Watford wasted a two-goal lead and had Troy Deeney's late strike to thank for rescuing a point in a pulsating game against Leeds United.

The Hornets led through Deeney's 10-yard strike and a counter-attack goal by Christian Battocchio.

But Danny Pugh put the home side back in the game with a tidy finish from a tight angle and Matt Smith nodded in the equaliser from close range.

Ross McCormack ran through to slip in Leeds' third but Deeney earned a draw.

The result seemed a fair conclusion to an even match that was full of chances and open, attacking football.

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola had not seen his side win in seven matches before the daunting trip to Elland Road but they showed no signs of lacking confidence against a Leeds team who had won five consecutive home games.

Ending the away-day success

The last three meetings between the teams had all ended in an away win. Watford have now drawn four consecutive away games.

Both sides had opportunities early on, with Smith denied by away keeper Jonathan Bond and Deeney going close with a header for Watford.

Home skipper Rudy Austin then shot straight at Bond and Luke Murphy missed a glorious opportunity on the rebound, before Leeds keeper Paddy Kenny denied Ikechi Anya.

Watford went ahead when Lewis McGugan bundled into the box and Deeney was on hand to fire the ball home.

Their second goal came when a blistering breakaway saw Hector Bellerin race away and tee up Battocchio.

Smith spurned two great headed chances for the hosts but Leeds did reply when Pugh beat Bond from the tightest of angles from the left side of the six-yard box after McCormack's cross was half-cleared.

With the momentum behind them, Smith drew the home side level when Lee Peltier robbed Anya in midfield, released McCormack who set up all Smith for a simple close-range header.

The home pressure was relentless and Bond was forced to pull off several fine stops, notably to deny Rodolph Austin.

McCormack had a glancing header ruled out for offside but he was not to be denied for long.

The striker ran on to a long Murphy pass and slipped the ball past the advancing Bond for his 16th goal of the season and 10th in seven games.

But Watford earned their draw when Deeney reacted quickly to fire in from six yards after Kenny made an initial save from George Thorne.

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott:

"I have mixed emotions as it could have gone either way. It was such an open game and in a game like that, anything can happen.

"Even at 3-2 I felt we needed a fourth. We were unfortunate not to get it, but Watford are a good side who were nearly in the Premier League this season.

"We were 2-0 down and I am proud of the players. We were unfortunate not to win but I can't be too greedy.

"There may be an initial disappointment that we didn't win but we may well reflect on this as a good point."

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola:

"The first half was brilliant, the second... It was a great game, very entertaining and the people who have come here have had a lot of pleasure.

"I am happy about the result of course, a point here at Leeds is not a bad point. I am maybe disappointed that the second goal they scored was a clear foul and I have to say the referee was very good until then.

"In that moment I think he has spoiled the game and the third goal the throw was definitely for us. The mistakes upset me a little bit but at the end of the day I am delighted for a point.

"Even after that I say that Leeds deserve a point, they created a lot of chances and a draw is a fair result. But we had to show we were not going backwards against Leeds, especially in a stadium like this with a passionate crowd.

"We needed to show spirit and determination and I see a lot of encouraging things happening in my team right now."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (3)

Leeds United

  • 01 Kenny
  • 25 Byram
  • 16 Pugh Booked
  • 05 Pearce
  • 24 Zaliukas
  • 02 Peltier
  • 06 Murphy
  • 08 Austin
  • 44 McCormack
  • 20 Smith
  • 36 Mowatt

Substitutes

  • 03 Drury
  • 11 Varney
  • 15 Warnock
  • 17 Brown
  • 18 Tonge
  • 26 Poleon
  • 33 Cairns

Watford

  • 30 Bond
  • 19 Faraoni (Cassetti - 73' )
  • 18 Pudil
  • 29 Thorne
  • 33 Nosworthy
  • 06 Ekstrand Booked
  • 03 Bellerín
  • 10 McGugan (Murray - 67' )
  • 09 Deeney
  • 07 Battocchio (Hall - 90' )
  • 21 Anya

Substitutes

  • 11 Forestieri
  • 16 Murray
  • 17 Hall
  • 20 Fabbrini
  • 23 Iriney
  • 24 Woods
  • 27 Cassetti
Ref: Trevor Kettle
Att: 23,445

Match Stats

Shots

22 10

On target

9 7

Corners

6 4

Fouls

7 11

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Leeds United 3, Watford 3.

90:00 +3:54 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Leeds United 3, Watford 3.

90:00 +3:06

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Marius Zaliukas.

90:00 +2:54

Attempt blocked. Joel Ekstrand (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

90:00 +1:50 Booking

Booking Joel Ekstrand (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +1:43

Marius Zaliukas (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:43

Foul by Joel Ekstrand (Watford).

90:00 +0:41

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Danny Pugh.

