It is almost 30 years since Watford last beat the champions of England in a league game, but Walter Mazzarri didn’t attach too much significance to what Leicester City won last season. The performance of his players in the 2-1 victory and the manner in which they responded to the 6-1 mauling at Liverpool two weeks ago was more important to the Hornets boss.

“I’m happy for the victory in general,” he said after the win against Leicester City. “It doesn’t matter that they are the champions of England. Mainly I’m happy with the performance because the team played as I liked and as I always want them to play, especially after the big defeat against Liverpool. But I’m also happy that we beat a great team and today they showed they are a great team.”

The home side took early command with goals from Etienne Capoue and Roberto Pereyra inside the opening 13 minutes. Although that advantage was soon halved by a Riyad Mahrez penalty, Watford remained resolute to claim their fifth victory of the season.

“We wanted to attack from the beginning,” Mazzarri said when asked if his side had aimed to get at the Foxes from the off. “We did the same [in the 1-0 win] against Hull City but unfortunately we couldn’t score. But this is our idea. We always want to attack from the beginning.”

Commenting on the nature of the victory in general, Mazzarri said: “The key was we prepared with a lot of attention. We studied Leicester and the qualities they have throughout the pitch and with all their different players.

“What we did differently compared to other games was we managed to score when we had to. But today, compared to other games, we played the same.