Watford clinched back-to-back wins despite making hard work of their 2-1 win over Burnley.

The visitors were reduced to ten men in the opening minutes of the game after Jeff Hendrick was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Jose Holebas.

Watford took full advantage and quickly opened the scoring through Troy Deeney’s diving header.

The hosts made it 2-0 before the break with a superb header from M’Baye Niang.

But Sean Dyche’s side were handed a late lifeline after Sebastian Prodl handled the ball in the area and Ashley Barnes converted the penalty.

It was a nervous finish for Walter Mazzarri’s side but the Hornets did enough to claim back-to-back wins which took them into the top half of the table.

But how did the players fare during their win at Vicarage Road?

Heurelho Gomes 7: Had nothing to do in the first half hour but tipped over Joey Barton’s free-kick before the break.

Made an important late save from Ashley Barnes and could do nothing about the penalty from the visitors.

Craig Cathcart 6.5: Threaded a decent ball through to Tom Cleverley to initiate a first-half attack. Almost punished for a late mistake but Ashley Barnes was denied crucially by Heurelho Gomes.

Younes Kaboul 7: It has been a strong week from the defender and he produced another solid defensive performance. Kaboul appears to finally look comfortable in the team and did very little wrong.

Sebastian Prodl 6: Penalised in the second half for handling Joey Barton’s strike which allowed Burnley to score from the penalty spot.

Watford Observer:

Jose Holebas 6.5: The defender was the victim of a reckless challenge by Jeff Hendrick which resulted in Burnley being reduced to ten men early on.

Holebas continued his poor disciplinary record with a booking for a high challenge on Joey Barton. But he provided the assist for the second goal with an excellent cross for M’Baye Niang.

Valon Behrami 6.5: The midfielder played an important role for the side and helped break up play while he was on the pitch.

Etienne Capoue 6: Petulant booking for punching the ball into the ground in the first half. Failed to build on his outstanding performance in the midweek win over Arsenal.

Tom Cleverley 7.5: Positive on the ball and set up an opportunity for Mauro Zarate in the opening period. The loan signing also made some important tackles proving he can handle the ugly side of the game.

No coincidence the side are unbeaten in every match he has played since returning to the club last month.

M’Baye Niang 8.5: The new signing settled in impressively on his home debut and provided an excellent delivery for Troy Deeney’s opener.

Looked lively and combined well with Deeney before firing in a long-range strike which was flicked over the bar by goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

His persistence almost paid off with his low strike saved by Heaton before the break. But he was rewarded with a superb header which got him off the mark for the Hornets and his performance underlined his undoubted talent on the ball.

Watford Observer:

Mauro Zarate 7: The debutant looked sharp and a first-half volley was well struck but straight at the keeper. Linked up nicely on the opposite side to M’Baye Niang.

Went close before the break cutting inside neatly before curling his effort narrowly wide. Not quite as effective after the break.

Troy Deeney 7: The Watford captain has an excellent scoring record against Burnley and he added to his tally with a strong header to give them the lead.

The captain has looked much more like the player of last season in the last week and again impressed with his all-round game and work ethic. Unlucky to have a second goal disallowed late on.


Abdoulaye Doucoure (for Behrami, 65) 6: Typically energetic performance after coming on and the midfielder made an important late challenge to deny substitute Sam Vokes.

Isaac Success (for Niang, 80) 6: Set up the attack for Troy Deeney’s disallowed goal and it was encouraging to see the exciting attacker back on the pitch at Vicarage Road after his injury layoff.

Daryl Janmaat (for Zarate, 86) N/A: Barely had the chance to make an impression as a late substitute.