Watford completed a fine festive week by making it seven points in three weeks and built more momentum in their Premier League survival bid by beating Aston Villa 3-0 at Vicarage Road.

Hornets captain and Birmingham City fan Troy Deeney once again tormented their big city rivals by scoring twice, with Ismaila Sarr adding the third as Nigel Pearson's side overcame Adrian Mariappa's sending off in impressive fashion.

Here's how we scored the Watford players as they ended 2019 - and the decade - on a high:

Ben Foster – 8

Only had one save of note to make, but it was a magnificent one to keep out Wesley’s header and was a key moment in the match. Otherwise dealt with what he had to in a very assured fashion.

Adrian Mariappa – 6

Can feel unfortunate at the manner in which he was sent off following a debateable second booking. Prior to his dismissal, Mariappa helped keep Jack Grealish relatively quiet in an attacking sense and was able to benefit by the problems Ismaila Sarr was causing ahead of him to join in several attacks and deliver some crosses.

Watford Observer:

Christian Kabasele – 7

Solid, did his job well again and was rewarded with his part in another clean sheet. Did get involved in a few spats though, which although maybe not the most advisable course of action underlined his desire in such an important game in which he arguably should have scored inside the first minute.

Craig Cathcart – 6

Playing two games in such a short space of time may have caught up with the Northern Irishman who had to manage his way through an injury problem for part of the game before he was replaced late on. But he went about his work in his usual unfussy manner, contributing positively to another clean sheet.

Kiko Femenia – 7

Retained his place at left-back on merit and once again delivered a strong performance to the extent that Villa had very little attacking joy down his side of the pitch.

Etienne Capoue – 8

From dropping back into the ‘quarterback’ role to control and prompt play, to spreading cross-field passes to Sarr, to gaining an assist for the third goal, an excellent all-round display by the standout midfield player on the pitch.

Will Hughes – 7

A good 45 minute-performance until injury forced him out of the game. Was able to get forward more than of late due to Watford’s superiority.

Watford Observer:

Ismaila Sarr – 8

Matt Targett will have been glad to see the back of the winger who had him beaten almost at will, which also limited Grealish’s attacking threat because he was often forced back to help out defensively. Sarr was a constant threat and deserved his goal, not least for putting his foot down to ensure he got into the box to capitalise on the opportunity.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 7.5

Back after his one-game ban, the Frenchman looked fresh and hungry and his team were a more dangerous attacking force with him back in their ranks. Almost able to play as a second striker at times in the first half, Doucoure’s shot led to the all-important opener, before he assumed a familiar box-to-box role following Mariappa’s dismissal.

Gerard Deulofeu – 7

Produced another hard-working display and was involved in several good attacking moves, there remain times when he tries to do too much or his decision making could have been better, but he showed good discipline after his team were reduced to 10 men.

Watford Observer:

Troy Deeney – 7.5

The captain looked sharp and was up for the battle from the outset, he should have scored before he did when he got a slice of fortune as his finish crept beneath Tom Heaton’s body. Deeney was then instrumental in winning the penalty for himself and also played a part in setting up the third goal. He may not be back to his best yet, but this performance bodes very well for when he is.


Nathaniel Chalobah – 6

It was impossible not to feel sorry for the midfielder, who replaced the injured Hughes at the start of the second half, only to be pulled off 15 minutes later through no fault of his own following Mariappa’s red card. Chalobah produced some encouraging moments during his brief time on the pitch, linking play and hitting a first-time shot that wasn’t too far over.

Craig Dawson – 6.5

Replaced Chalobah and slotted in on the right side of the defence following Mariappa’s dismissal, Dawson played his part in ensuring Villa were largely kept at bay.

Adam Masina – N/A

Came on for Cathcart for the closing stages.