Everton 2-5 Watford: Incredible late blitz as the Hornets score FOUR in 13 minutes and dashes the Toffees’ hopes of making the top four when Josh King scores a hat-trick in a triumphant return to Goodison Park.
- Tom Davies opened the scoring three minutes before Josh King leveled.
- Richarlison then scored on his return from injury to put Everton back in front.
- However, Juraj Kucka’s draw preceded two more strikes by King.
- Emmanuel Dennis’s effort in injury time put the stamp on an incredible match
- Watford had failed to win at Everton in 15 previous attempts to date.
- King had also unbelievably failed to score in his previous 30 league games.
The sensational Watford scored four times in the final 12 minutes to record his first victory at Goodison Park when Claudio Ranieri celebrated a hat-trick by his former Everton striker Josh King.
Everton led twice through Tom Davies and the return of Richarlison, but Watford showed tremendous spirit to level in the first half through King and then turned the game around in an incredible final.
Once Juraj Kucka had topped Watford’s level, Everton collapsed and King added two more before substitute Emmanuel Dennis completed the score in injury time.
Josh King made a phenomenal return to Goodison Park when the forward hit a hat-trick
Everton’s hopes of breaking into the top four stalled after a staggering late rush of goals at Watford.
To make King’s treble even more remarkable, he hadn’t scored in his 30 previous league games and also hadn’t managed to score in 11 appearances during a spell for Everton in the second half of last season. Everton fans who stayed until the end booed their team before applauding the Hornets for their display.
Everton manager Rafa Benitez had to name a patchwork team with Dominic Calvert-Lewin among his injury casualties, but they still got off to a perfect start when Davies, substitute for Abdoulaye Doucoure, scored after just 130 seconds.
Demarai Gray beat William Ekong to the starting line and David timed his career perfectly to score his first goal since December 2019.
From there, Davies timed his career perfectly 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 career at Watford with a 5-0 loss to Liverpool last weekend and needed goalkeeper Ben Foster to deny Andros Townsend a second Everton goal while Anthony Gordon sent a header from close range.
Watford survived the onslaught and then tied for his first serious attack after 15 minutes when King stabbed into the far post after Craig Cathcart threw a cross from Adam Masina.
Tom Davies opened the scoring after three minutes by converting a cross from Demarai Gray
It was the midfielder’s first goal in the Premier League since November 2019 against Southampton.
King responded shortly after his rejected effort was awarded following a VAR review.
The Hornets’ celebration was initially interrupted when the scorer was deemed offside, but a lengthy VAR check decided the goal was legitimate.
Everton tried to respond with Townsend taking the beating from Juraj Kucka but the final ball was missing.
Gordon was upset that Kucka’s barge did not lead to a penalty. At the other end, Ismaila Sarr hit the grass in frustration after it flipped as Everton’s defenders had backed down.
Richarlison then produced an impressive dive header to score three minutes after entering
The Brazilian was returning from an injury after four games away due to a knee problem
However, the Hornets did not give up and tied for the second time through Juraj Kucka.
Allan was booked for throwing himself in the second half as Everton’s frustrations mounted and they needed Jordan Pickford to keep them level as he took out a boot to deny King after Sarr defeated Lucas Digne on the left.
Though disappointed, King had the grace to touch his former Everton teammate’s gloves as a show of respect.
Benitez’s first trade brought boos from local fans who wanted to see local talent Gordon longer.
It was the Slovak midfielder’s first goal since moving to England this summer from Parma.
And the change was complete when King found himself in acres of space and did the rest.
A more dire defense saw King get home for his hat trick as the visiting winger went ballistic.
And Emmanuel Dennis put the seal on a remarkable victory as local worshipers watched in horror.
GOODISON PARK PARTY FACTS AND RANKINGS
EVERTON (4-4-2): Pickford 6; Coleman 6, Godfrey 6.5, Keane 6, Digne 5.5; Townsend 6, Allan 5.5, Davies 6.5, Gray 6 (Iwobi 77 5.5); Gordon 6 (Richarlison 60 6.5), Rondon 5.5.
Unused subs: Begovic, Lonergan, Kenny, Holgate, Gbamin, Dobbin.
Target: Davies 3, Richarlison 63
Admonished: Digne, Allan, Rondon
Coach: Rafa Benitez
WATFORD (4-5-1): Foster 6; Ngakia 6 (Nkoulou 76 6), Cathcart 7, Troost-Ekong 5.5, Masina 6.5; Sarr 7 (Dennis 64 8), Tufan 6 (Joao Pedro 64 6), Kucka 6, Sissoko 6, Hernández 6.5; King 9.
Unused subs: Bachmann, Lauza, Cleverley, Sema, Gosling, Fletcher
Target: King 13, 80, 86, Kucka 78, Dennis 90
Admonished: Troost-Ekong, Dennis, King
Coach: Claudio Ranieri
Referee: Graham Scott 7
But the coach’s move was justified when Richarlison headed a Michael Keane cross with his off-white blonde haircut less than three minutes after his presentation after missing five games with a knee injury.
Everton thought they were over the game, but Ranieri has clearly installed some spirit and character in Watford.
In the 78th minute, the draw came when Juraj Kucka headed the corner kick from Cucho Hernández hard.
It was Everton’s first loss to Watford at Goodison, as their defense collapsed late
King ended an incredible 30-game league scoring drought, and with emphatic flair
From then on it was the King show. The 29-year-old slid brilliantly to convert a Dennis cross from the right and then showed great footwork inside the box to add a fourth.
Traveling fans could hardly believe what they were seeing and Everton fans defected by the thousands when Dennis applied the finishing touch from up close.