A Roberto Pereyra inspired Watford claimed a commanding 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in their Premier League opener on Saturday.

The Winger scored twice – the first of which a stunning volley – as the hosts controlled matters from the outset.

He was not alone in impressing on the first day of the season, as the likes of Jose Holebas and Etienne Capoue also enjoyed fine afternoons.

Here’s how we rated the Hornets at Vicarage Road.

Ben Foster – 6.5

Watford Observer:

Making his first Watford appearance since his return to the club in the summer, Foster had precious little to do as Brighton failed to register a shot on target.

He commanded his area well, however, and came from his line to claim high balls on multiple occasions.

Daryl Janmaat – 7

Got forward to make a good impact and linked up well with Will Hughes to get into positions where he could send in dangerous crosses.

Watford’s better moments came on the left, but Janmaat more than played his part at right-back.

Craig Cathcart – 6.5

The Irish centre-back showed a good range of passing, but was sloppy in possession on occasion with one such moment requiring Kabasele to bail him out.

Christian Kabasele – 7.5

The more assured of what is likely to be Watford’s favoured centre-back pairing and his pace and well-timed tackles meant Brighton’s strikers had little joy.

Jose Holebas – 8

Many eyebrows were raised, especially those of supporters, when Holebas rather than Adam Masina was chosen at left-back.

The 34-year-old more than justified his inclusion, however, as he created both goals and also manufactured a number of openings from set-piece situations.

Combative as ever and provided support to the superb Pereyra.

Will Hughes – 7

Once again used on the right by Javi Gracia, Hughes was able to drift inside and influence matters with some delicate touches.

Looks to have found his position in the starting XI and will likely improve further as the season progresses.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 7

Watford Observer:

Looked like a man who hadn’t played a minute of pre-season in the early stages as he gave the ball away on a number of occasions.

It is to Doucoure’s credit then that he completed the full match and grew into the game to become his typically influential self at the heart of midfield.

Etienne Capoue – 7.5

Has been reborn since the arrival of Gracia in January and showcased his array of talents once again in the season opener.

Broke up play well and his range of passing dictated the play for a Watford side who were on top from the outset.

Roberto Pereyra – 9

His first strike was stunning as he volleyed home from Holebas’ cross and the second, which was also dispatched coolly, put the finishing touches on a virtuoso display.

Terrorised the Brighton right throughout and has now been involved in Watford’s last six Premier League goals during this season and last.

If he can stay fit, the number 37 will surely be integral to anything Watford can do this term.

Troy Deeney – 7

Held up the ball well and looks far fitter than he did at points last season. A couple of half chances went begging but will be happy with how he led the line.

Andre Gray – 7

Watford Observer:

Like Deeney, Gray looks far happier with a strike partner and has benefitted from a productive pre-season.

Saw an early effort well saved and made intelligent runs, but let himself down with some wayward touches.


Isaac Success – 6

Came on and ran gamely, winning a free-kick out wide, but the 16 minutes he was given was hardly enough to impress.

Ken Sema – N/A

Given a 10 minute cameo on his debut.

Kiko Femenia – N/A

Came on with the game all but over to give Pereyra the chance of a standing ovation.