Arsenal missed the chance to close gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea after being stunned 1-2 by Watford.
Winless in their last seven Premier League games, the visitors made a blistering start at the Emirates when goals from Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney fired them to a 2-0 lead inside 13 minutes.
Kaboul scored the opener when Shkodran Mustafi fouled debutant M’Baye Niang. Petr Cech would have saved the resulting free-kick without too much trouble but a huge deflection off Aaron Ramsey saw the ball finding the back of the net. With the Gunners failing to react after the early setback, the Hornets piled more misery on them when Deeney tapped in the rebound after Etienne Capoue’s fine run ended with his shot being saved by Cech.
Ramsey’s woeful night came to an unfortunate end shortly when he limped off with what looked like a calf injury. The Gunners had a penalty appeal turned down when Nacho Monreal went down in the box but referee Andre Marriner booked the Arsenal defender for simulation.
The visitors kept on pressing and came close to scoring again as Sebastian Prodl’s header forced a stop from Cech, while Miguel Britos’ effort was blocked by Olivier Giroud.
Arsene Wenger’s men started brightly after the break as Theo Walcott, who had replaced Giroud at half time, hit a decent shot towards the goal three minutes after the break. A couple of minutes later, the England international, who had scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup against Southampton on Saturday, had a chance to reduce the deficit but was denied by Heurelho Gomes before the Watford goalie brilliantly denied Alex Iwobi.
Iwobi reduced the deficit in the 58th minute when he found the far post from an Alexis Sanchez delivery but the Hornets managed to hold on to inflict a humiliating defeat on the much fancied opponents.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the match:
Sleep well tonight, Arsenal fans. 😱 pic.twitter.com/9Tk5wyOt1C
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) January 31, 2017
Chelsea, Liverpool, and Spurs all drop points……..
Arsenal 1-2 Watford
— 🔴⚪️Gooner Kev⚪️🔴 (@kevdavis736) January 31, 2017
— Ahmad (@Mr_Alawoki) January 31, 2017
If anyone thinks Arsenal can win the league then take a look at Watfords 2nd goal your change your mind
— Lee Judges (@leemarkjudges) January 31, 2017
Arsenal haven't won a league match on a Tuesday or a Wednesday since beating QPR 2-1 in March 2015, 0-4-3 since. Weird. pic.twitter.com/erCrZBva7i
— James Yorke (@jair1970) January 31, 2017
Monday – Arsène Wenger: "This is the best squad I've ever had." 🤔
Tuesday – Arsenal lose at home to Watford. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/CKwMZcQAnZ
— SPORF (@Sporf) January 31, 2017
When you're an Arsenal fan and She thinks she can break your heart. pic.twitter.com/MJ4yNBQrd5
— Danny Welbeck (@WelBeast) January 31, 2017
Liverpool, Chelsea & Spurs all drop two points.
Arsenal: "Hold my beer."
— squad goals (@ArsenalGoals) January 31, 2017
I want Arsenal players to lower me into my grave when I die so that they can let me down one last time.
— Mohamed ElNneny (@ElNnenyM) January 31, 2017
Being an Arsenal fan is like being in an on and off relationship with someone who constantly says they've changed to get you back😂😂
— spooky tom. (@Thomas_Nathinge) January 31, 2017
Last minute #DeadlineDay swap deal for Arsenal as they trade their title hopes for a glib satisfaction at a top 4 finish.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) January 31, 2017