Adrian Mariappa's second-half own goal helped Brighton to a 1-1 draw with Watford at the Amex.
A late own goal by Watford's Adrian Mariappa ensured the points were shared in a 1-1 draw with fellow relegation-threatened Brighton.
Abdoulaye Doucoure, who scored an own goal when the sides met on the opening day of the season, capitalised on a loose ball before driving the ball expertly past Mathew Ryan.
Just as Watford looked to be heading for a crucial victory, an Alireza Jahanbakhsh cross was turned into the roof of his own net by Mariappa to level the tie with just over 10 minutes remaining.
The Hornets had suffered successive defeats against Aston Villa and Everton in the Premier League before the trip to the south coast, and Pearson's side remain in the bottom three despite claiming a point at the Amex.
The Seagulls remain without a win in the Premier League this year, but have moved one point further away from the drop zone.
- Doucoure's strike
- Mariappa's own goal
- Brighton have lost just one of their last seven top-flight meetings with Watford (W2 D4), a 0-2 defeat in the Premier League in August 2018.
- Watford have lost just one of their last eight away league games against Brighton (W3 D4), a 0-1 defeat in the Premier League in December 2017.
- Watford have dropped 17 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season including eight across their last three games – only West Ham (19) have dropped more points from winning positions in the competition in 2019-20.
- Brighton have failed to win any of their 24 home Premier League games when conceding the first goal (D10 L14).
- Brighton have won just one of their last 11 Premier League games (D6 L4) and remain winless since a 2-0 victory against Bournemouth in December 2019 (P6 D4 L2 since).
- Watford have picked up five points from their last four Premier League away games (W1 D2 L1), as many points as they won in their first nine away league games this season (W1 D2 L6).
- Since the start of last season, Watford have conceded six own goals in the Premier League, more than any other side.
- Abdoulaye Doucouré has scored three goals in his last six Premier League games for Watford, as many as in his previous 34 appearances in the competition.
AS IT HAPPENED
Live blog by George Pitts
1924: FULL-TIME - Brighton 1-1 Watford
The spoils are shared at the Amex. Watford will see that as two points dropped after a poor own goal but Brighton were much improved in the second period.
Report, reaction and stats to follow.
1917: DIFFICULT ONE FOR TROSSARD (1-1)
Jahanbakhsh's cross to the near post finds Trossard, who tries to flick it over Foster but he fails to hit the target. Five minutes added on.
What about this goal from Emre Can on his Borussia Dortmund debut.
1914: OWN GOAL REPLAY (1-1)
Watford fans, look away now.
1909: WATFORD SUB (1-1)
Pearson responds by making an attacking sub, bringing January signing Ignacio Pussetto on for Roberto Pereyra. Argentinian winger Pussetto arrived from Udinese for around £6.8m.
1905: (OWN) GOAL! Brighton 1-1 Watford (Mariappa OG)
After a crucial save from Foster, he is not helped by his defence as Mariappa fires into his own goal. A calamitous strike.
A low, sliding cross along the box by Jahanbakhsh was met by Mariappa, who had a bit of space around him, but instead he blasts it straight into his own net. Wait til you see this.
Brighton in the ascendancy now and they have 10 minutes plus stoppage time.
1904: BIG SAVE! (0-1)
What a save by Ben Foster. Called upon when Brighton got their biggest chance.
Mooy was set through in the box and the Australian slide it past Foster, who got a trailing leg to it and that was crucial. Watford will have him to thank as well as Doucoure if they see out the points.
11859: WATFORD HOLDING OUT (0-1)
Around 20 to go - Foster just beat Murray to the ball so it is all going well so far for Pearson's men.
1852: ANOTHER YELLOW (0-1)
Kevin Friend puts Adrian Mariappa into the book for a reckless challenge on the wing. Good news for Dale Tempest, who backed the cards in his latest column for us here.
1850: WATFORD CAN'T SETTLE (0-1)
Foster trying to time waste as Brighton have the ascendancy. Hughes goes in the book for a blatant foul on Alzate, who just replaced Gross in another positive change.
Trossard's resulting free-kick is cleared. Watford on the ropes and Brighton need to deliver that uppercut.
1844: DANGEROUS DEULOFEU (0-1)
Too easy for Deulofeu as Gross lets Deulofeu skip past him. The German probably did not want to dangle a leg out for a penalty but it was too easy for the Watford man, whose shot was tame from the edge of the box.
