Premier League

Watford 0-1 Southampton: Player ratings as Saints condemn Hornets to limp defeat

Max Cooper
Che Adams was the match winner
Che Adams was the match winner / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Southampton picked up a valuable three points on Saturday afternoon, earning a 1-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road.

Saints dominated the opening 20 minutes and got their reward a minute later, as Che Adams picked his spot and curled a stunning strike into the top corner of Ben Foster's net. Adams had the chance to double the lead soon after, but his downward header missed the target.

The Hornets were completely overrun in the midfield by their visitors, and they were lucky to enter the dressing room only a goal down - although Ismaila Sarr had almost brought them onto level terms, but his effort was blocked on the line by Kyle Walker-Peters.

Southampton started the second half as the stronger team, and Adam Armstrong had a chance to add his name to the scoresheet, but missed the target. Despite needing a goal to get back into the game, Watford failed to seriously test Alex McCarthy, as the visitors' backline held firm.

Claudio Ranieri's men tried to mount a late fightback, but Southampton's defence repelled everything that came their way, while McCarthy pulled off a great late save to deny substitute Ashley Fletcher.

That dramatic stop handed Ralph Hasenhuttl a crucial victory, and condemned Watford to a disappointing defeat in their battle to beat the drop.

Let's check out the player ratings.


1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Jeremy Ngakia, Adam Armstrong
Stuck in / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Ben Foster (GK) - 6/10 - Had to be alert to keep Cathcart's deflection out of the net. No chance of getting near Adams' beautiful winner. One for the GoPro.

Jeremy Ngakia (RB) - 6/10 - Didn't enjoy coming up against the experience and speed of Redmond, who very much had his number on several occasions throughout the 90 minutes.

Will Troost-Ekong (CB) - 5/10 - Didn't cover himself in glory for Adams' goal, when he could have stepped out quicker. Needs to do more, or he might find himself out of the team.

Craig Cathcart (CB) - 4/10 - Almost turned the ball into his own goal early on, but Foster came to the rescue. Asleep for the winner, allowing Adams to nip in, turn and curl home.

Adam Masina (LB) - 5/10 - One of a cluster of Watford players who just don't look comfortable at this level.

2. Midfielders

Joao Pedro, Peter Bankes
Booked / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Moussa Sissoko (CM) - 6/10 - Full of desire and running in that midfield, but he was having to do the work of at least two players in a flat Watford team.

Juraj Kucka (CM) - 4/10 - Not really sure what he offers in this midfield. Not good at anything, and not even average at best at some particular skills. They can do better.

Joao Pedro (AM) - 5/10 - Made his first Premier League start, but couldn't make any serious impact on the game. Full of talent, but needs the platform to show it.

3. Forwards

Ismaila Sarr, Nathan Redmond
On the charge / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Ismaila Sarr (RW) - 6/10 - Always a threat when carrying the ball, but got it stuck under his feet a couple of times and the final delivery just wasn't there.

Josh King (ST) - 5/10 - Nullified by Saints' strong backline in the first half, and looked much more isolated than in the victory over Everton.

Cucho Hernandez (LW) - 5/10 - Wanted to move inside and curl the ball into the middle, but rarely got the chance. Too many attacking players spoiled the broth.

4. Substitutes

Tom Cleverley (CM) - 6/10

Ken Sema (LM) - 6/10

Ashley Fletcher (ST) - 6/10


5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Jan Bednarek, Joshua King
Keeping an eye on proceedings / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Alex McCarthy (GK) - 8/10 - Produced a decent stop to deny Sarr, and had Walker-Peters to thank for a great block on the line soon after. Commanded his area well enough, and rescued the win at the end with a super stop.

Tino Livramento (RB) - 8/10 - He is the talk of the Premier League this season, and rightly so. Played like a 28-year-old in his prime, not an 18-year-old in his debut season.

Jan Bednarek (CB) - 8/10 - The experienced head at only 25, but organised and marshalled his backline excellently. A clean sheet to take home.

Mohammed Salisu (CB) - 8/10 - Another classy and commanding display at the heart of the defence. If I'm the owner of a top six club, I'm watching this boy very carefully...

Kyle Walker-Peters (LB) - 8/10 -
Put his body on the line to stop Watford from bagging an equaliser, and was generally a very solid presence on that flank.

6. Midfielders

Nathan Redmond
Ready to pounce / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Mohamed Elyounoussi (RM) - 6/10 - A quiet first half, but he was extremely tidy on the ball when given the opportunity to shine.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 7/10 - Controlled the game against Watford, and thrived from being the main (and only) ball player on the pitch. Created some threatening situations with that wicked delivery.

Oriol Romeu (CM) - 7/10 - Solid and uncompromising in the middle, and did the dirty work. Took a nasty blow from Pedro, and felt the full force of it. Battled on.

Nathan Redmond (LM) - 7/10 - Looks much more effective out wide than when playing as half of a strike partnership. Able to show his lightning pace on the counter and caused Ngakia plenty of problems.

7. Forwards

Che Adams (ST) - 8/10 - What a goal! Back to the net, turned, curled and buried the effort he made for himself. A beaut. Will be disappointed not to have doubled his tally with a downward header. Still the match-winner.

Adam Armstrong (ST) - 7/10 - Back in the team, and involved in the opener, getting an assist for himself and Adams. Should have had a second assist for his strike partner, who missed the target.

8. Substitutes

Stuart Armstrong (RM) - 6/10

Ibrahima Diallo (CM) - N/A

Lyanco (CB) - N/A