Watford 0, Brighton 0: Albion get first Premier League point against ten-man Hornets after horror tackle

Brighton & Hove Albion secured their first Premier League point, but were left to rue what could have been as they were held by ten-man Watford at Vicarage Road.

Saturday, 26th August 2017, 5:55 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:21 am
Tomer Hemed in action against Watford at Vicarage Road. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

After two defeats in their opening two matches, Albion picked up a point with a 0-0 draw against the Hornets despite controlling much of the game without finding the net.

Chris Hughton's men played more than an hour with an extra man after Miguel Britos was shown a straight red card for a horror tackle on Anthony Knockaert in the first half.

The Seagulls were already playing well and went on to control the first 45 minutes twice hitting the woodwork, but they failed to break a resilient Watford down, who were happy to hold out for a draw.

Brighton & Hove Albion winger Anthony Knockaert in action against Watford. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

Albion made two changes from their defeat at Leicester with Knockaert making his first start of the season and Tomer Hemed also back in to lead the line.

Jamie Murphy and Glenn Murray made way for the pair with the latter not even making the squad after limping out of action last week. New signing Jose Izquierdo had to make do with a place on the bench.

The hosts had the first real chance on eight minutes as Nathaniel Chalobah headed a Tom Cleverley's free kick goalwards, but Lewis Dunk was in the right place to hack the ball clear.Soon after they went close again as Nordin Amrabat got the better of Markus Suttner on the left, but his low cross was missed by Andre Gray.

But the visitors responded after a couple of offside flags against Hemed, he laid the ball off to Dale Stephens, who switched it out wide to Knockaert. The wingers' curled effort had Heurelho Gomes well beaten, but came back off the bottom of the post.

Albion fans felt they then should have had a penalty when a Davy Propper shot from range hit an arm in the area as it was blocked by a Watford defender.

The hosts then had Britos sent off for a terrible lunging jump tackle on Knockaert on the touchline as they winger got away from the full-back on 25 minutes.On 34 minutes, Lewis Dunk met Pascal Gross's corner but couldn't get enough on his header and it sailed well wide.

Three minutes later and Albion hit the woodwork again as Christian Kabasele stretched to deny Hemed getting on the end of Solly March's low cross, but connected with the ball and sent it onto the post.

Immediately back down the other end, Chalobah then fired a 20-yarder into the side netting, but it remained 0-0 at half-time.

A booked Bruno made way for Liam Rosenior at half-time, while Andre Carrillo came on for his Watford debut shortly into the second replacing injured substitute Craig Cathcart.

The visitors continued where they left off as Suttner's low cross was fired away for a corner at the far post, March dragged an effort wide and Dunk's free kick was charged down.

At the other end, a Chalobah's free kick missed everyone and went wide of Mathew Ryan's far post, while Knockaert then headed across Gomes' goal. With 15 minutes left, Knockaert drove forwards and let a low shot fly towards the far bottom corner, but Gomes got a crucial hand on the effort to push it away.

Chris Hughton turned to Izquierdo for the final ten minutes as the Colombian replaced Knockaert as Albion went in search of a winner and he nearly provided it with three minutes left as his effort skimmed just over the bar, but that was the last of the action.

Watford: Gomes; Femenia, Prodl, Kabasele, Britos; Chalobah, Doucoure; Amrabat (Cathcart 27, Carrillo ), Cleverley, Richarlison; Gray (Deeney 83). Unused subs: Pantilmon, Success, Watson, Capoue.

Albion: Ryan; Bruno (Rosenior 45), Dunk, Duffy, Suttner; Knockaert (Izquierdo 80), Gross (Murphy 90), Stephens, Propper, March; Hemed. Unused subs: Manenpaa, Hunemeier, Skalak, Sidwell.

Referee: Graham Scott.