Everton 2-5 Watford: Incredible late blitz sees the Hornets score FOUR in 13 minutes and scupper the Toffees’ hopes of moving into the top four as Josh King scores a hat-trick on a triumphant return to Goodison Park
- Tom Davies opened the scoring on three minutes before Josh King levelled
- Richarlison then netted on his return from injury to put Everton back in front
- However, Juraj Kucka’s equalised then preceded two more King strikes
- Emmanuel Dennis’ stoppage-time effort put the seal on an incredible match
- Watford had failed to win at Everton in 15 previous attempts before today
- King had also incredibly failed to score in his previous 30 league matches
Sensational Watford scored four times in the final 12 minutes to record a first-ever win at Goodison Park as Claudio Ranieri celebrated a hat-trick from his former Everton forward Josh King.
Everton twice led through Tom Davies and the returning Richarlison but Watford showed tremendous spirit to level in the first half through King and then turn the game on its head in an amazing finale.
Once Juraj Kucka had headed Watford level, Everton collapsed with King adding two more before substitute Emmanuel Dennis completed the scoring in injury time.
Josh King made a phenomenal return to Goodison Park as the forward bagged a hat-trick
Everton’s hopes of entering the top four stalled after a staggering late flurry of Watford goals
To make King’s treble all the more remarkable, he hadn’t scored in his previous 30 league games and had also failed to net in 11 appearances during a spell for Everton in the second half of last season. Those Everton fans who remained until the end booed their side off before applauding the Hornets for their display.
Everton boss Rafa Benitez had to name a patchwork side with Dominic Calvert-Lewin among his injury casualties but they still made the perfect start when Davies, deputising for Abdoulaye Doucoure, scored after only 130 seconds.
Demarai Gray beat William Ekong to reach the byline and David timed his run to perfection to score his first goal since December 2019.
From there, Davies timed his run to perfection to beat two defenders in order to reach the ball first and score his first goal since December 2019.
Ranieri, who celebrated his 70th birthday last week, had started his Watford career with a 5-0 defeat against Liverpool last weekend and he needed goalkeeper Ben Foster to deny Andros Townsend a second Everton goal whilst Anthony Gordon sent a close-range header wide.
Watford survived the onslaught and then levelled with their first serious attack after 15 minutes when King stabbed in at the far post after Adam Masina’s cross had been flicked on by Craig Cathcart.
Tom Davies opened the scoring on three minutes as he converted a cross from Demarai Gray
It was the midfielder’s first Premier League goal since November 2019 against Southampton
King replied soon afterwards after his disallowed effort was awarded following a VAR review
The Hornets celebration were initially cut short when the scorer was judged to have been offside but a lengthy VAR check decided the goal was legitimate.
Everton tried to respond with Townsend having the beating of Juraj Kucka but the final ball was lacking.
Gordon was annoyed a barge from Kucka didn’t lead to a penalty. At the other end Ismaila Sarr beat the turf in frustration after he shot over when Everton’s defenders had backed off.
Richarlison then produced an impressive diving header to score three minutes after coming on
The Brazilian was making his return from injury after four games out with a knee problem
The Hornets weren’t giving in though and they equalised for a second time through Juraj Kucka
Allan was booked for diving in the second half as Everton frustrations grew and they needed Jordan Pickford to keep them level when he stuck out a boot to deny King after Sarr had beaten Lucas Digne down the left.
Though disappointed, King had the grace to tap the gloves of his former Everton team-mate as a mark of respect.
Benitez’s first change brought boos from the home fans who wanted to see homegrown talent Gordon on for longer.
It was the Slovakian’s first goal since his move to the Hornets this summer from Parma
And the turnaround was complete when King was found in acres of space and he did the rest
More calamitous defending saw King tuck home for his treble as the away end went ballistic
But the manager’s move was justified when Richarlison headed in Michael Keane’s cross with his bleach-blonde crewcut less than three minutes after his introduction after missing five games with a knee injury.
Everton thought they’d edged the game but Ranieri has clearly installed some spirit and character into Watford.
After 78 minutes, the equaliser arrived when Cucho Hernandez’s outswinging corner was powerfully headed in by Juraj Kucka.
And Emmanuel Dennis put the seal on a remarkable win as the home faithful looked on aghast
From then on it was the King show. The 29-year-old slid in brilliantly to convert Dennis’ cross from the right then showed great footwork inside the box to add a fourth.
The travelling fans could hardly believe what they were watching and Everton fans deserted in their thousands as Dennis applied the final touch from close range.
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