An 89th minute goal from Heung-Min Son secured all three points in a hard-fought 2-1 win for Tottenham over Watford at Vicarage Road on Monday afternoon.
- Watford 1 Tottenham 2
- Lamela opens scoring
- Ighalo levels
- Ake sent off
- Son snatches win
Tottenham Hotspur tried a new 5-3-2 formation to create space to counter attack Watford and it paid dividends early on as Lamela was able to break free and open the scoring for the visitors in the 17th minute.
However, the home side were back on level terms shortly before half time when Ighalo out muscled Eric Dier to win the ball before executing a neat finish past Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.
The Lilywhites were handed a big opportunity to push for a winner in the 63rd minute went Nathan Ake was given a straight red for going over the top of the ball in a challenge with Lamela.
The home side managed to hold on until the very end until Son scored in contraversial circumstances to grab an important three points for Tottenham Hotspur.
With both Watford and Tottenham boasting impressive defensive records going into their fixture, it was perhaps unsurprising that chances were hard to come by.
Good defending dominated the early exchanges as Spurs set up looking for the counter, but Watford gave them very little space whatsoever.
Tottenham took the lead with literally the first shot on goal from either side in the 17th minute after they stole the ball in midfield and put Lamela through one-on-one with Miguel Britos. The defender was reluctant to commit himself to the tackle, but backed off a little too much and allowed the Argentine into the box where he slid a neat shot past Heurelho Gomes.
Lamela had another chance two minutes later, but his weak shot failed to trouble Gomes and the game settled back into a familiar midfield pattern characterised by solid defending.
However, the match burst to life once again in the 41st minute when Ighalo was able to win the ball from Dier before expertly poking it past Lloris to put his side back on level terms at 1-1. The Tottenham goalkeeper could perhaps have come off his line a bit sooner but, in fairness, it didn't seem likely Dier would lose the ball in the first place.
Harry Kane went close in the 59th minute after rising to meet a Kieran Trippier cross, but his header at the near post was misdirected wide.
Tottenham were given a golden opportunity to push for a winner when Ake was sent off for a terrible challenge on Lamela. The defender was unhappy with the decision, but it was a high challenge over the top of the ball, which he did not touch before colliding with Lamela.
Watford's defence did an excellent job of limiting space for Spurs to attack in the final third, despite being a man light, until the 89th minute when Son netted the winner.
The Hornets thought they had scored at the other end when Lloris palmed the ball away on the line but the referee confirmed it was no goal after a checking with goal-line technology. The visitors then marched up the other end and Son managed to get in front of Gomes to nudge a cross from the right flank into the goal.
The home side will be devastated with the result after some impressive defending and a chance that looked for all money to be the winning goal, but goal-line technology showed a mere few inches of the ball were not over the line.