Premier League
Watford0Burnley0

Watford 0-0 Burnley: Both sides maintain unbeaten start to 2019 after goalless draw

Ben Foster
Ben Foster made three saves at Vicarage Road

Goalkeepers Tom Heaton and Ben Foster produced inspired displays at Vicarage Road as Watford and Burnley maintained their unbeaten starts to 2019.

Both teams had chances to score and the home side could have taken the lead as early as the second minute but Heaton denied Gerard Deulofeu with his right foot after the forward went through on goal.

Heaton was called into action once more on the stroke of half-time when he dived to his right to parry Troy Deeney's crisp side-footed effort to safety.

Foster was equally impressive at the other end when he caught Ashley Barnes' header from close range after it skidded off the greasy surface.

The Watford keeper had to show his experience in the second half when he sprung off his line to divert the ball behind after Jeff Hendrick tried to poke the ball into the net with an outstretched toe.

Burnley did have the ball in the net during stoppage time but Chris Wood's tap-in from close range was adjudged to be from an offside position.

Southampton's victory over Everton sees Burnley move down one place into 16th while Watford remain in seventh.

Heaton pivotal in Burnley's upturn in results

Burnley had won just three Premier League games when Tom Heaton returned to the side at the end of December - his first match action since September.

The 32-year-old started the season as second choice behind former England goalkeeper Joe Hart, but the Clarets are unbeaten since he has been reinstated in the side, having won three and drawn one.

Burnley conceded after just two minutes in their last match against Fulham when Andre Schurrle's unstoppable volley nestled into the top corner, but Sean Dyche's men had Heaton to thank for not finding themselves in a similar predicament this weekend.

Media playback is not supported on this device

A big decision has gone against us - Burnley boss Dyche

Deeney's lofted ball over the top saw Deulofeu go clean through on goal but his low effort was well saved by Heaton's right foot as Watford enjoyed a blistering start.

Heaton showed sharp reactions once again as he came off his line to clear the ball as Deulofeu was poised to latch onto another long ball deep inside the Burnley half.

And with the final act of the first half, Heaton denied Deeney, who had ghosted in front of James Tarkowski in the box, with a smart save to his right.

The Burnley keeper made four saves in total as he claimed his second clean sheet in four consecutive league matches.

Impressive Foster involved in controversial ending

Ben Foster matched his opposite number, and former Manchester United team-mate, with an equally impressive performance for Watford.

After the game, Foster paid homage to Heaton, describing his performance as "top class" and being a "big part of Burnley's upturn in results".

The 35-year-old made a crucial save in either half as he first kept out Barnes' header, and then put out a strong left hand to divert Hendrick's poked effort behind.

Foster was also alert to the danger as he came off his line quickly to intercept's Dwight McNeil's through ball with Barnes bearing on goal.

The only occasion Foster parried the ball into a dangerous position was ultimately irrelevant as Wood tapped into an empty net from an offside position, after McNeil's fierce effort.

However, depending on your interpretation of the decision, Foster's parry was either a moment of unimportance or a moment of good fortune in an otherwise accomplished performance.

Man of the match - Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Tom Heaton
Tom Heaton was excellent in Burnley's goal and produced a string of key saves as he continues to be picked ahead of Joe Hart

'A big decision has gone against us' - what they said

Asked whether he thought Chris Wood was offside, Burnley manager Sean Dyche said: "I didn't think it was at the time, and looking back, I don't think it was now and I'd be surprised if the majority didn't think it was onside.

"We had three or four golden chances and it was a good performance. The energy and the edge we play with as a group is coming back but those extra two points would have been very welcome. Unfortunately a big decision has gone against us.

"VAR is a definite for me. I know it needs to be made better but they are two big points. We haven't always had the right decisions go our way, and we are 65 Premier League games without a penalty which is an anomaly.

"They started well win the first 10 minutes but we played well. Ben [Foster] is a good keeper and Tom [Heaton] has done really well, and the team is operating really well in front of him. The spine of our team is very good and we are looking a strong outfit."

