They were not quite a wounded animal, but Watford were certainly better for their Manchester City battering as they racked up a third straight win on the road at Swansea on Saturday, in the mind of defender Adrian Mariappa.

Most sides would have crumbled under the Citizens' attacking prowess at Vicarage Road 10 days ago, albeit perhaps to a lesser extent than the six goals they plundered past the Hornets for the hosts' first Premier League loss of the season.

The old saying goes that you learn more from defeat than victory - and Mariappa and his team-mates made sure they did just that.

The 30-year-old defender revealed head coach Marco Silva ensured his players' heads did not drop as they tasted league defeat for the first time under his reign, and instead channeled the lessons into Saturday's win at Swansea.

It was evident how well-organised Silva's men were at the Liberty Stadium - and while they sometimes struggled to contain the Swans out wide, Mariappa, Christian Kabasele and latterly Molla Wague in the middle were unflappable.

He revealed: "We analysed the Man City game, the goals, and where we could improve. You don’t let those lessons go to waste, or brush it under the carpet, but the gaffer is big on not letting us rest on our laurels and it was important to put a performance in this weekend.

"Man City are a good side, we looked at it and saw things we could do better to take it from there. We don’t get too down about things, and you don’t get too high about things when they’re going well either. We’ll look at how we can go better again for next week.

"It’s a good group of lads here, you can see them all fighting and working hard for each other and never giving up. It was important to have a response from last week and we did that."

Wague made a shock debut at half-time for Etienne Capoue as the Hornets went 4-5-1 to protect a slender first-half lead, a move which ended up giving the momentum to the hosts.

Little of the blame for that could be placed at the feet of the Malian defender, though, who was playing his first domestic game since January.

He, like fellow new arrival Richarlison, has yet to pick up much of a grasp of English - but the universal language of football did its own talking at the Liberty Stadium.

"His English is a bit better than Richarlison's," said Mariappa. "It’s a tough game to come on in, and you can see what people are made of - but he was putting his head in and making some good clearances.

"I’m delighted for him, it’s a tough place to come on and when you’re 1-0 up as a defender, it can be difficult to come into that."