Watford missed a chance to inflict more away misery on 10-man Tottenham as the two sides fought out a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Davinson Sanchez was shown a straight red card for catching Richarlison with a stray elbow in the 52nd minute, hampering his side’s hopes of making up ground on the top four.
But the home team will feel most frustrated after failing to make their numerical advantage count.
The Hornets earlier opened the scoring through Christian Kabasele, the defender heading in his second goal in five Premier League matches from Tom Cleverley’s corner.
Tottenham, facing the prospect of a fourth consecutive away defeat in the league, quickly restored parity through Son Heung-min.
And although Sanchez’s dismissal re-opened the door for Marco Silva’s side, Spurs survived the scare of a long-range Abdoulaye Doucoure shot against the upright to claim a hard-earned point and recapture sixth from Burnley.
Harry Kane appeared set to give his side the perfect start inside five minutes, but the England striker was unable to connect with Kieran Trippier’s enticing low ball across the face.
Instead, it was left to Kabasele to open the scoring as he got away from Eric Dier, rose above Kane and nodded Cleverley’s corner inside the far post.
Spurs needed a quick response to calm the nerves and they got it in the 25th minute. Christian Eriksen found space on the right and measured a perfect low pass to the far post for the recalled Son to tap home.
Richarlison had seen his appeal for a penalty waved away moments before the equaliser, which proved to be the final real action of a tightly-contested first half.
The contest turned on its head when Sanchez was shown a straight red just seven minutes after the restart, the defender adjudged to have caught Richarlison with an elbow to the face.
And the Hornets came within inches of making their advantage count when Doucoure’s superb curling effort from distance struck the inside of the right post and somehow stayed out.
Heurelho Gomes needed treatment after appearing to collide with team-mate Adrian Mariappa and the break in play allowed Mauricio Pochettino’s men to regain a foothold.
Moussa Sissoko next threatened on the counter-attack soon after being introduced in place of Eriksen, although the midfielder’s miscued attempt proved to be the closest they came to a winner.
Watford, meanwhile, were restricted to shots from outside the area and were unable to sufficiently stretch the visitors’ defence, as they failed to claim what would have been a first win in this fixture since the 1986-87 season.
Key Opta stats:
– Watford have failed to win all of their previous nine Premier League encounters with Tottenham Hotspur (W0 D3 L6); the most games they’ve played against any opponent without winning in the competition.
– Christian Eriksen provided his first Premier League assist since the opening weekend vs Newcastle, ending a run of 13 appearances without one.
– Son Heung-min has scored four and assisted two more in his last seven starts in all competitions for Tottenham.
– Christian Kabasele has scored two goals in 14 Premier League games this season, equalling his tally from last season in 16 appearances. All four of his goals in the competition have come from corner situations.
– Spurs have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven PL games, after registering four shut-outs in the five games before that.
– Tottenham been shown two red cards in their last 10 Premier League games, as many as in their previous 111 in the competition.