Arsenal 1 Watford 2
Iwobi 58, Kaboul 10, Deeney 13

Underestimate the opposition at your peril. Watford secured a shock 2-1 win at the Emirates stadium courtesy of Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney’s first half strikes in an awful first 45 minutes for the Gunners. Serving the second of a four game touchline ban, Arsene Wenger won’t have seen this coming, but the Hornets’ all energy and closing down style were worthy of their goals in a first half in which Arsenal just couldn’t settle. Gabriel at right back with Hector Bellerin on the subs bench? That didn’t make sense and Watford were aware of the ineffectual Brazilian’s game in that position. Two goals in arrears at the break, Arsenal responded in typical style in the second half and clawed a goal back when Alex Iwobi cushioned in from Alexis’ cross. The complexion of the game changed but despite laying siege to Heurelho Gomes’s goal which saw substitute Lucas Perez smash the crossbar, Arsenal were unable to find their way past Watford, suffering their second Premier League home loss of the season in the process.

Having barely had any possession of note, Arsenal seemed to have forgotten that Watford were fizzing all over them. Any loose ball, any fifty, fifty was won by the visitors and with ten minutes on the clock they took the lead. Shkodran Mustafi gave away a free kick deep in his own half despite and despite protestations of innocence from the German defender.

From thirty yards, Kaboul let fly and with the final deflection coming off the unfortunate Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech looked on as the ball flew in past him. It would get worse for the Gunners and just three minutes later. Ramsey’s evening would soon be over when he was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after seeming to suffer a hamstring injury after 20 minutes.

Still unable to settle, the Gunners switched off from their own throw in. Etienne Capoue intercepted and was allowed to go on a mazy at the red shirted defence. When Capuoe struck his shot, Cech managed to save with his legs, but the loose ball deflected out to Deeney who struck from from close in.

Arsenal were stunned but Watford came back for more. Cech had to be alert to deny Capoue after the Gunners lost possession in midfield again. The power and height of M’Baye Niang and Deeney seemed too much for the Gunners rearguard to cope with, whilst Arsenal, despite the work rate of Alexis could not get any service to Olivier Giroud with Gomes and his two centre backs Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl enjoying a particularly comfortable half. Cech denied Prodl as the Hornets finished the half the stronger, whilst Arsenal endured boos as the half was called to a halt.

Changes had to be made at the break, and that immediate manifestation came when Giroud made way for Walcott. Still feeling his way back from a calf injury, with his first strike, the Arsenal number 14 will feel that he should have scored, but managed to find the huge frame of Gomes in his way to save. A strong Iwobi held off Craig Cathcart, switched the ball to Özil who swept to Walcott only to see his effort who saved by Gomes.

The stadium dynamic had now changed as the fans willed Arsenal to be clinical.

More Arsenal noise, as this time Iwobi let fly after a neat back heal from Oxlade-Chamberlain, but again Gomes struck out an arm to save.

Watford were hanging on, but still two goals to the good. Sebastian Prodl clipped Alexis in the box, but calls for a penalty were waved away by Andre Marriner.

Arsenal finally got their reward when Alexis’s close control and run to the byeline set up Iwobi who cushioned in after 58 minutes to half the deficit.

Off came Francis Coquelin for Lucas Perez. Gabriel blasted over from Perez lay off and Nacho Monreal volleyed wide as the visitors held on the intense Arsenal pressure.

Five minutes from time and Perez gained possession from a throw in and with only Gomes ahead of him, rattled his cross bar. It was cruel on him and Arsenal whose second half performance merited a point. But it was Watford who were the victors having inflicted the Gunners’ second Premier League home defeat of the season