Watford picked up their first win in seven games, as they beat Newcastle United 2-1 to finally take them over the 40 point mark.

The Hornets starting brightly, with Roberto Pereyra sweeping home after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s pull-back to hand the Golden Boys an early lead in the second minute.

Pereyra almost added a second moments later and the Argentine would play an influential role in the match, as it was his cross which was nodded home by Andre Gray at the far post to double Watford’s advantage.

It should have been three on the stroke of half-time, but Troy Deeney’s penalty was well saved by Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka and the Golden Boys were made to pay for that miss, as Ayoze Perez pulled one back early in the second half.

Newcastle grew in confidence after that and they almost secured an equaliser with just a couple of minutes remaining, but Mikel Merino’s effort from the edge of the box was superbly deflected over the bar by Adrian Mariappa.

Here’s how the Hornets rated at Vicarage Road.

Orestis Karnezis – 6

Was virtually a spectator in the first half and didn’t have an awful lot to do in the second either. Made a great save to prevent Adrian Mariappa putting through his own net and collected a couple of crosses late on.

Daryl Janmaat – 7

Booed by Newcastle fans throughout, Janmaat linked up well with Hughes down the right and bombed forward at every opportunity. Had to defend more in the second half and made a couple of good tackles and clearances to prevent some Newcastle attacks.

Craig Cathcart - 7

An assured performance from the Northern Irishman. Knocked off the ball by Perez early on but made up for his error when he made a crucial interception to stop Kenedy’s ball into the box later in the first-half. Kept his head in the second half when the defence was under pressure and put in a commanding display at the back. The Golden Boys have really missed him this campaign.

Christian Kabasele – 6

Did well to nod clear with Gayle lurking early on, but was booked in the second half when he cynically pulled back Perez after the Spaniard nicked the ball away from him in front of the Sir Elton John Stand. Got his head to a couple of crosses to help alleviate some of the pressure in the second half.

Jose Holebas – 6

Solid if unspectacular game from the Greek at left-back. Set-piece delivery was much improved, although he was beaten a couple of times too easily by Newcastle substitute DeAndre Yedlin as the game wore on.

Will Hughes – 6

Starting in an unfamiliar wide position, it was Hughes’ lovely ball into the box which kick started the move which led to Watford’s opening goal. But after a bright opening, the former Derby County man faded and he struggled to get into the game, especially in the second half. Worked hard throughout though.

Etienne Capoue – 8

An excellent performance from the Frenchman who continued his good form under Gracia and if it wasn’t for Pereyra, he would have surely been man of the match. Did not stop running all afternoon and won the ball back in good positions on a number of occasions. Was unlucky not to score in the first half, when his curling effort flew just wide of the post courtesy of a deflection.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 7

In what could possibly be his last home game in a Watford shirt, Doucoure showed great composure to lay the ball off to Pereyra to set-up the first goal. Showed great bravery to hurl himself in front of Shelvey’s powerful effort in the first half. More disciplined in the second half, although played a lovely ball to release Richarlison on the counter attack.

Roberto Pereyra – 9

A sublime performance from the Argentine. Good early ball out to Janmaat and was heavily involved in the opening minutes, tucking away the Hornets’ opener and almost notching a second moments later when his chip was well saved. Was a real menace down the left and it was his trickery and cross which set up Gray for Watford’s second.

Troy Deeney - 7

The Watford skipper’s best performance in a long time. Was influential early on as he dummied the ball into Gray’s path in the build up to Watford’s opener, before then having a goal-bound effort blocked. Linked up well with Gray and led the line well, too. Gets docked a mark though, as his poor penalty was well saved by Dubravka. That’s now two spot-kicks in a row which the captain has missed.

Andre Gray – 7.5

Looked a lot better in a front two. Scored his first goal since January when he nodded home at the far post from Pereyra’s cross, just seconds after testing Dubravka with a low effort from just inside the area. Linked up well with Deeney and made some good runs in behind Newcastle’s back line. Tired as the second half went on after a productive afternoon and was replaced by Richarlison for the last ten minutes.


Gerard Deulofeu – 5

First touch saw him play a delightful through ball to release Gray in behind Newcastle’s defence. Otherwise the Barcelona loanee struggled to get into the game.

Adrian Mariappa – 7

Almost put through his own net with his first touch as he inadvertently nodded Javi Manquillo’s teasing cross towards goal. Played a delightful ball over the top of Newcastle’s defence to release Deulofeu barely a minute later. Made a crucial block at the death to deny Mikel Merino an equaliser, when he threw himself in front of the Spaniard’s shot.

Richarlison – N/A