Watford’s Premier League campaign is up and running from day one after a Roberto Pereyra brace fired them to a deserved and impressive 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion victory at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets were positive from the outset, playing at a good tempo with a purposeful mindset and they created some good opportunities – Mat Ryan denying Troy Deeney the pick - before they deservedly took the lead in superb fashion when Pereyra met a Jose Holebas delivery from the right with a wonderful volley to score his fourth goal in his last five appearances at Vicarage Road.

Christian Kabasele spurned a gilt-edged chance to make it 2-0 soon after the restart, but Pereyra’s fine scoring home run was to continue in the 54th minute when he confidently fired home after again being set up Holebas.

Thereafter, the home side never looked like relinquishing their grip on the contest as they didn’t attempt to rest on their laurels, continuing to take the game to their opponents in a manner where it was clear those wearing yellow and black shirts were enjoying themselves as they recorded their 100th league win under Pozzo ownership.

Javi Gracia, as expected, selected a 4-4-2 formation for the first match of the season and opted to throw Abdoulaye Doucuoure straight into the heat of battle despite his lack of pre-season match minutes.

Ben Foster was the only summer arrival to make the starting XI, with Ken Sema and Adam Masina on a bench that also had Isaac Success as the only natural forward option.

Seagulls boss Chris Hughton has been very busy in the market since last season but he also decided to start just one of his summer acquisitions, Bernardo, at left-back.

However, four more new faces – goalkeeper David Button, Yves Bissouma, Leon Balogun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh – were among the substitutes.

The game got off to a predictably high-tempo start with the Seagulls having the first opportunity to exert some pressure from a fifth-minute corner. That delivery from the left was successfully repelled by Deeney and from his header the Hornets immediately launched a counter-attack, with Pereyra leading the down-field charge. He advanced close to the edge of the Brighton box before passing to Doucoure, but the Frenchman rather inauspiciously fell over the ball and the opportunity was lost.

Another opening followed for the home side four minutes later when Andre Gray was played in on the right side of the penalty area and he struck a first-time snap-shot which Ryan could only parry back to the striker, who tried to then set up Deeney but the visitors managed to clear the danger.

Watford continued to press with Holebas seeing his left-footed free-kick deflected behind for a corner after Will Hughes had been felled near the edge of the 18-yard box.

Etienne Capoue came off a painful second best following a challenge from Dale Stephens – a tackle that was to see the Brighton midfielder subsequently booked – but when the Frenchman got back to his feet he set Watford on their way again with a good pass to set Gray racing clear. He in turn fed Pereyra on the left side of the area, with the former Juventus man seeing his shot blocked, but it broke ideally for Deeney, only for his effort to be kept out by a superb save by Ryan diving away to his left.

Brighton had been very much second best in terms of an attacking threat but they did create a good opening in the 21st minute when Anthony Knockaert and Bruno combined on the right and the latter delivered a cross which Stephens volleyed narrowly wide of Foster’s right-hand post.

However, that was to be Bruno’s last meaningful involvement as injury cut short his involvement and he was replaced by Gaeton Bong in the 26th minute.

Watford were soon back on the front foot though, with Pereya and Gray again combining to good effect for the latter to send over a deep cross which Hughes tried to hit first time, only to slice his shot wide of the near post.

But the goal the Hornets had been threatening was to arrive in the 36th minute – and it was an absolute peach.

Doucoure played a corner from the left short to Holebas, he swung over a deep cross to the edge of the area where Pereyra met it with a superbly-struck right-footed volley which a full-stretch Ryan could only help on its way into the net.

Watford deservedly took their one-goal lead into the break and it should really have been doubled within four minutes of the restart.

Holebas was again the supplier with a fine delivery from deep and Christian Kabasele got in clear around the back of the defence, but he fractionally mistimed his header and put a great opportunity over the top.

However, the second goal was not far away in coming – and it was the Hornets’ Argentine star who was to get it.

Pereyra got a shade lucky with how the ball broke to him after Holebas had challenged on the left side of the area, but there was nothing lucky about the finish as, after initially looking like he might pull it back, he whipped a right-footed shot past Ryan to make it 2-0.

Bissouma was introduced for his debut on the hour in place of Pascal Gross, but the Hornets were visibly enjoying themselves and their next opening was to come when Deeney dragged a shot wide after a Hughes back heel had sent Daryl Janmaat clear on the right side of the box.

The visitors had offered little as an attacking force in the second half but Bissouma did create a chance for himself in the 71st minute, playing a give-and-go as he drove in from the left before pulling a right-footed effort wide of Foster’s right-hand post.

Jahanbakhsh come on for his Seagulls debut soon after in place of Solly March before Gray received a standing ovation when he made way for Success.

The Hornets change came as they were preparing to take a free-kick and it ended with a Capoue shot deflecting off Craig Cathcart through to Ryan, who had to drop to the ground to save.

Ken Sema came on for his Hornets debut with 10 minutes of normal time remaining in place of Hughes, who was also warmly applauded as he left the field.

The game continued to be played in the Brighton half, with Capoue the next to chance his arm with a rising left-footed drive that fizzed wide after Success had pulled the ball back to him following more good build-up play on the right.

But the biggest ovation of the all prior to the final whistle was saved for Pereyra when he came off with four minutes remaining to be replaced by Kiko Femenia.

The Hornets saw out the four minutes of stoppage time without any problem as they started their campaign in impressive fashion.

Watford: Foster; Janmaat, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas; Hughes (Sema 80), Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra (Femenia 86); Gray (Success 74), Deeney. Subs not used: Gomes, Prodl, Mariappa, Masina.

Brighton & Hove Albion: Ryan; Bruno (Bong 26), Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Knoackert, Stephens, Propper, March (Jahanbakhsh 71); Gross (Bissouma 60); Murray. Subs not used: Button, Kayal, Locadia, Balogun.

Bookings: Stephens for a foul on Capoue (18); Capoue for a foul on Bissouma (64); Bernardo for a foul on Success (81).

Attendance: 20,051.

Referee: Jon Moss.