1841: WATFORD WARNING SIGNS (0-1)
After seeing a lot of the ball but creating very little, there have been some encouraging signs from Brighton and you can sense the optimism from the home support.
Schelotto made a run down the right and flashes a cross-cum-shot across the area, which was just ahead of the outstretching Murray at the far post. Ooft.
Brighton sub as Burn is replaced by Maupay. Positive move from Potter.
1835: BRIGHTON SCORER? (0-1)
If they are to get back into this one then a goalscorer to look at would be Solly March. The winger caused Watford problems in the first half and he is at 8/1 anytime.
Brighton start the second half well and have a chance to whipped a free-kick into the box but Watford deal with it.
1832: SECOND HALF!
We are back underway. A big half for both sides. Let's see who can secure the valuable points here.
1825: HALF-TIME PRICE BOOSTS
- Glenn Murray to score the second goal - 5/1
- Abdoulaye Doucoure to score a brace - 10/1
- Troy Deeney to score the second goal - 10/1
- Both teams to score in the second half - 11/4
- Draw 1-1 - 3/1
1817: HALF-TIME - Brighton 0-1 Watford
Doucoure's goal has the visitors ahead at the interval. Much deserved, too, after a poor first half from Brighton.
A big team talk needed from Graham Potter at half-time as they look to get back into this one.
1811: BRIGHTON PLAYING INTO TROUBLE (0-1)
The hosts try play it out of the back, Burn fails to find Duffy and Deeney nearly claims it but Ryan was quick out of his goal.
A penalty claim from Brighton as Schelotto goes to shoot and there is a coming together with Deulofeu, but VAR says no spot-kick. We have certainly seen those given!
1806: 10 UNTIL THE BREAK (0-1)
Watford looking sharper and more comfortable now and Brighton do not look like scoring before the interval. If its anyone, March looks most lively on the right and Pearson will be monitoring that one I am sure.
1804: SKY BET EFL GOAL ALERT
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Leeds (Ameobi, 31')
1800: BRIGHTON LOSING THEIR WAY (0-1)
Sloppy from Brighton to invite pressure from Watford, with Deulofeu teeing up Hughes on the edge of the box whose effort deflects wide.
The resulting set piece sees a tame header from Deeney but the crowd are starting to sound edgy. Watford in control now. Except for then, when March got the better of Deulofeu, strode in the box from the right and shot at Foster from an acute angle, with the former England goalkeeper parrying well.
1758: GOAL REPLAY (0-1)
1757: HIT IT (0-1)
The ball bounces nicely on the edge of the box and Mooy does not need a second invitation. His shot is high and wide though.
A good chance to look at that goal again by Doucoure, who is flourishing in this advanced role under Nigel Pearson.
1749: GOAL! Brighton 0-1 Watford (Doucoure)
Curse of the blogger. The visitors get a goal against the run of play with a superb strike. A subdued atmosphere now at the Amex.
A moment of quality from Doucoure who finds space in the middle from around 20 yards before rifling the ball past Ryan. Superb.
1746: FOSTER SHARP (0-0)
Creative midfielder Mooy looks to thread through Murray, with the help of a deflection, but Foster read it well and was quick out of his box. The Seagulls look more like scoring at the minute.
They are just under evens (10/11) with Sky Bet to score first.
1742: HOSTS STILL ON TOP (0-0)
Watford foray forward through Pereyra and Deulofeu but nothing comes to it as Brighton close them down well. The Seagulls make their way down the other end, Murray pulls away from Kabasele well but his header was not enough to trouble Ben Foster in goal.
The veteran forward is making his 200th league start for Brighton and gets the nod from Potter after his equaliser at West Ham last week.
1732: BRIGHTON POSITIVE (0-0)
Good start from Brighton as March forces a corner. They keep the pressure on with a couple of set pieces, with Deeney providing a vital clearance.
There's a check for handball by Will Hughes after a ricochet in the box but it is not given. Graham Potter's side will want to make their fast start pay off soon, before giving Watford a chance to grow into the game.
1730: KICK OFF!
Here we go (after a false start). We are now underway at the Amex. A huge clash for two sides battling at the bottom.
Stick with us to see who comes out on top!
1727: HERE COME THE TEAMS!
Kick-off is just moments away. A reminder of the starting XIs:
- Brighton: Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Burn, Propper, March, Gross, Mooy, Trossard, Murray.
