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Tuesday, October 15
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Premier League

Sep 15, 2019 at 4.30pm UK
Watford
2-2
Arsenal
Cleverley (53'), Pereyra (81' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-2)
Aubameyang (21', 32')

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Bernd Leno admits Arsenal were "lucky" to escape with Watford draw

:Headline: Bernd Leno admits Arsenal were 'lucky' to escape with Watford draw:
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half brace appeared to have Arsenal on course for victory before Watford secured a 2-2 draw.
PA | 28d

Bernd Leno admits Arsenal were lucky not to lose at Watford on Sunday as his goal was peppered with shots on an afternoon to forget for the Gunners.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half brace appeared to have Arsenal on course for a Premier League victory, only for the Hornets to welcome Quique Sanchez Flores back into the Vicarage Road dugout by staging a comeback as the visitors' defence crumbled.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos gifted possession to Gerard Deulofeu as the Gunners looked to play out from the back, with Tom Cleverley punishing the Greece international by converting as a result.

Things went from bad to worse when David Luiz tripped Roberto Pereyra inside the box and the Argentinian substitute converted the resulting penalty to level the scores.

In total, Watford had 31 shots during the game compared to just seven for Arsenal and Leno conceded leaving Hertfordshire with a point may have even flattered the visitors.

"I think in the second half we lost completely the control of the game," the Germany international said.

"The distance from the midfield to the strikers and all the distances from the players were too big. Watford deserved at least the draw.

"It was very frustrating because we controlled the game but also in the first half, you could see that we made two easy mistakes and then at the end we conceded two goals from these kind of mistakes and we were lucky we didn't lose this game."

Arsenal have faced more shots in the opening five games of the new Premier League season than any other club across Europe's top five divisions – but Leno believes the statistics do not always correspond with reality.

"I don't know why this is but I think many shots are from distance and when you see Watford, they had many chances but sometimes they were shooting for a throw-in and you can't count every shot," he said.

It is a philosophy employed by manager Unai Emery since his appointment despite initial struggles to adapt to the tactic.

Cleverley revealed after the game that Watford had worked on a plan to take advantage of Leno's short goal-kicks – but the former Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper says that the approach will not change.

"That's our style to play," he added.

"We try to take the risk because if we beat the press of Watford, then there is a lot of space for our strikers.

"In the first half, we did it very well but in the second we didn't create too many chances from playing out from the back.

"It is still a process we have to work on. Everybody was angry and disappointed after this game. The manager is a very positive guy.

"He wants to be positive and he said we will analyse this game with time. Now everybody was with emotions, very mad and crazy.

"But that is normal after the game. He said 'calm down and then on Tuesday we analyse this game and then on Thursday we have another game'."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool88002061424
2Manchester CityMan City85122791816
3Arsenal84311311215
4Leicester CityLeicester8422147714
5Chelsea84221814414
6Crystal Palace842288014
7Burnley8332119212
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham83321111012
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs83231412211
10Bournemouth83231313011
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves82421111010
12Manchester UnitedMan Utd82339819
13Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8233810-29
15Aston Villa8224131218
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8224513-88
17Southampton8215815-77
18Everton8215613-77
19Norwich CityNorwich82061021-116
20Watford8035420-163
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool88002061424
2Manchester CityMan City85122791816
3Arsenal84311311215
4Leicester CityLeicester8422147714
5Chelsea84221814414
6Crystal Palace842288014
7Burnley8332119212
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham83321111012
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs83231412211
10Bournemouth83231313011
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves82421111010
12Manchester UnitedMan Utd82339819
13Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8233810-29
15Aston Villa8224131218
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8224513-88
17Southampton8215815-77
18Everton8215613-77
19Norwich CityNorwich82061021-116
20Watford8035420-163
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