Premier League

Watford 1-1 Newcastle: Player ratings as Ismaila Sarr rescues Hornets a point

Jack Gallagher
Sarr scored the equaliser
Sarr scored the equaliser / Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Watford and Newcastle played out a surprising contender for game of the weekend as the two sides drew 1-1 at Vicarage Road.

Watford started brightly and almost took the lead inside the opening two minutes, with Emmanuel Dennis being brilliantly denied twice by Karl Darlow in quick succession.

In the 23rd minute, however, it was Newcastle who took the lead courtesy of Sean Longstaff. The midfielder rifled the ball goalward from just outside the box, and the shot would prove too hot to handle for Ben Foster who parried the ball into the top right corner of his own net. Not the greatest bit of goalkeeping, it must be said.

After the goal Newcastle began to dominate, winning the midfield battle with consummate ease, and they should have gone into half time with a 2-0, as Longstaff missed an open net after some woeful defending from Watford. The midfielder was squared the ball by Allan Saint-Maximin just inside box, but lofted his first time effort well over the crossbar.

The start of the second half was much of a continuation of the first, as Newcastle controlled proceedings. But the visitors failed to convert this control into a second goal, and they were punished for this when Ismaila Sarr nodded home from a corner kick in the 72nd minute.

From then on it was anyone's game, with both sides going close to scoring. First it was Ciaran Clark who headed wide when it was easier to score from six yards out, then it was Joshua King's turn - only this time he was able to find the back of the net, only for the linesman to rule it out for offside.

In the final minute of the game there were another two unbelievable chances for both teams to take the lead. Jacob Murphy embarrassingly tried to chip Foster when one-on-one (it didn't even come close to working), and up the other end - roughly 10 seconds later - Sarr came within an inch of getting his head on a cross at the back post.

Here's how the players rated.

Watford player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Ben Foster
Foster was at fault for the opener / Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Ben Foster (GK) - 4/10 - Should have saved the opener, but did make a few good saves after that.

Kiko Femenia (RB) - 5/10 - Caught out a few times by the movement of Joelinton.

William Troost-Ekong (CB) - 5/10 - Struggled at times with Willock's late runs into the box.

Craig Cathcart (CB) - 5/10 - Really poor back-pass should have been punished.

Danny Rose (LB) - 6/10 - The busier of Watford's two full-backs.

2. Midfielders

Allan Saint-Maximin, Moussa Sissoko
Sissoko was busy / Alex Morton/Getty Images

Juraj Kucka (CM) - 5/10 - Put himself about a bit, but Watford looked a better when he went off.

Moussa Sissoko (CM) - 3/10 - A bit hopeless in the first half, then had a positive impact in the second.

Tom Cleverley (CM) - N/A - Didn't do too much in the first half, and was subbed off at half time due to concussion protocol.

3. Forwards

Ismaila Sarr
Sarr celebrating the equaliser / Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Ismaila Sarr (RW) - 7/10 - Clearly Watford's best player. Scored the equaliser with a brilliant header at the back post.

Joshua King (ST) - 6/10 - Assisted the equaliser with a deft flick at the near post, then scored a late offside goal.

Emmanuel Dennis (LW) - 6/10 - Looked lively, and should have scored inside the first two minutes.

4. Substitutes

Ozun Tufan - 7/10 - Made a difference when he came on.

Jeremy Ngakia - 6/10 - Looks a player, and probably should be starting for this Watford team.

Joao Pedro - N/A

Newcastle player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Karl Darlow
Decent performance from Darlow / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Karl Darlow (GK) - 6/10 - Made two wonderful saves early in the game to keep Watford at bay.

Javier Manquilo (RB) - 6/10 - Dealt with Dennis quite well.

Federico Fernandez (CB) - 5/10 - Solid up until the 70th minute, then looked incredible shaky.

Ciaran Clark (CB) - 5/10 - Missed a brilliant chance to win the game.

Matt Ritchie (LB) - 6/10 - Played a few lovely passes down the line.

6. Midfielders

Sean Longstaff
Longstaff scored / Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Isaac Hayden (CM) - 6/10 - Looked much better in midfield this week.

Joe Willock (CM) - 6/10 - Didn't give Watford's midfield a second on the ball all afternoon. However he was at fault for the equaliser.

Sean Longstaff (CM) - 7/10 - Ran the midfield and scored the opener, but did miss an open

7. Forwards

Allan Saint-Maximin, Moussa Sissoko
Proper good player / Alex Morton/Getty Images

Miguel Almiron (RW) - 6/10 - Put in a serious shift as he always does.

Allan Saint-Maximin (ST) - 7/10 - Ripped Watford's defence to pieces. Surely a top team signs him in the summer.

Joelinton (LW) - 4/10 - Willing runner, but not a very gifted all.

8. Substitutes

Jacob Murphy - 1/10 - Getting a one because his effort on goal in the last minute was embarrassing.