton have a fantastic shooting chance from a couple of yards outside the area!

90+4 mins: Halfway through stoppage time, and it is yet to yield a chance. Digne takes another long throw, which is boffed clear.

90+3 mins: Pickford is ordered to retake another goal kick. Sky were focusing on a narked-looking Marco Silva, so I couldn’t see what was wrong with his first go.

90+1 mins: A final substitution sees Quina go off after a fine full top-flight debut, and Mariappa come on to bolster the defence.

90+1 mins: There will be about six minutes of stoppage time! Six minutes! As we’ve already seen, that’s long enough for a couple of goals and a penalty or so.

90 mins: Everton send a long throw into the box, and it’s headed behind for another corner. Tension mounts. Digne’s cross finds Richarlison, whose overhead deflects over. Another corner.

88 mins: From open play, Keane comes forward and ends up playing on the right wing. He does OK there too, working a crossing opportunity for Coleman, but Sigurdsson’s header is weak and saved.

86 mins: Lookman’s corner is poor, and headed clear at the near post. He gets the ball back but his crossfield pass is poor, and Watford clear again.

85 mins: Coleman’s cross is deflected, and Holebas hacks it behind. The crowd roars. The clock ticks.

84 mins: The visitors have slowed the game down so much it’s almost stationary. They crawl down the right wing, win a throw-in and convert it into a corner.

83 mins: Watford play the ball from left to right, but back on the left Doucouré has taken a blow to the head. They have a free kick, and a few more seconds go by.

82 mins: Watford have a throw-in, and Holebas takes a while organising a long one, which is cleared. The clock continues to tick.

81 mins: Watford win a corner, and before it’s taken Chalobah is booked, presumably for doing some off-camera timewasting.

80 mins: The pressure is building, but it’s all a bit messy. The ball is hit long to Tosun, bounces about a bit, arrives at the feet of Sigurdsson, and he miscues his shot.

78 mins: Digne crosses to Tosun, the ball breaks to Richarlison, whose first touch is poor enough to allow Foster to sprint out and claim.

78 mins: Everton have had 76% of possession in the last 10 minutes. This seems like the level of possession which often leads to a goal being scored.

76 mins: “Impressed that Isaac Success managed to leave the field without falling over,” says Gary Naylor. Perhaps his inability to stay vertical while running, particularly when blue shirts are nearby, is why he took so long over his departure?

75 mins: Pretty much anything could still happen here. Deulofeu nearly plays in Doucouré, Everton clear the ball upfield and Foster has to run out of his area to rescue the situation.

74 mins: Further substitutional action sees Success replaced by Chalobah. His number is booed by the home fans, as is the amount of time he takes to leave the field, while Mina comes over to give him a personal and faintly aggressive farewell. The substitution took 48 seconds, for what it’s worth.

72 mins: “‘Comedy clanger’ is a bit harsh, don’t you think? Not sure what Coleman was supposed to do about that one,” sniffs Phil Reilly. There can be no blame on Coleman, but it was a moment that should probably have been accompanied by a comedy clang sound effect.

72 mins: Everton have made their third substitution, bringing Tosun on for Gueye.

71 mins: Chaos in Watford’s penalty area! Sigurdsson flicks it beautifully to Coleman, whose low cut-back heads towards the Icelandic midfielder. On the stretch he directs the ball wide but to Richarlison, who falls over when apparently destined to score, and Watford come away with the ball!

69 mins: In between Watford’s second goal and the penalty award Everton brought on Lookman and Calvert-Lewin, taking off Walcott and Bernard.

It's saved!

Sigurdsson blasts it straight down the middle, but though Foster has dived to his right he flicked up a foot and volleyed it out of the area and away to safety!

Ben Foster saves Sigurdsson’s penalty with his left foot.
Ben Foster saves Sigurdsson’s penalty with his left foot. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters


Penalty to Everton!

Madness! A long throw comes in, Kabasele comes out to challenge Mina, who goes down. The referee sees it as a push (which it was), and points to the spot!

GOAL! Everton 1-2 Watford (Doucouré, 65 mins)

They’ve only got another one! A quick free-kick ends with Pereyra crossing from the right, and it deflects off the top of a sliding defender’s shin and loops onto the head of Doucouré. Though his header is close to Pickford he has no time to react and can’t keep it out!

Abdoulaye Doucoure heads in the second.
Abdoulaye Doucoure heads in the second. Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images


GOAL! Everton 1-1 Watford (Coleman own goal, 63 mins)

A nice move ends with a comedy clanger, and Watford are level! Deulofeu slides the ball to Femenia on the right, Pereyra meets his low cross, his shot hits the far post, and it rebounds straight into Coleman and bounces in!