Watford manager Javi Gracia said:

Media playback is not supported on this device

Gracia praises both goalkeepers after goalless draw

"I think today it wasn't our best game but it was positive to get a point. We tried to win the game and were looking for different options to attack.

"We created chances, the first one with Gerard Deulofeu at the beginning of the game, and we created two more in the first half but I think the goalkeepers were everywhere today."

On Wood's offside goal: "I didn't see but I have listened and I have nothing to say. I always support and respect the referee's decisions."

Goalless draw ends Vicarage Road record - the stats

  • This was the 20th league meeting between Watford and Burnley at Vicarage Road but the first one to end goalless.
  • Watford have lost just one of their last eight Premier League games (W3 D4).
  • Burnley kept their first league clean sheet away to Watford in 10 matches.
  • Burnley have gone four Premier League games unbeaten for the first time since a run of six ending in April 2018.
  • This was just Burnley's second clean sheet in the Premier League in their last 11 away games in the competition.
  • Watford have won just one of their last six Premier League games on home soil (D2 L3).

What's next?

Burnley travel to Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, 26 January (15:00 GMT), while Watford visit Newcastle in the same competition at the same time.

Line-ups

Watford

  • 26Foster
  • 21FemeníaSubstituted forBritosat 77'minutes
  • 6Mariappa
  • 27Kabasele
  • 25Holebas
  • 8Cleverley
  • 29Capoue
  • 12SemaSubstituted forSuccessat 56'minutes
  • 37Pereyra
  • 9Deeney
  • 7DeulofeuBooked at 79mins

Substitutes

  • 1Gomes
  • 3Britos
  • 10Success
  • 11Masina
  • 18Gray
  • 20Quina
  • 24Wilmot

Burnley

  • 1Heaton
  • 26BardsleyBooked at 82mins
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 6MeeBooked at 63mins
  • 3Taylor
  • 13Hendrick
  • 18Westwood
  • 4Cork
  • 31McNeil
  • 10Barnes
  • 11Wood

Substitutes

  • 2Lowton
  • 9Vokes
  • 14Gibson
  • 16Defour
  • 20Hart
  • 27Vydra
  • 28Long
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
19,510

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamBurnley
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home9
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 0, Burnley 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 0, Burnley 0.

Offside, Burnley. Ashley Westwood tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.

Foul by Miguel Britos (Watford).

Ashley Barnes (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Burnley. Dwight McNeil tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Dwight McNeil (Burnley) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jeff Hendrick.

Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.

Ben Foster (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James Tarkowski (Burnley).

Foul by Adrian Mariappa (Watford).

Chris Wood (Burnley) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Hand ball by Isaac Success (Watford).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Miguel Britos (Watford) because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ashley Barnes (Burnley) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Phil Bardsley (Burnley) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt blocked. Jack Cork (Burnley) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Offside, Watford. Christian Kabasele tries a through ball, but Gerard Deulofeu is caught offside.

Booking

Phil Bardsley (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Isaac Success (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Phil Bardsley (Burnley).

Offside, Watford. Christian Kabasele tries a through ball, but Isaac Success is caught offside.

Offside, Burnley. Ashley Westwood tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) header from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dwight McNeil with a cross.

Booking

Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ben Mee (Burnley) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Miguel Britos replaces Kiko Femenía because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kiko Femenía (Watford) because of an injury.

Offside, Burnley. Chris Wood tries a through ball, but Ashley Barnes is caught offside.

Ben Foster (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Chris Wood (Burnley).

Foul by Christian Kabasele (Watford).

Chris Wood (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Charlie Taylor.

Foul by Adrian Mariappa (Watford).

Ashley Barnes (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Man City22172359174253
3Tottenham22160646222448
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Man Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolves239592731-432
9Leicester2394102929031
10West Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield2225151337-2411
View full Premier League table

Top Stories