Gracia defends players

Watford boss Javi Gracia has defended Ben Foster and Troy Deeney after his team lost at home to Arsenal 1-0 in the Premier League.

Despite being the better team for long spells at Vicarage Road, the Hornets were undone by a goal after just ten minutes when Foster took too long in goal when receiving a backpass, allowing Pierre Emerick Aubameyang to get the ball and tap home.

Watford's chances of getting back into the game were reduced further just a minute later when skipper Deeney was sent off for violent conduct.

The home side would have moved up to seventh with three points, with that position guaranteeing Europa League football next season if Watford lose to Manchester City in the FA Cup final next month.

However, despite what could be a costly defeat, Gracia after the game, refused to blame either player.

He said: "When we win and one player scores a goal, every player is happy and all the team is happy.

"We are a team. We enjoy together and suffer together, it's not only about one player, it's about the team and we are not waiting for the moment to point to one player.

"It's the moment to be together and to know, with ten players, with the circumstances we've had today, we were able to compete really well against this team."

The loss means Watford stay 10th in the table but are just one point off seventh with Leicester, Wolves and Everton also in the race for seventh spot and the possibility of European football.

The result moved Arsenal back into the top four, above Chelsea. With Manchester City and Liverpool guaranteed Champions League football next season, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are competing for the other two spots.

Watford attempt to bounce back on Saturday when they travel to already relegated Huddersfield. They are 8/11 for the win with the Terriers 7/2 and the draw is priced at 11/4.

The Hornets are 4/1 to win the FA Cup next month while Manchester City can be backed at 1/6.

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