Everton’s Seamus Coleman reacts after scoring an own goal.
Everton’s Seamus Coleman reacts after scoring an own goal. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters


62 mins: Success catches Digne, and the award of a free-kick to Everton gets loud cheers from a home support that thinks the refereeing decisions haven’t gone their way. “I must say, Watford’s No10 has had great, ahem, Success in winning free-kicks for his team,” writes Gary Byrne. “One wonders what would happen were he ever actually fouled?”

61 mins: “If there’s an end of year ‘Best of Effects Mics’ round-up, I reckon Goodison would star in it,” says Gary Naylor. “Post-watershed of course.” There does seem to have been a lot of audible cursing this evening.

60 mins: Deulofeu is on, and Sema goes off. The home fans give the Spaniard a warm reception.

59 mins: Everton calm the game down a bit, with Gomes receiving treatment to a knee injury – the physio treating him just gave a thumbs up, so he is presumably fine. Watford use the interruption to get Deulofeu ready to come on.

58 mins: Watford are first to every loose ball at the moment, and there are plenty of loose balls. Deeney plays a one-two with Pereyra before spearing in a low shot from the edge of the area, which Pickford pushes away.

57 mins: Chance for Watford! The long throw drops to Doucouré, whose shot deflects off Mina and then off Bernard and then out of play for a corner.

56 mins: Deeney sprints 30 yards to shoulder-barge Coleman into the ball, and both Everton player and ball end up in touch. Watford get the throw.

55 mins: Pereyra curls the free-kick round the wall and into the side netting. The away fans, clearly watching proceedings from an unfortunate angle, briefly celebrate.

54 mins: Mina breathes on Success, who goes down. This time he gets a free kick.

53 mins: Watford are dominating possession but all they are doing with it is approaching the Everton area and then being forced back again.

51 mins: The second half is yet to reach the quality that was sustained in the first. Gomes hits a lovely but slightly overstrong chipped pass that goes out for a goal kick.

48 mins: Success gets into the area and away from Mina, but the Colombian flicks out a boot to divert the ball behind. The corner is eventually hacked downfield by Digne.

45+1 mins: The second half was apparently delayed slightly because the technology that allows the team of officials to communicate their terrible decisions to each other isn’t working properly.

46 mins: Peeeeep! They’re off!

The players are back out!

“Start betting on Everton people!” writes Wilhelm Henderson. “It’s obvious that Kevin Friend has a pound or two on Everton.” Well, don’t bet on Everton – it might work this time, but that kind of habit only ever ends with a gambling company chief executive giving him/herself a shockingly ridiculous end-of-year bonus – but I take your point.

Mina had already been booked when he took out Success on the edge of the area just before half-time. Watford will feel that had the referee got a couple of big calls right they could have gone in at the break at 0-0 and a man up.

Half time: Everton 1-0 Watford

45+2 mins: A really bright half full of interest and intrigue, as well as lots of falling over from Richarlison and a few dodgy decisions from the officials, who are booed from the field by fans of both sides. Everton lead by an offside goal to nil.

45+1 mins: Deeney slides a fine pass to Success, who reaches the edge of the area before going down over Mina’s challenge. The referee gives nothing, but that was a foul.

45+1 mins: There will be about one minute of stoppage time.

45 mins: Richarlison goes down again. The referee waves his complaints away and with the crowd restless Watford clump the ball forward and Deeney, stretching, volleys just wide!

44 mins: Lovely run from Walcott! His excellent first touch takes him past Holebas, and then he weaves between two more defenders with a feint and a shimmy, before one finally gets boot on ball and it rolls through to Foster.

43 mins: Chance for Everton! Sigurdsson brings the ball forward from halfway, plays left to Digne, collects the return pass and sidefoots towards goal, but Cathcart gets in the way and clears!

42 mins: The ball is chipped through to Richarlison, who flings himself to the ground as Kabasele approaches. He’s offside, though.

41 mins: “There’s no accounting for taste, but the music you suggest for Watford is vapid rubbish that sounds as though it were composed by a committee of tone-deaf barking seals,” writes Ric Arthur. “At least the Z-cars theme is memorable, even if it is high time it were put to bed.” I like your critique of the music at least as much as I like the music, which has a particularly nostalgic appeal to Britons of a certain age that is perhaps lost on young Mr Arthur (I have no idea how old Mr Athur is).

