Spurs drop points at home to bottom placed Watford as pressure mounts on Poch

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Dele Alli rescued a point for Tottenham with a late goal as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by rock-bottom Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Abdoulaye Doucoure had opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a crisp finish that looked to have given the Hornets the points.

But Spurs midfielder Alli, on his first league start of the season, capitalised on Ben Foster's failure to punch the ball away four minutes from full-time and squeezed home from a tight angle.

The goal was checked by VAR and despite the confusion of a 'no goal' message appearing on the big screen it was deemed a legitimate strike.

The result will do little to ease the pressure on coach Mauricio Pochettino, however.

Watford saw Danny Welbeck limp out in the fourth minute clutching his hamstring and was replaced by Gerard Deulofeu, meaning the visitors played without a recognised striker.

However, they put the setback behind them to seize the early advantage just two minutes later.

Daryl Janmaat escaped from Danny Rose and his teasing low cross found Doucoure, who sauntered in behind Tottenham's backline and coolly guided the ball home.

Without Christian Eriksen, missing with a dead leg sustained on international duty with Denmark, Spurs lacked a player who could unlock Watford's organised defence.

The hosts were fortunate to not give away a penalty shortly before half-time when Deulofeu fell to ground after he went over Jan Vertonghen, but VAR backed the referee's decision.

Spurs introduced Son Heung-min at the interval and the South Korea forward forced Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster to tip a shot on to the crossbar early in the second half.

Pochettino's side looked to be heading for their third consecutive defeat across all competitions, only for England international Alli to level when he pounced on the loose ball after Foster made a hash of punching away a hopeful lofted pass. 

What does it mean? Spurs still struggling

Pochettino was invited to a squad dinner by his players during the week. It was a sign, he believed, that his players are fully behind him despite their inconsistent form.

However, his players made a meal of this game against the Hornets as they laboured to an underwhelming draw at home.

Spurs are now in seventh place and within striking distance of the top four, so Pochettino is likely to get plenty of time to improve their fortunes.

Doucoure essential for Hornets

While his well-taken goal caught the eye, it was a confident midfield display which was really telling for Watford.

Doucoure was strongly linked with a move to Everton during the last transfer window. He emphasised against Spurs why it was imperative the Hornets kept him - he is the heartbeat of the team.

Normally reliable Rose under par

Spurs defender Rose was well below his best against the Hornets and it was his failure to block the cross from Janmaat that allowed Watford to take the lead.

The full-back looked out of sorts at the back for most of the contest and rarely added an attacking dimension going forward.

Key Opta Facts

- Watford remain winless in the Premier League this season (W0 D4 L5), failing to win their opening nine games of a league season for the first time since 2006-07, when they went on to finish bottom of the Premier League.
- Alli has scored five Premier League goals against Watford for Spurs – against no side does he have more (also five against Chelsea and Southampton).
- Among players to score in at least 10 Premier League games, Watford's Doucoure has won the lowest percentage of those games, scoring in 14 and winning just two (14 per cent - W2 D6 L6).
- Spurs made seven changes to their starting XI for this match, their most between two league games in a season in Premier League history.
- Spurs have won just three of their last 12 Premier League games (W3 D4 L5), keeping just one clean sheet across those games.

What's next?

Tottenham host Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday before a trip to Premier League leaders Liverpool a week on Sunday. Watford return to league action next Saturday when they welcome Bournemouth to Vicarage Road.

Source Omnisport