Marco Silva highlighted Watford’s belief as a key factor after they stunned Arsenal with an injury-time winner to claim a memorable 2-1 success at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets had trailed to Per Mertesacker’s first-half header, but after Troy Deeney had equalised from the penalty spot, Silva made a point of suggesting many sides would have settled for a point. But the Hornets’ positive attitude was rewarded when Tom Cleverley fired in a stoppage-time winner.

The Watford head coach said: “I think the key was the way we played the second half, we changed our attitude in the match and I think as well the way we reacted after the 1-1.

"In a normal situation you drop back again and wait for our opponents to create problems for us because we played against a very, very good team who have fantastic players.

"But we continued to believe we can score the second and we were lucky with the second goal because we tried to find the luck as well.”

Without being asked, Silva immediately turned to the controversial penalty award which saw Richarlison get the benefit of the decision from referee Neil Swarbrick after going down in a race for the ball with Hector Bellerin.

Silva said: “I respect of course the decision of the referee. When I saw that moment it’s 50/50. It’s not an easy decision. If the referee didn’t give the decision to us I have to accept it. But I didn’t see that moment like a dive, I didn’t see that moment like a simulation.

“It’s important to understand what is simulation and a dive and what is a moment when a player feels a short contact and goes down. It is different things.”

The Hornets boss also explained he wanted to speak out to protect his young Brazilian talent in case he gains a reputation which Silva feels is not warranted.

“After the West Brom match I said I need to protect the talents as well,” he said. “With Richarlison in the Premier League, before this match is the player who suffered most fouls and if we start 'he’s a player who dives every time, blah, blah, blah', I think is not to protect one player who is 20 years old.

"He always plays fair. He gets into positions to win some balls and like the best players in the world, do normal [to falls to ground in some physical situations].