Arsenal 3 Watford 0

Last updated : 14 October 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Arsenal's celebrations began before kick off and continued after the final whistle as the Gunners secured their sixth victory on the trot. Arsene Wenger was on the pitch before the game to commemorate 10 years in charge and then they got the win that takes his side another step closer to the summit as he bids to mark the decade by securing the Premiership title.

The Gunners weren't firing on all cylinders though, but a bitty performance was still enough for Arsenal to go in at half time with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

The first real chances of the game came on six minutes when the ball fell to Tomas Rosicky just outside the right side of the area. The Czech international unleashed a fierce low drive that Ben Foster got down to quickly, although his parry fell to the feet of Emmanuel Adebayor, the young 'keeper set himself quickly to make another superb save to turn the Tongolese striker's shot away for a corner.

Theo Walcott, starting his first Premiership game, was clearly a threat and was able to cope with the robust defending style of the able Lloyd Doyley. Walcott, still only 16 years of age, picked out Francesc Fabregas on the left side of the area after 12 minutes. Unfortunately the Spaniard carried the ball a couple of yards too far forward and his shot from an acute angle found the wrong side of the side netting.

A minute later Adebayor was just a foot or so short of getting a touch on a ball across goal from Walcott.

Watford did summon a couple of half chances on the quarter hour, one when a ball from Ashley Young travelled right across Jens Lehman's goal as Marlon King just failed to connect before Justin Hoyte cleared the ball away for a corner.

Thierry Henry, who by his standards was having a slow start, created his first real opportunity of the game when he showed a clean pair of heels to Jordan Stewart to work himself a shooting opportunity from the edge of the area but his effort was too tame to beat Ben Foster. The 'keeper, who is on-loan from Manchester United, showed his worth and potential. He foiled a fine sweeping move by Arsenal on 27 minutes. Johan Djourou won possession in his own area to then deliver a 40 yard cross field pass to Justin Hoyte who in turn found Fabregas. The young Arsenal playmaker then poked a short pass into the path of Rosicky who ran into the right side of the penalty area, but his effort to chip into the net was scuppered by the on-coming 'keeper's outstretched hand.

Arsenal were beginning to take more and more control and a goal looked inevitable. It came on 33 minutes but was scored by a Watford Player, unfortunately for the Hertfordshire side into his own net. A free kick from the left side was flown in onto the head of Adebayor who glanced the ball on to Kolo Toure. Jordan Stewart tried to block out the Ivorian but unfortunately re-directed the ball past Foster for Arsenal's opener.

Henry looked certain to claim Arsenal's second on 40 minutes but after seizing on a loose ball following a defensive mix-up between Doyley and Jay DeMerit, his attempt to curl the ball around Foster unfortunately bounced just wide of the right post.

The Gunners talisman made no such mistake three minutes later when he doubled his side's lead. A goal kick from Jens Lehman bounced over the heads of the Watford defence and Henry latched on to the ball to accelerate into the left side of the area past DeMerrit before firing left footed beyond the dive of the Watford 'keeper for the Gunners to go in at the interval leading 2-0.

Arsenal began brightly after the re-start and Watford hardly claimed a touch. Arsene Wenger's side turned up the pressure and increased the tempo in search of more goals. Foster kept Watford in the game with more fine saves but there was little he could do on 68 minutes when Adebayor claimed his first and Arsenal's third goal. Fabregas received the ball in midfield to release Henry with a delightful threaded ball beyond a flat-footed Watford defence. The Gunners striker sped towards goal drawing Foster out before squaring the ball for Adebayor who side footed into an empty net from close range.

Damien Francis claimed Watford's first real effort on target following a long throw out by Foster, who clearly spotted Arsenal had too many players committed in attack. As Robin Van Persie accelerated back to cover as centre back, a cross from the right found the head of Francis but the effort fell tamely into the arms of Lehman. Marlon King fired a well struck shot at Lehman late on, but the belief in their ability to make an impression on the result was clear, leaving the Gunners to claim all the points in a 3-0 win.