Tottenham 1-1 Watford: Dele Alli's late goal saves Spurs

A late goal from Dele Alli spared Tottenham Hotspur's blushes as it was held to a 1-1 draw by the Premier League's bottom side Watford.

Dele Alli scored on his first league start of the season to rescue a point for Spurs.

Dele Alli rescued a point for Tottenham Hotspur with a late goal as it was held to a 1-1 draw at home by rock-bottom Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Abdoulaye Doucoure had opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a crisp finish that looked to have given the Hornets the points.

But Spurs midfielder Alli, on his first league start of the season, capitalised on Ben Foster's failure to punch the ball away four minutes from full-time and squeezed home from a tight angle.

The goal was checked by VAR and despite the confusion of a 'no goal' message appearing on the big screen it was deemed a legitimate strike.

The result will do little to ease the pressure on coach Mauricio Pochettino, however.

Watford saw Danny Welbeck limp out in the fourth minute clutching his hamstring and was replaced by Gerard Deulofeu, meaning the visitor played without a recognised striker.

However, it put the setback behind it to seize the early advantage just two minutes later.

Daryl Janmaat escaped from Danny Rose and his teasing low cross found Doucoure, who sauntered in behind Tottenham's backline and coolly guided the ball home.

Without Christian Eriksen, missing with a dead leg sustained on international duty with Denmark, Spurs lacked a player who could unlock Watford's organised defence.

The host was fortunate to not give away a penalty shortly before half-time when Deulofeu fell to ground after he went over Jan Vertonghen, but VAR backed the referee's decision.

Spurs introduced Son Heung-min at the interval and the South Korea forward forced Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster to tip a shot on to the crossbar early in the second half.

Pochettino's side looked to be heading for its third consecutive defeat across all competitions, only for England international Alli to level when he pounced on the loose ball after Foster made a hash of punching away a hopeful lofted pass.

 

What does it mean? Spurs still struggling

Pochettino was invited to a squad dinner by his players during the week. It was a sign, he believed, that his players are fully behind him despite their inconsistent form.

However, his players made a meal of this game against the Hornets as they laboured to an underwhelming draw at home.

Spurs are now in seventh place and within striking distance of the top four, so Pochettino is likely to get plenty of time to improve their fortunes.

Doucoure essential for Hornets

While his well-taken goal caught the eye, it was a confident midfield display which was really telling for Watford.

Doucoure was strongly linked with a move to Everton during the last transfer window. He emphasised against Spurs why it was imperative the Hornets kept him - he is the heartbeat of the team.

Normally reliable Rose under par

Spurs defender Danny Rose was well below his best against the Hornets and it was his failure to block the cross from Janmaat that allowed Watford to take the lead.

The full-back looked out of sorts at the back for most of the contest and rarely added an attacking dimension going forward.

What's next?

Tottenham hosts Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday before a trip to Premier League leader Liverpool a week on Sunday. Watford returns to league action next Saturday when it welcomes Bournemouth to Vicarage Road.

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