Watford had to roll their sleeves up and battle but they ensured former boss Marco Silva's return to Vicarage Road was a miserable one with a 1-0 victory over Everton.

Substitute Andre Gray made the decisive contribution midway through the second half after being introduced at the interval, finishing off Will Hughes' low centre after he had been put in the clear by a superb pass from Craig Cathcart.

The Hornets had to call on their defensive resilience in the closing stages, but a fourth clean sheet in their last five games in all competitions enabled them to get the job done and secure their 10th league success of the season.

Here's how we scored the Watford players' performances:

Ben Foster – 7

Yet another solid showing from Watford’s number one. Good handling and decision making and had a relatively straightforward afternoon in terms of shot stopping, even though the frame of his goal was struck twice.

Watford Observer:

Daryl Janmaat – 7.5

A good afternoon for the right-back, who defended well, limiting Everton’s supply from their left and was always looking to get forward where possible to aid the Hornets’ attacks, overlapping on several occasions.

Adrian Mariappa – 7.5

Was arguably Watford’s stand-out player in the opening exchanges, after doing well to shut down Tosun when a forward pass threatened to put the Toffees forward through, and continued to do well defensively thereafter with a number of key interceptions.

Craig Cathcart – 8

Another typical Cathcart defensive display but with the added bonus of a lovely no-look pass to play Will Hughes into space to set Andre Gray up for the match-clinching moment. The Northern Ireland international has been instrumental in his side's defensive improvement.

Jose Holebas – 7.5

Limited Richarlison’s effectiveness to the point where the former Hornet was replaced midway through the second half. Perhaps the highlight was when he outsprinted the Brazilian, who is more than 10 years his junior, and made up two yards with ease to win the ball. However, the left-back blotted an otherwise impressive display on his 100th appearance for the club by picking up a needless yellow card and a two-game ban for reaching 10 bookings for the season.

Watford Observer:

Will Hughes – 7.5

Another industrious display from the midfielder, prompting and probing, who looked throughout the contest that he might make something decisive happen and duly did when Cathcart’s pass put him in the clear.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 7

A good return after his injury lay-off. His pass selection was a little off at times, but Watford looked better for the drive the Frenchman brings to their midfield and the speed with which he can help the transition between defence and attack.

Etienne Capoue – 6.5

Another sound showing from the midfielder without being at his best. Although Jordan Pickford did superbly to deny him from close quarters in the first round, Capoue may feel he should still have scored but, if anything, he struck the finish too cleanly.

Ken Sema – 5.5

The defensive side of Sema’s game was solid enough but was disappointing offensively. Replaced by Gray at half-time.

Gerard Deulofeu – 6

The Spaniard had a better afternoon than the previous week at Brighton but another game where the end product did not live up to the promise. Offered a greater threat after being moved to the left flank in the second half and was more involved in the game.

Troy Deeney – 7

The type of game where the skipper’s leadership skills were essential, he mixed it physically throughout with Kurt Zouma. Deeney had limited opportunity to catch the eye in front of goal, although he arguably should have had an assist after setting up Capoue, but was key to some of Watford’s better attacking moments with his link-up play.


Watford Observer:

Andre Gray – 7.5

Replaced Sema at half-time and took his opportunity to impress, scoring the winner but also catching the eye with his link-up play and awareness.

Tom Cleverley – N/A

Nathaniel Chalobah – N/A