Everton earns draw with Watford

Everton’s defender Lucas Digne (L) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League match against Watford at Goodison Park in Liverpool Monday. — AFP

LIVERPOOL —

Everton defender Lucas Digne scored with a superb free kick deep into added time to salvage a 2-2 draw against Watford in a frenetic Premier League clash at Goodison Park Monday.

Richarlison had given the home side an early lead before Watford made it 2-1 with two goals in three minutes just past the hour mark, Seamus Coleman scoring an own goal and Abdoulaye Doucoure powering home a header.

When Gylfi Sigurdsson spurned the chance to equalize when his penalty was saved just second later, Watford looked to be heading for a win but Frenchman Digne then popped up with his first Everton goal.

The night had started well for the Merseysiders, looking for the three points that would lift them above Manchester United into sixth, when Richarlison scored against his old club after a quarter of an hour.

Everton’s Coleman put through his own goal in the 63rd minute when Roberto Pererya’s effort hit the post and rebounded off the defender into the net before Doucoure put the visitors in front.

Three minutes later Sigurdsson fired his spot kick down the middle and Ben Foster saved with his legs but just as mid-table Watford thought they had done enough to win Digne equalized.

“I prefer not to say anything about the referees,” said Watford manager Javi Gracia. “If VAR was ready today the result would have been different.”

Everton is seventh on 24 points, two behind Manchester United, while Watford is 12th with 21 points from 16 games.

Bilbao tastes win

Athletic Bilbao won its first La Liga match since its opener in August when an added-time penalty from veteran striker Aritz Aduriz secured a 1-0 win over Girona for newly-installed manager Gaizka Garitano Monday.

Bilbao’s former goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz had an inspired night for the visitors and it looked like the struggling Basque outfit, who parted company with coach Eduardo Berrizo last week, would go a 14th league game without a victory.

However there was late drama when Bilbao substitute Iker Muniain was felled in the box and VAR confirmed it was a penalty. Aduriz, 37, kept his cool to score with a Panenka-style chip down the middle to send San Mames stadium into raptures.

It was the perfect start for Garitano, who has been promoted from managing the club’s ‘B’ team, with Bilbao still in the final relegation place but now on 14 points from 15 games and only below Villarreal on their head-to-head record.

It is the only team besides Real Madrid and Barcelona never to be relegated from Spain’s top flight. — Reuters