Watford manager Javi Gracia credited Troy Deeney’s “special personality” as Watford came from behind to shock Tottenham and maintain their perfect start to the Premier League season.
Both sides began the match with 100% records but captain Deeney led the home side’s comeback with his second goal of the campaign before Craig Cathcart’s second-half header decided a tight encounter.
Tottenham had scored a fortuitous opener as Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure bundled into his own net but, after winning their first four league games for the first time in 30 years, it is the Hornets who join Liverpool and Chelsea on maximum points at the top of the table.
Gracia said of Deeney: “He has a special personality. I’ve already seen and said many times he is very important on and off the pitch, today he showed that again but it is no surprise for me.
“It had been an amazing start. We are in a good moment and trying to enjoy it, knowing we have won four games – but it is only four games.”
In a first half of limited chances, England midfielder Dele Alli had the earliest opportunity for either side with a looping header that only momentarily concerned the back-pedalling Ben Foster, before Deeney headed over for the Hornets from Daryl Janmaat’s inviting cross during a particularly quiet opening 20 minutes.
Harry Kane, in particular, cut a frustrated figure for Spurs and it took until first-half stoppage time for either side to manage a shot on target – Deeney’s weak long-range effort collected by Michel Vorm, stand-in for injured Spurs captain Hugo Lloris.
But the visitors found themselves ahead soon after the break, as Doucoure turned into his own net after Watford had failed to clear.
Deeney led the charge as the Hornets looked to respond and saw his cross diverted on to the crossbar by Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld moments before levelling from the resulting corner.
And it was another set-piece that allowed the Hornets to turn the game around on 76 minutes as defender Cathcart nestled a powerful header into the top corner of Vorm’s goal to ensure Watford’s best ever start to a Premier League season continues.