A valiant Watford fightback was not enough to save them from relegation to the Sky Bet Championship as Arsenal clung on to secure a 3-2 win at the Emirates Stadium.
Watford went into the final day knowing they needed to better Aston Villa’s result at West Ham to have a realistic chance of survival, but they fell behind to an early penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who then scored his second goal after Kieran Tierney had doubled Arsenal’s lead.
Hayden Mullins’ side looked dead and buried at 3-0 down but they deservedly pulled a goal back courtesy of Troy Deeney’s penalty shortly before the break, then reduced the deficit to one goal when former Arsenal man Danny Welbeck slotted home from Ismaila Sarr’s cross (66).
Watford dominated the closing stages, forcing Emiliano Martinez into a number of saves and spurning several chances, but with Villa drawing with West Ham at the London Stadium, they were unable to find the two goals they needed to stay up.
For Arsenal, the victory, however unconvincing, lifts them from 10th to eighth place thanks to Sheffield United and Burnley’s defeats elsewhere.
More to follow…