39 mins: Everton keep being told to retake goal kicks. It’s happened three times now, and is becoming a bit embarrassing.

38 mins: A much better period this for Watford. Sema crosses from the right, and it flicks Pereyra’s brow on its way out.

Roberto Pereyra
Roberto Pereyra reacts after missing a chance. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters


37 mins: Watford try the free-kick routine that brought them a goal against Huddersfield not long ago – passing it right and then chipping over the defence – but it doesn’t work this time.

36 mins: Watford win another free-kick, after Keane leans a forearm into Success. It looked a dive on first viewing, but replays suggest the referee got that one right.

34 mins: Pereyra flings himself to the ground with Walcott behind him, and the referee awards a very generous free kick, hard on the left touchline. Holebas takes it, and Pickford collects.

33 mins: Sigurdsson has a shot from the halfway line, which Foster would have easily saved even if it had been on target.

32 mins: Deeney plays the ball through to Success on the left, but the referee waves his flag. Mina seemed to be pretty clearly playing him onside, though. Watford have been very much second best here, but are having some rub-of-the-green issues.

30 mins: More boos from the visiting fans as Richarlison demands another free-kick, and is ignored by the referee. He is then very nearly played in on goal by a Holebas back-header, though Cathcart is on hand to clean up.

29 mins: Boos from the visiting fans as Richarlison goes down extraordinarily easily just outside the Watford area. He gets up feeling the back of his head and continues to do so for a while, so perhaps there was actually come contact.

28 mins: During a break in play, Walcott is given a pill to take by someone on the Everton bench. Perhaps someone has discovered a cure for offside?

27 mins: Sigurdsson crosses from the right, and Mina tries to bat the ball in with an outstretched fist at the near post. He mistimes the punch and is booked for trying.

26 mins: Success wins possession with a challenge on the right touchline, which while taking the ball cleanly had a hint of two-footedness about it.

23 mins: Kabasele gives the ball away, under no pressure. Watford are being a little careless in possession, and Everton’s excellent midfield is hungrily scoffing all the scraps they’re being presented with.

22 mins: Success wins a free kick in a decent shooting position, but Holebas sends it into the wall.

21 mins: “Is Watford’s choice of football pitch green strip an attempt to blend in to the background, Predator-like, and surprise Everton on the counter?” wonders Gary Byrne. It certainly could be, though it seems more likely that it’s the result of Adidas presenting them with a selection of possible colourways for what seems to be their default away strip for this season (see Leicester etc), but then telling them that all the others had already been taken.

20 mins: Nearly a second for Everton! Digne crosses, it’s touched on at the near post and Richarlison looks certain to tap in at the far but somehow Holebas got a leg in the way!

18 mins: Quina crosses and Deeney, five yards out, spoons a volley over the bar! He was miles offside, though, so it wouldn’t* have counted.

* Though as Everton have just proved you can’t be sure.

17 mins: Richarlison certainly didn’t read the memo about not celebrating goals against former clubs. He did not hold back.

GOAL! Everton 1-0 Watford (Richarlison, 15 mins)

Now the breakthrough for Everton! It’s a fine counter-attack, and Coleman passes to Gomes, who runs into Walcott (who was offside again, and touched the ball), goes past him and crosses low to Richarlison, who rifles in a first-time shot! A good move and fine finish, but it should certainly have been disallowed for offside.

Richarlison adds the finishing touch to a sweeping counter-attacking move to score for Everton. Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images


14 mins: Now they attack, though, and Sema’s excellent jinking run ends with a ball prodded through to Success, who surely should have attempted a first-time shot but instead spun and attempted to chip the ball to Deeney at the far post. Mina dealt with that one.

14 mins: Watford had an excellent first minute, but the subsequent 13 haven’t been so good for them. Everton are very much on top now.

12 mins: A lovely cross from Digne there, but though it curled and dipped quite beautifully it landed beyond Walcott.

11 mins: Doucouré ludicrously gives the ball away to Richarlison, who tries to slide it through to Sigurdsson, but Cathcart gets in the way.

Everton’s Richarlison
Everton’s Richarlison is beaten in the air. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters


10 mins: Sigurdsson flicks the ball to Walcott in the area, who goes down. The whistle goes. Was he fouled? No, he was offside. Which probably saved him from a booking for diving.

9 mins: Sigurdsson splits the defence with a pass through to Walcott, but it’s a little overstrong, and Walcott is anyway offside. Foster claims.

