Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho felt it was “unfair” his side only came away from Vicarage Road with a draw after they were held by resurgent Watford, who missed a penalty.
Troy Deeney saw his spot-kick saved, but the Hornets extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven matches.
Paulo Gazzaniga dived low to his right to deny the Watford captain following Jan Vertonghen’s handball in the second half.
But Mourinho told BT Sport afterwards: “I think we deserved to win this match. To lose would have been too harsh on the boys.”
Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster saved from Nathaniel Chalobah and Lucas Moura before half-time to thwart Spurs, who have now gone four league games without a win.
“The result is unfair. I think it would have been more unfair if we lost,” added Mourinho, whose side have now gone four matches without a win.
“We had control of the game, especially in the first half. We arrived in dangerous positions. We created chances but we did not manage to score.”
Deeney had headed a good chance straight at Gazzaniga just before the break, while Abdoulaye Doucoure shot into the side-netting early in the second half.
Watford substitute Ignacio Pussetto, making his debut for the club, cleared an Erik Lamela effort off the line in stoppage time at the end of the match.
Winger Pussetto, a £7m signing from Udinese, had only been on the pitch for just over a minute when he slid in to hook away with almost the whole ball over the goalline.
The Hornets, who were bottom of the table when manager Nigel Pearson took over in December, move up to 16th, while Spurs are seventh.
The turnaround in Watford’s form since Pearson’s arrival has been put down to several factors, from the manager’s attention to detail around the club off the pitch to a simple, hard-working ethic on it.
The latter was in evidence again throughout an encounter that lacked out-and-out excitement but still bristled with tension, with both sides keen to avoid defeat at the very least.
That matters now seem to be going Watford’s way under Pearson was indicated when the ball appeared to strike Craig Cathcart on the hand inside the hosts’ area in only the second minute, but referee Michael Oliver ignored Spurs’ claims for a penalty.
And Pussetto’s dramatic clearance off the line late on, with just a centimetre of the ball still on the goal line, was another hint that the home side has turned a corner.
But Pearson and his players are certain to be frustrated that they could not make more of the few chances that came their way – Ismaila Sarr scooping an early chance comfortably over the bar and Deeney nodding the ball at Gazzaniga before the break.
Watford’s talismanic skipper also failed to put the ball beyond the Spurs keeper’s reach when given the chance from the spot but, despite that disappointment, his side still maintained their excellent run and can move further away from danger when they face struggling Aston Villa on Tuesday.
Spurs were flat for large parts of the match, most of which they played without Christian Eriksen.
The Denmark playmaker was a 73rd-minute replacement for Dele Alli, but he could not spark his side into a decisive moment at the end of a week where his link with Inter Milan had reignited a feud between Mourinho and the Serie A side’s boss Antonio Conte.
Alli also cut a frustrated figure when he was replaced, the England midfielder having headed one of Spurs’ few decent chances over the Watford crossbar early in the second half.
Mourinho’s side lacked a focal point in the absence of striker Harry Kane, and this third consecutive game without a goal is now the sixth time in a row where they have failed to win in the Premier League when the England captain has not been involved.
With Kane ruled out until at least April with a hamstring injury, these are trends Spurs must address if they are climbing back into contention for the Champions League places.
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Source – BBC