Watford’s Troy Deeney had a penalty saved as his side drew 0-0 with Tottenham at Vicarage Road, extending the hosts’ unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven matches.
Paulo Gazzaniga dived low to his right to deny the Hornets captain following Jan Vertonghen’s handball in the second half.
Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster saved from Nathaniel Chalobah and Lucas Moura before half-time to thwart Jose Mourinho’s side, who have now gone four league games without a win.
Deeney had headed a good chance straight at Gazzaniga just before the break, while Abdoulaye Doucoure shot into the side-netting early in the second half.
Watford substitute Ignacio Pussetto, making his debut for the club, cleared an Erik Lamela effort off the line in stoppage time at the end of the match.
Winger Pussetto, a £7m signing from Udinese, had only been on the pitch for just over a minute when he slid in to hook away with almost the whole ball over the goalline.
The Hornets, who were bottom of the table when manager Nigel Pearson took over in December, move up to 16th, while Spurs are seventh.
Watford’s revival continues
The turnaround in Watford’s form since Pearson’s arrival has been put down to several factors, from the manager’s attention to detail around the club off the pitch to a simple, hard-working ethic on it.
The latter was in evidence again throughout an encounter that lacked out-and-out excitement but still bristled with tension, with both sides keen to avoid defeat at the very least.
That matters now seem to be going Watford’s way under Pearson was indicated when the ball appeared to strike Craig Cathcart on the hand inside the hosts’ area in only the second minute, but referee Michael Oliver ignored Spurs’ claims for a penalty.
And Pussetto’s dramatic clearance off the line late on, with just a centimetre of the ball still on the goalline, was another hint that the home side have turned a corner.
But Pearson and his players are certain to be frustrated that they could not make more of the few chances that came their way – Ismaila Sarr scooping an early chance comfortably over the bar and Deeney nodding the ball at Gazzaniga before the break.
Watford’s talismanic skipper also failed to put the ball beyond the Spurs keeper’s reach when given the chance from the spot but, despite that disappointment, his side still maintained their excellent run and can move further away from danger when they face struggling Aston Villa on Tuesday.
Spurs lack spark again
Spurs were flat for large parts of the match, most of which they played without Christian Eriksen.
The Denmark playmaker was a 73rd-minute replacement for Dele Alli, but he could not spark his side into a decisive moment at the end of a week where his link with Inter Milan had reignited a feud between Mourinho and the Serie A side’s boss Antonio Conte.
Alli also cut a frustrated figure when he was replaced, the England midfielder having headed one of Spurs’ few decent chances over the Watford crossbar early in the second half.
Mourinho’s side lacked a focal point in the absence of striker Harry Kane, and this third consecutive game without a goal is now the sixth time in a row where they have failed to win in the Premier League when the England captain has not been involved.
With Kane ruled out until at least April with a hamstring injury, these are trends Spurs must address if they are climb back into contention for the Champions League places.
Man of the match – Etienne Capoue (Watford)
Spurs draw a blank again – the stats
- Tottenham have failed to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2013.
- This result ended a run of 93 league games without a 0-0 draw for Tottenham, the second-longest such run in the competition – behind Manchester United’s 114-game sequence that ended in May 2002.
- No side has kept more clean sheets than Watford’s eight in the league this season. However, the Hornets have also failed to score in a league-high 11 matches.
- Tottenham kept their first away clean sheet in the league for 382 days, since winning 3-0 at Cardiff on New Year’s Day 2019.
- There were 32 shots without a goal in this match, the most in the competition since Crystal Palace v Cardiff in December 2018 (40).
- Watford’s Deeney has failed to score three of his past six Premier League penalties.
- As well as being winless in their past six league games without Kane, Tottenham have failed to score in four of those matches.
Watford are away to Aston Villa in the Premier League at 19:30 GMT on Tuesday – and are back in action two days later when their delayed FA Cup third-round replay at Tranmere Rovers takes place at 19:45 on Thursday.
Spurs are at home to Norwich City in the league at 19:30 Wednesday.