6 mins: There have been no shots on target for a while, but there have been a few long balls from Watford, mostly from Ben Foster, which have bounced out for goal kicks at the other end.

Marco Silva’s not particularly popular with Watford fans
Marco Silva’s not particularly popular with Watford fans. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images


3 mins: Still, we’re averaging one shot on target per minute played, which is encouraging.

2 mins: Everton have a go now, and Digne’s deep cross leads to a Walcott header from beyond the far post which is also routinely saved.

1 min: Watford have completely dominated the first 56 seconds, and after ripping at the Everton defence, losing the ball and winning it back again, Pereyra has a weak shot easily saved.

1 min: Peeeeeep! There was something wrong with their first attempt, so Everton get the ball quite literally rolling again!

1 min: Peeeeeeep! Everton get the ball quite literally rolling!

The preliminaries have been completed, and there is nothing now standing between us and kick-off except a referee’s whistle.

Z Cars is on, and out come the players!

The players are in the tunnel. It’s a proper tunnelly tunnel at Goodison Park. Plain white walls as well – none of this modern photographic nonsense.

Everton have never lost to Watford at Goodison Park, and have won 11 of their 12 competitive fixtures against the Hornets there. Even though Watford were only really good during a period in the 1980s when Everton were excellent, that is an astonishing record

Stefano Okaka is on the Watford bench for the third time this season – he has only made one substitute appearance, and spent 13 minutes on the pitch, in the Premier League this season. But perhaps he finds Everton particularly inspiring, this being by a considerable distance his finest moment in a Watford shirt:

Excuse my ignorance, but what on earth has this guy got on his head?

A camera operator at Everton
A camera operator before the match between Everton and Watford at Goodison Park. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

One thing that unites both clubs is the theme to Z Cars, which soundtracks the teams’ arrival on the pitch at both Goodison Park and Vicarage Road. Z Cars has obvious links to Merseyside, but is used at Watford entirely because it was the favourite TV programme of Bill McGarry, their manager for a year in the early 1960s. A few managers since have attempted to introduce new tunes, but have abandoned their experiment in the face of fan fury. I don’t get it, at all. There is nothing but habit to link it with the club, and it isn’t even a rousing piece of music. Or a good one.

Watford should use this instead. It also has no link with the club or the area, but it is amazing:

Given that Domingos Quina can do this, though, perhaps it’s just as well that he’s going to be on the pitch:

A couple of big calls there from Javi Gracia. Ken Sema makes his first league start since joining the club from Ostersunds in the summer. He has made five substitute appearances so far, the longest for 25 minutes, and the most recent (also the longest) back in October, and has done little of note in that time. Deulofeu, who would appear the more obvious choice for a starting role, remains on the bench.

Domingos Quina meanwhile turned 19 two weeks ago and made his Premier League debut as a substitute against Manchester City last Tuesday, and until tonight has only made the matchday squad three times this season. I thought that was a massively encouraging cameo, but it must be extremely galling for Nathaniel Chalobah, having watched Etienne Capoue excel while keeping him out of the team this season, to find himself back on the bench with the Frenchman having served only one of his current three-match suspension, and in favour of some upstart teenager.


The teams!

The team sheets have been handed in, and they looked like this:

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Andre Gomes, Gueye, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison. Subs: Baines, Zouma, Tosun, Stekelenburg, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman.
Watford: Foster, Femenia, Kabasele, Cathcart, Holebas, Doucoure, Quina, Success, Pereyra, Sema, Deeney. Subs: Gomes, Mariappa, Deulofeu, Masina, Chalobah, Wilmot, Okaka.
Referee: Kevin Friend.

This isn’t encouraging:

Talking of Gerard Deulofeu, David Hytner caught up with him last week for a quick chat:

Hello world!

At the start of last season Marco Silva fashioned the most thrilling, attacking Watford side seen in the top flight of English football since the heady days of Graham Taylor. Today their fans, who have since come to see him as a traitor and a failure, and more than anything as a man with chronic commitment issues, plan to taunt him with inflatable snakes. Thirteen months ago Everton’s fans taunted Marco Silva at the end of a riotous match in which Watford led 2-0 with 25 minutes to go and somehow lost 3-2, missing a stoppage-time penalty. Today they will cheer his every move (result depending). How quickly things change.

Richarlison, who excelled for Watford under Silva before fading after the coach’s departure in January, now plays for Everton. Gerard Deulofeu, who once shone for Everton, now plays for Watford. Tonight Subplots and intrigue will cover the pitch like cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake, hopefully with equally delicious results. Welcome, let’s savour it together.