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Arsenal extend winning streak against Watford

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Arsenal extended their winning streak to seven matches as Craig Cathcart ’ s late own goal and Mesut Ozil ’ s clinical strike clinched a hard – fought 2 -0 win over Watford on Saturday .
Unai Emery ’ s side were under pressure in the second half at the Emirates Stadium , but they kept Watford at bay and broke out to steal the points .

Cathcart put through his own net with just nine minutes left and Ozil wrapped up the points two minutes later .

Arsenal have now won five successive league games for the first time in over a year , with additional victories in the Europa League and League Cup making it a purple patch for new boss Emery .
Not for the first time this season , Arsenal , who climb to fifth , could be considered slightly lucky after delivering another inconsistent display .

But Emery will take heart from the way they are grinding out results while he continues to rebuild the damage from the final days of the Arsene Wenger era .

The only problem for Emery was an injury that forced off goalkeeper Petr Cech in the first half .

Watford went into a match against Arsenal higher in the table than their opponents for the first time since 1984 .

But Javi Gracia ’ s side wasted an early chance to show that position was no fluke when Will Hughes volleyed wide from the edge of the area .

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Emery was up against a former team -mate in Gracia , the pair played together at Real Sociedad, and it was the Arsenal boss who would have the upper hand eventually .

Lacazette should have opened the scoring when he seized on Cathcart ’ s cumbersome attempt to turn and raced clear on goal.

But , with only Watford keeper Ben Foster to beat , Lacazette ’ s chip drifted tamely wide .

Cech bravely took a battering from Abdoulaye Doucoure , throwing himself into a crowd to catch Jose Holebas ’ s cross.

Granit Xhaka tested Watford ’ s Foster with a stinging long- range drive that the keeper parried to safety .

But , after grabbing his hamstring following a goal – kick, Arsenal captain Cech was forced to limp off in first – half stoppage- time .

– Distracted Ramsey –

Bernd Leno, a pre -season signing from Bayer Leverkusen , came on to replace Cech for his first appearance in the Premier League.

The German did not take long to distinguish himself as he dived to keep out Troy Deeney ’ s flick with a superb finger -tip save .

Emery insisted this week that Aaron Ramsey wouldn ’ t be distracted by reports that his negotiations with Arsenal have broken down .

The 27 – year -old is out of contract at the end of the season and is believed to be resigned to leaving Arsenal, with Manchester United and Chelsea interested in signing him .

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Emery ’ s prediction appeared wide of the mark as Ramsey was anonymous before being substituted in the second half , a departure marked by a frustrated shake of the head from the Wales midfielder .

With Arsenal struggling to build a head of steam , Watford began to take control.

Leno had to race off his line to deny Andre Gray, while Roberto Pereyra was narrowly off – target after dribbling through the Arsenal defence .

Emery ’ s creaky rearguard was exposed again when Isaac Success sprinted clear and clipped his shot past Leno, only to see it hit the far post .

But Arsenal survived the onslaught to snatch the lead in the 81 st minute .

Alex Iwobi ’ s cross to the near post was contested by Lacazette and Cathcart , and it was the Watford defender who got the last touch to divert the ball into his own net .

Watford had to throw men forward and Arsenal picked them off again in the 83 rd minute , with Ozil applying the finishing touch to Lacazette ’ s cross.

( AFP )

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