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Controversial equaliser sees Watford fight back against Southamtop

Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a 90th-minute equaliser for Watford, but should it have counted?

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Abdoulaye Doucoure bundled home a controversial 90th-minute equaliser as Watford fought back from 2-0 down to draw with Southampton.

Doucoure used his right hand to divert Troy Deeney's header past Alex McCarthy from close range to snatch a point for the Hornets.

Two goals from James Ward-Prowse had given the Saints a 2-0 lead at half-time as they looked to be on course to end a run of nine Premier League games without a win.

But Watford came out stronger in the second half, thanks largely to the introduction of Deeney.

They pulled a goal back two minutes before the hour mark as Andre Gray headed home after McCarthy turned Daryl Janmaat's shot onto the crossbar.

Doucoure's late intervention meant the game finished all-square, but Watford have won just once in their past 10 Premier League games.

The home side edged an entertaining first quarter of an hour, but fell behind on 20 minutes as Shane Long's pull-back was deflected into the path of Ward-Prowse, who guided the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

That turned the the match in favour of the visitors, and they deservedly doubled their lead a minute before half-time. After Long's determined run down the left, he fed Dusan Tadic on the edge of the area and the Serb helped it on to Ward-Prowse, who netted past an exposed Heurelho Gomes.

The goals took Ward-Prowse's tally to three in his past two games, having failed to score this season before the FA Cup third-round win over Fulham last week.

Pressure still on Pellegrino?

Southampton's first-half showing did not fit with a team that began the day outside of the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Watford deserve credit for their fightback but the Saints should have had more about them to avoid such a shift in momentum as they looked to avoid remaining winless in 10 consecutive league games for the first time since January 2005.

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/624/cpsprodpb/E32E/production/_99585185_gettyimages-904492634.jpg

                      James Ward-Prowse took his goal tally to three goals in two games

Some of that responsibility lies with manager Mauricio Pellegrino, who failed to react quickly enough to Watford adopting a more attacking formation when Deeney was introduced.

The draw lifts Saints up to 16th - ahead Bournemouth on goal difference before the Cherries face Arsenal on Sunday - but questions remain about the future of Pellegrino.

Do the club's hierarchy want to put the £75m they received for the sale of defender Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool in his hands? Arsenal winger Theo Walcott and Atletico Madrid playmaker Nicolas Gaitan are said to be targets.

What's next?

Watford travel to Leicester City on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Southampton have an extra day to prepare for the visit of Tottenham (16:00 GMT).

The pair will meet again later this month in the fourth round of the FA Cup, this time at St Mary's on 27 January (15:00 GMT).

Source: BBCSports