Everton 2 Watford 2: Digne salvages draw with 96th-minute free-kick

Everton boss Marco Silva escaped defeat against his former club Watford thanks to Lucas Digne's brilliant stoppage-time free-kick.

Published : Dec 11, 2018 11:26 IST

Lucas Digne's 96th-minute free-kick helped Everton get a share of the points against Watford.
Lucas Digne's 96th-minute free-kick helped Everton get a share of the points against Watford.

Lucas Digne's 96th-minute free-kick helped Everton get a share of the points against Watford.

Lucas Digne's scored a wonderful free-kick in second-half stoppage time to salvage Marco Silva's Everton a 2-2 draw with his former club Watford at Goodison Park.

France international Digne beat Ben Foster from a set-piece in the 96th minute to save Silva from defeat against the team that sacked him last January following links to Everton.

Watford looked set to triumph when Abdoulaye Doucoure scored two minutes after an own goal from Seamus Coleman to overturn former Hornet Richarlison's first-half opener.

Gylfi Sigurdsson had a penalty saved five minutes after Doucoure's effort but Digne came good at the death to deny Watford a first win in six Premier League outings.

Richarlison required just 15 minutes to get off the mark in controversial circumstances, side-footing Andre Gomes' squared pass home despite Theo Walcott touching the ball from an offside position.

Read: Silva lauds Digne after stunning free-kick

Watford grew into the first half and squandered another good opening seven minutes before the break when Roberto Pereyra glanced wide following some positive play from Ken Sema on the right.

The visitors equalised in the 63rd minute when Coleman inadvertently sent the ball into his own net after Pereyra's header came back off the upright, sparking an incredible series of events.

Doucoure seemingly completed the turnaround 130 seconds later with a powerful header into the ground and past Jordan Pickford, taking advantage of a deflection on Pereyra's cross.

No sooner had Watford's celebrations died down, Everton wasted a big opportunity to equalise - Sigurdsson seeing his penalty kept out down the middle by Foster following Christian Kabasele's clumsy challenge on Yerry Mina.

Just when Javi Gracia's side looked to have done enough to draw level on points with its opponents, Digne curled a delicate 20-yard strike home to punish Kabasele for a needless handball.

What does it mean? Both sides continue to stutter

Despite the late leveller, Everton's underwhelming run of form continued. It has drawn three, lost two and won two of its last seven top-flight matches to sit outside the Europa League places and in need of some momentum.

Momentum was not a word associated with Watford ahead of this match, and it was denied a first win since the end of October to remain outside the Premier League's top half. On the brink of just a third away triumph of the season, the late twist may make this result feel as bad as the successive losses to Liverpool, Leicester City and Manchester City.

Digne digs Everton out of trouble

The former Barcelona defender took matters into his own hands after seeing Sigurdsson eye up the late free-kick, sending it out of Foster's reach to rescue what seemed an unlikely point. Digne also created three chances for his team-mates as he proved a regular threat attacking down the left.

Sigurdsson blushes spared

Sigurdsson's improved form coincided with Silva's arrival at Goodison Park, but it is now three games without a goal or an assist for the Iceland playmaker, whose penalty miss proved costly. Were it not for Digne's brilliant late strike, the focus would no doubt have been on another sub-par performance from the ex-Swansea City man.

What's next?

Everton travels to champions Manchester City in Saturday's early Premier League kick-off, while Watford is in action against a rejuvenated Cardiff City at Vicarage Road later the same day.

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