Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes suffered a huge blow with a shock home defeat against Watford at Emirates Stadium.
Former Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul lashed in the opener within 10 minutes for Watford with a shot from outside the area which deflected off Aaron Ramsey.
Just two minutes and 57 seconds later, the visitors doubled their lead as Troy Deeney tapped in after Etienne Capoue’s fine run ended with his shot being saved by Petr Cech.
The Arsenal goalkeeper was called into action again as he tipped Sebastian Prodl’s header over the crossbar and pushed away Daryl Janmaat’s curling strike.
The hosts improved significantly in the second half and Alex Iwobi pulled a goal back by steering Alexis Sanchez’s cross home.
Lucas Perez struck the crossbar with a powerful drive, but they could not find the equaliser.
Challenge over for another year?
Arsenal last won the title in the 2003-04 season and face clawing back a nine-point deficit on London rivals and leaders Chelsea, who drew 1-1 with Liverpool.
Going into the game, they were unbeaten in their last five league games, but a desperately poor first half showing cost them dearly, with Wenger watching on from the stands as he serves the second of a four-match touchline ban.
The Gunners failed to get a shot on target in the first 45 minutes, but forced Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes into sharp saves from substitute Theo Walcott and Iwobi after the break, while the Brazilian pushed away Mesut Ozil’s snap shot.
More to follow.