- Watford: Foster, Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina, Hughes, Capoue, Pereyra, Doucoure, Deulofeu, Deeney.
1722: WARM-UPS DONE
1716: BETTING PREVIEW
Two sides who should really have spent all week working on their defensive shape after recent showings.
Brighton have slipped back to within two points of the drop zone after failing to win their last five games and, more concerning, is the six goals they have conceded in their last two outings.
First in a defeat at Bournemouth and last week in a draw at West Ham which will feel like a victory given their two late goals.
Watford, meanwhile, after their revival under Nigel Pearson, have now failed to win their last three Premier League games. They have conceded five goals in their last two games and were victims of a late comeback as 10-man Everton came from two down to win at Vicarage Road.
With such poor records at the back, this game could easily go either way - a low-scorer after shoring up or, simply, a goal fest.
With both sides scrapping at the bottom and frightened of giving anything away, the feeling is it could be closer to the former.
Backing the visitors to win and under 3.5 total goals at 7/2 is incredibly tempting, but in the event of a higher scoring draw, the 2/1 available on the visitors to score a couple is much more appealing, even at a lesser price.
Pearson will have worked his men hard this week and the final outcome could ultimately decide whether his Watford players are allowed some time off or whether they are made to train for the whole time between their 15-day mid-season break. Perfect motivation.
They hit three without reply past relegation rivals Aston Villa and Bournemouth in the last six weeks and are well capable of getting the result at the Amex, where inconsistent Brighton have only won four times in 12 attempts this term.
As Dale Tempest notes in our latest Premier League weekly podcast - previewing the upcoming action, with debate and our latest fancies - winger Ismaila Sarr is key to Watford's hopes and, if fit, his quality could prove to be key here.
Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Watford (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)
Best bet: Watford to score 2+ goals at 21/10
1712: PRE-MATCH STATS
- Brighton are looking to secure their first league double over Watford since 1990-91, when the sides were playing in the second tier.
- Watford have lost just one of their last seven away league games against Brighton (W3 D3), though that defeat did come in the Premier League in December 2017 (0-1).
- Brighton won the reverse fixture against Watford 3-0 on the opening weekend of the season, scoring more goals in that victory as they had in their previous seven league meetings with the Hornets combined (2).
- Brighton have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games (D5 L4), a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth in December. Indeed, no side has won fewer Premier League points in 2020 than the Seagulls (3).
- Watford have lost their last two Premier League games, conceding five goals in these matches; this following a run where they’d lost just one of eight league games (W4 D3), across which they’d shipped just four goals.
- Brighton have conceded three goals in each of their last two Premier League games, losing at Bournemouth before drawing with West Ham. They’d only conceded 3+ goals in two of their first 23 games under Graham Potter this season.
- Watford have lost 15 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, including six across their last two matches. Only in 2017-18 (21) have they lost more in a single campaign in the competition.
- Watford have become the seventh team to lose consecutive Premier League games thanks to goals scored in the 90th minute, and the first since Swansea in September 2017. No side has ever lost three consecutive games in such a fashion in the competition.
- Glenn Murray netted his first league goal of the season in Brighton’s 3-3 draw with West Ham last time out – at 36y 129d, he’s the oldest player to score in the Premier League this season.
- Since Nigel Pearson’s first game in charge of Watford, only Mohamed Salah and Sergio Agüero (7 each) have scored more Premier League goals than Troy Deeney (5). Indeed, in the same timeframe, the Watford skipper has been involved in more top-flight goals than any other English player in the competition (6 – 5 goals, 1 assist).
1705: TEAM NEWS
Brighton make four changes as Bernardo and Webster make way for Duffy and Burn. Schelotto replaces Montoya in the third change to the back line while in midfield March is preferred to Stephens.
one change for Nigel Pearson from Watford's home capitulation to Everton.
1700: GOOD EVENING 👋
Hello! Happy Saturday and welcome to our live blog.
Thanks for joining us for coverage of the evening Premier League kick-off between Brighton and Watford at the Amex.
The mid-season break means we have just four games taking place in the top flight this weekend, but fear not. They all involve teams fighting for something and hopefully we are in for a cracker.
After Everton's lunchtime victory over Crystal Palace, now it is a relegation six-pointer with both sides fighting for survival at the bottom.
I am George Pitts, here to provide you with updates from the clash, quirky facts and stats and the odd in-play tip.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the action. Without further ado, let's get onto the team news...
Odds via Sky Bet and correct at time of publication on 08/02/20
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