89:53

Ross McCormack (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

89:53

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

89:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Fitz Hall replaces Cristian Battocchio.

88:44

Offside, Leeds United. Alex Mowatt tries a through ball, but Matt Smith is caught offside.

86:20

Attempt missed. Luke Murphy (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ross McCormack.

85:09 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 3, Watford 3. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner.

85:05

Attempt saved. George Thorne (Watford) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ikechi Anya.

84:19

Offside, Leeds United. Matt Smith tries a through ball, but Ross McCormack is caught offside.

79:25

Attempt saved. Cristian Battocchio (Watford) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

77:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 3, Watford 2. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luke Murphy.

76:56

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Marius Zaliukas.

76:18

Offside, Leeds United. Matt Smith tries a through ball, but Ross McCormack is caught offside.

74:36

Luke Murphy (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:36

Foul by Sean Murray (Watford).

72:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Marco Cassetti replaces Marco Davide Faraoni.

70:20

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Joel Ekstrand.

67:18

Alex Mowatt (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

67:18

Foul by Nyron Nosworthy (Watford).

66:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Sean Murray replaces Lewis McGugan.

64:55

Attempt blocked. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

64:17

Offside, Watford. George Thorne tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

61:57

Attempt saved. Matt Smith (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rodolph Austin with a headed pass.

60:39

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Patrick Kenny.

60:37

Attempt saved. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ikechi Anya.

60:14

Foul by Alex Mowatt (Leeds United).

60:14

Héctor Bellerín (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:02

Alex Mowatt (Leeds United) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Luke Murphy with a cross following a corner.

59:00

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by George Thorne.

58:11

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Jonathan Bond.

58:09

Attempt saved. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

58:08

Attempt saved. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross.

55:46 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 2, Watford 2. Matt Smith (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross following a fast break.

49:09 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 1, Watford 2. Danny Pugh (Leeds United) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross.

45:55

Attempt missed. Matt Smith (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Alex Mowatt with a cross following a corner.

45:25

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Jonathan Bond.

45:24

Attempt saved. Matt Smith (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Luke Murphy with a cross.

45:00

Second Half begins Leeds United 0, Watford 2.

45:00 +4:47 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Leeds United 0, Watford 2.

45:00 +3:17

Attempt blocked. Luke Murphy (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sam Byram.

45:00 +0:14 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 0, Watford 2. Cristian Battocchio (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín following a fast break.

43:59

Ross McCormack (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

43:59

Foul by Joel Ekstrand (Watford).

43:14 Booking

Booking Danny Pugh (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card.

42:59

Danny Pugh (Leeds United) has gone down, but that's a dive.

38:36

Attempt missed. Sam Byram (Leeds United) header from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Rodolph Austin with a cross.

37:14

Offside, Leeds United. Ross McCormack tries a through ball, but Matt Smith is caught offside.

34:55

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

32:48

Delay in match George Thorne (Watford) because of an injury.

31:34

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

30:41

Delay in match Daniel Pudil (Watford) because of an injury.

29:30

Attempt missed. Matt Smith (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ross McCormack.

27:40

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Nyron Nosworthy.

26:06

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Lewis McGugan.

26:04

Attempt blocked. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

25:08

Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

25:08

Foul by Joel Ekstrand (Watford).

23:29

Attempt missed. Ikechi Anya (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lewis McGugan.

22:53

Attempt missed. Lee Peltier (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Danny Pugh with a cross.

22:03

Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

22:03

Foul by Nyron Nosworthy (Watford).

21:36

Jason Pearce (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:36

Foul by Héctor Bellerín (Watford).

21:26

Hand ball by Luke Murphy (Leeds United).

20:31

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

19:50

Delay in match George Thorne (Watford) because of an injury.

18:10

Foul by Jason Pearce (Leeds United).

18:10

Lewis McGugan (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:02

Attempt blocked. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked.

17:14

Ross McCormack (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:14

Foul by Héctor Bellerín (Watford).

14:00

Foul by Rodolph Austin (Leeds United).

14:00

Daniel Pudil (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:32 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 0, Watford 1. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

9:32

Dangerous play by Alex Mowatt (Leeds United).

9:32

Héctor Bellerín (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:50

Attempt saved. Ikechi Anya (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marco Davide Faraoni.

8:02

Attempt missed. Luke Murphy (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

7:55

Attempt saved. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Smith.

7:34

Foul by Matt Smith (Leeds United).

7:34

George Thorne (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:36

Attempt missed. Héctor Bellerín (Watford) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Cristian Battocchio with a cross.

5:52

Attempt missed. Marius Zaliukas (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross following a set piece situation.

5:18

Matt Smith (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:18

Foul by Nyron Nosworthy (Watford).

4:07

Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

4:07

Foul by Lewis McGugan (Watford).

2:54

Attempt missed. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Marius Zaliukas.

2:30

Attempt saved. Matt Smith (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers