Gomes twice on the spot to save day

Watford 'keeper Heurelho Gomes celebrating their goal. His day got even better after he saved two penalties later.
Watford 'keeper Heurelho Gomes celebrating their goal. His day got even better after he saved two penalties later. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Heurelho Gomes took the plaudits - then shared them with his team-mates, after his double penalty save all but ensured Premier League football for Watford next season.

The 35-year-old Brazilian goalkeeper denied Saido Berahino twice from the spot, as the Hornets won 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Gomes became the first goalkeeper to save two penalties in two Premier League games, having first achieved the feat in Tottenham colours by saving twice from Darren Bent in 2010.

Having brought down Berahino in the 66th minute, he then dived to his right to beat away the forward's first penalty effort. And three minutes from time he secured Watford's victory when he went low to his left, preserving the lead established by Ben Watson's 27th-minute goal.

The win took Watford to 41 points - 11 points ahead of 18th-placed Sunderland.

"It was a great feeling, we needed this," Gomes told Sky Sports. "The boys deserve everything too, they work so hard and this is a very difficult place to come."

Newcastle also responded to Sunderland's 3-0 victory at Norwich in the early kick-off by defeating Swansea by the same scoreline.

Goals from Jamaal Lascelles, Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend at St James' Park ended a seven-match winless run for the Magpies.

They remained in the relegation zone but victory saw them move to within three points of 17th-placed Norwich.

"It's a good present for me," said Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez on his 56th birthday. Hopefully we will have momentum now."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2016, with the headline 'Gomes twice on the spot to save day'. Print Edition | Subscribe