A controversial stoppage-time goal saw Watford overturn a two-goal deficit and secure a 2-2 draw with Southampton at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Watford 2 Southampton 2
Ward-Prowse grabs a brace
Saints lead 2-0 at the break
Gray sets up tense finale
Doucoure controversially equalises
In a must-win fixture for both managers, James Ward-Prowse handed the Saints a comfortable two-goal lead at half-time.
But Andre Gray’s 58th-minute goal handed Watford a lifeline, which they grabbed with both hands as Abdoulaye Doucoure netted in stoppage-time to snatch a share of the spoils.
Nine Premier League games without a win for Mauricio Pellegrino has seen the Argentine tipped as the next managerial casualty, but his side got off to the perfect start with Ward-Prowse handing them some breathing space in the opening half.
The midfielder’s first goal came in the 21st minute as his deft touch found the back of the net, after Shane Long found him with a low cross just inside the area.
His second one arrived just before the half-time whistle, with Long again an integral part in the set-up after chasing a loose ball and finding Dusan Tadic, who then laid it off for Ward-Prowse to score.
Hornets head coach Marco Silva responded at the break with striker Troy Deeney coming on for holding midfielder Ben Watson, and his positive changed yielded the desired response on the hour mark.
A long ball found Daryl Janmaat in the area and he crashed a shot off the crossbar. Gray was quickest to the rebound and nodded the ball beyond Alex McCarthy.
The Hornets probed and sucked the Saints’ composure they gained in the opening half but struggled to find the equaliser.
With the game seemingly headed towards a Saints victory, the hosts completed the comeback in stoppage-time in the most controversial of circumstances.
Doucoure netted his seventh league goal of the season with his hand beyond McCarthy after being picked out by a Deeney knockdown in the area.