Watford put a five-game winless run in all competitions impressively behind them with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The contest was to be decided by a rapid-fire two-goal blitz in the opening period, but this was a job very professionally done as the home side’s six-game unbeaten Premier League run was ended.

The Hornets were to take command approaching the midway point of the first half with a devastating two-goal burst inside 90 seconds.

First the magnificent Etienne Capoure fired home 25 yards after a considered build-up in and around the left side of the penalty area, but no sooner had Wolves kicked off than they were to find themselves two down as Gerard Deulofeu marked his return to the starting XI by helping to set up Roberto Pereyra to curl home.

The Hornets were excellent for the remainder of the first half, controlling the game in midfield with Deluofeu’s movement causing numerous problems and they created further opportunities to put the three points to bed.

The second half was to be a different story, with the hosts having plenty of possession and pressure. But save for one Raul Jimenez effort, Ben Foster wasn’t unduly extended as a new-look backline did a generally good job in front of him and Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure marshalling affairs superbly in the centre of the park.

After playing almost the same team in the Premier League since the start of the season, Javi Gracia was largely forced to ring the changes but he also switched formation for the first time to 4-5-1.

With Christian Kabasele and Jose Holebas missing through suspension, Troy Deeney joined them on the sidelines with what the Hornets described as a “minor” hamstring injury, while Andre Gray was the victim of the change of shape.

Adrian Mariappa took over the captain’s armband and he was joined in the new-look backline by Premier League debutant Adam Masina, a positive was that Deulofeu was able to start for the first time this season, while Isaac Success’ impressive cameos off the bench In the Premier League were rewarded with being promoted to the play the lone striker’s berth.

Wolves came into the game in fine form following a six-game unbeaten run in the top flight and for the ninth Premier League game running Nuno Espirito Santo named the same starting XI.

Although it was billed as a 4-5-1, the Hornets started as if they would switch to a 4-3-3 when in possession and, at times, a 4-4-2 as well with Deulofeu pushing up alongside Success.

The early signs suggested a good game was in the offing with both sides keeping the ball on the deck, but with the hosts having the greater share of the early possession.

Foster was the first keeper called into meaningful action in the 10th minute, taking no chances with a Ryan Bennett header from a corner that looped up off Mariappa and towards the top corner.

Watford had a good chance to counter thereafter when Kiko Femenia capitalised on a lapse from Jonny and slipped in Deulofeu on the right, but the former Barcelona man’s cross was too close to Rui Patricio.

The visitors had settled into the game well enough though, suggesting there was no prolonged hangover from the torrid afternoon they endured against Bournemouth last time out. And that was underlined in emphatic fashion by a brilliant two-minute spell as the midway point of the half approached.

The Hornets had been enjoying increasingly good spells of possession in the opposition half, but they looked to have missed their chance to cross from the left. But when Doucoure laid the ball back to Capoue at least 25 yards out, his fellow Frenchman unleashed right-footed daisy-cutter that went through the legs of Conor Coady and crashed into the back of the net with Rui Patricio rooted to the spot to make it 1-0.

No sooner had Wolves kicked off than their opponents won back possession, attacked through the middle third and gave the ball to Deulofeu who slipped in Doucoure who in turn played in Pereyra on the left side of the area and he dinked a lovely finish beyond Rui Patricio and into the top corner off the outside of his left foot to make it 2-0.

It could very easily have got worse for the hosts soon after when Willy Boly tripped Success in the D on the very edge of the penalty area, but Deulofeu went for power with the free-kick and could only find the wall.

Watford were in complete command with Deulofeu’s intelligent movement causing the stunned home side no end of problems. Slowly though, Wolves did regroup and were get back into the opposition half, but without really threatening to cause problems for Foster.

Reuben Neves was the first player to be booked for a foul on Will Hughes, who was also causing his share of difficulties for the opposition, before the visitors had another opportunity when Pereyra curled over from the edge of the area after another good build-up involving Success and Doucoure at the sharp end.

After Jimenez had snatched a shot well wide, the Hornets carved out another opportunity when more good build-up play ended with Doucoure not really getting hold of a shot which Rui Patricio saved.

And a highly impressive first-half display was to end with Kiko Femenia hitting a shot from the edge of the area that was deflected narrowly wide of the near post.

Nuno made a change at the start of the second half with Ruben Vinagrie replacing Jonny, but within 60 seconds of the restart Success was to be attacking at pace off the right, only to waste a good opportunity by firing over.

But it was the Wolves substitute who created his side’s best chance soon after, drifting in a cross from the left which Jimenez stabbed towards goal, but Foster made a fine save.

The hosts had another opportunity when Helder Costa skipped round Masina’s attempted challenge on the right side of the penalty area to get to the by-line but his cross was too high for Diogo Jota.

The home side were having arguably their best spell of the match, but were being let down by a lack of penetration in the final third. Nuno opted to change things again on the hour by bringing on Ivan Cavaliero for Jiminez and, soon after, they had a free-kick on the right which was headed back into the danger zone and Boly tried to improvise with a back-heel which Foster was equal to.

The majority of the game continued to be played in the Hornets’ half but a Joao Moutinho mistake was to allow Deuloefu to set Success free on the right, he laid the ball inside to Doucoure, but Neves did well to get back to potentially prevent a third goal.

That was to be Deulofeu’s last involvement as he made way for Gray after Hughes had been booked for pulling back Vinagre.

Adama Traore replaced Matt Doherty with 18 minutes to go before Gracia opted to switch to three at the back as Sebastian Prodl replaced Success.

Despite all their possession and pressure in the second half, clear chances had been relatively thin on the ground for the hosts. However, they did enjoy one with 78 minutes on the clock when Vinagre’s cross from the left was headed over by an unchallenged Cavaliero from 10 yards out.

Wolves had another opportunity when Prodl fouled Traore 25 yards out, giving Neves the chance to once again display his set-piece prowess. On this occasion though, he was unable to keep his right-footed effort beneath the bar.

Another chance came and went for the hosts with five minutes of normal time to go when Watford were caught napping by a high ball forward, Diogo Jota found Cavaliero on the right side of the box and he laid the ball back to hit a rising drive narrowly over.

Prodl’s appearance was to be ended by injury though, with Ben Wilmot coming on to replace the Austrian international to make his Premier League debut in the 88th minute.

Wolves continued to press and when a Joao Moutinho free-kick from the right, Cavaliero’s flick-on looked set to cause but the ball bounced across the six-yard box with no gold-shirted player able to get a touch.

Four minutes of added time gave the hosts once last glimpse of hopes but the Hornets were to see out the closing stages without undue alarm as they got back to winning ways.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty (Traore), Moutinho, Neves, Jonny (Vinagre 46); Helder Costa, Jimenez (Cavaliero 60), Jota. Subs not used: Ruddy, Saiss, House, Bontaini.

Watford: Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Mariappa, Masina; Deulofeu (Gray 69), Hughes, Capoue, Doucuoure, Pereyra; Success (Prodl 75 (Wilmot 88)). Subs not used: Gomes, Sema, Quina, Navarro.

Bookings: Neves for a foul on Hughes (36); Hughes for a foul on Vinagrie (69); Diogo Jota for dissent (73).

Attendance: 31,144.

Referee: Lee Mason.