Silva | “We Changed Our Attitude”
Marco Silva said that a change in attitude after half-time helped Watford to their last-gasp 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Vicarage Road.
Troy Deeney came off the bench to fire the Hornets level from the penalty spot, after Richarlison was barged over in the box by Hector Bellerin.
Vicarage Road then erupted in the second minute of stoppage time when the impressive Tom Cleverley crashed the ball home after the ball had pinballed around in the Gunners’ area.
The Hornets were deserving of their victory, which carries them above Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool and into fourth place in the Premier League, after raising their level significantly after the break.
Watford had laboured a little before the break and fell behind when Per Mertesacker held off Cleverley to head home Granit Xhaka’s inswinging corner, but Silva couldn’t fault his players' character after half-time.
“I think the key is how we played the second-half,” said the Head Coach in his post-match press conference.
“In the second-half we changed our attitude and played like we can play.
“After the 1-1 we waited for our openings, to create problems. We were playing against a very, very good team, but we continued to believe we could score the second.”
Silva admitted there was an element of luck about Cleverley’s winner, in the way the ball fell to him unmarked in the penalty area. But he felt the Hornets made their own luck over the course of the 90 minutes.
“We continued to believe, and in that moment we got lucky with the second goal, but we also tried to find this luck as well,” he said.
The Hornets' Head Coach also moved to dismiss suggestions that Richarlison had dived to win the penalty, from which Deeney stroked the hosts level.
“I respect of course the decision of the referee. It can be 50/50. It’s not an easy decision,” he said.
“But I didn’t see that moment as a dive, I didn’t see it as a simulation. The player felt a short contact and he went down.”
Not for the first time, Silva added that his side’s spirit, character and commitment shone through in the final minutes, with the Hornets yet again coming up with a late goal to seal the points.
“It shows that we are starting to create a fantastic spirit,” he said.
“After we got to 1-1 the normal situation is to try and protect the result, but we try to cause our opponents problems. Before we scored we had one chance that hit the post as well. This is football.
“It shows to us a big commitment, and it shows one more thing - in the last minutes we were fresh. We tried to find something more.”
Watch Silva's post-match interview with watfordfc.com in the video above - free to view, no sign-up required!