Despite the scoreline and lack of clear-cut chances, it was an overwhelmingly positive afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium for Xisco's Watford that provided a contrast with, and some relief from, the previous week's misery on the South coast. For Nuno's men, it was more of the same as they made it three 1-0 wins out of their opening three league fixtures. Resolute defensively and quick on the break Nuno has profited from Jose's foundations yet the Spurs players seem to have had a new lease of life installed within them, epitomised by Dele Alli's reintroduction into the side.
It was a fast start as within the first minute alone Spurs had a brief penalty shout quickly dismissed as well as Watford having a goal-bound effort sent behind by Eric Dier. This set the tone for the afternoon, as both sides preferred to attack quickly on the break, providing an interesting dynamic. In particular, Watford's Dennis showed to be the visitors' bright spark for the first half, repeatedly beating Japhet Tanganga and looking a constant threat. His clear sense of direction was a stark contrast with Ken Sema's previous performances down Watford's left flank, who often looks lost and option-less. Tottenham, meanwhile, continuously looked for the wide outlets of Son and Bergwijn and Watford fans' hearts were in mouths every time these two threatened the sluggish full-backs of Cathcart and Masina, who once again showed to be a weak spot, perhaps even more so in possession than out of it.
The breakthrough came in the 42nd minute as Cathcart brought down Bergwijn just to the left-hand side of the 18-yard box. Son Heung-min's free-kick that ensued seemed to confuse Bachman in the Watford net who was left stranded by his decision to not claim the ball that was evidently intended to be a cross. From a Watford perspective, it had seemed inevitable that the goal came from a Tottenham free-kick. Andre Marriner, who (it must be said) had a poor game, had shown inconsistency throughout, with Spurs profiting with numerous free-kicks, as well as having both full-backs let off from what appeared to be relatively standard bookings.
The second half saw an early stoppage as Cathcart was forced off through injury, to be replaced by an eager Jeremy Ngakia; this appeared to increase fluidity in attack for the visitors yet it is still clear how badly the Hornets miss last season's player of the year candidate Kiko Femenía. Despite this improvement, Watford could still only muster one real chance of note, a scrappy effort after another bright Emmanuel Dennis spurt was to be blocked numerous times before its clearance.
With their lead secure at the break, Tottenham were able to profit through Watford's increasing attacking intent within the second half. A side quick and direct on the break, they could've easily scored another, just lacking an ounce of quality in their final balls on a couple of occasions. Daniel Bachman was forced into making a handful of stops in the second 45, somewhat redeeming himself from his error with a good save off of a deflected Højberg free-kick and a sharp reactive save from a Lucas Moura effort amongst others.
Watford had made 4 changes from last week's trip to Brighton and the returning Kucka alongside new arrival Moussa Sissoko looked commanding in the centre of the pitch; however, the visitors still lacked real creativity and (deservingly) failed to score; meanwhile, the return of Sierralta to the league side provided much more assurance to the backline. Whilst suffering defeat, it was clear to see that more is there for Watford to offer and the returning Femenía and increasingly fit Danny Rose could prove pivotal in games to come, whilst the returning Harry Kane will undoubtedly provide a further boost for Tottenham. He seemed to lack sharpness but his quality is undeniable even to the biggest of Arsenal fans and it is surely inevitable that he comes good for today's hosts.
For Watford it is a return to The Vic next after the international break as they welcome Wolves, meanwhile, Spurs travel to Selhurst Park in an attempt to carry through their form and maintain their current status at the top of the Premier League.