The Hornets produced a perfect response after losing 4-0 to Bournemouth two weeks ago, and there was less than a minute between Etienne Capoue (20) and Roberto Pereyra’s (21) strikes that sealed the win for the visitors.
There was no Troy Deeney, owing to a hamstring injury, meaning Javi Gracia handed opportunities to Gerard Deulofeu and Isaac Success in attack, while the Italian Adam Masina made his first league start at left-back. It all pointed to another home victory for a team who have been described as the best promoted side in Premier League history by Jamie Redknapp, but, in Pereyra and Abdoulaye Doucouré, Watford have players who would grace almost any team in the division.
Gracia said: “I am pleased because after the last match we had two tough weeks preparing for this, but this is a good reward. In my mind it was a complete performance. The key to the game was scoring the first goal and then again.
After an even start that had been short on chances, Watford took the lead on 20 minutes. The move started with some really good work from Deulofeu before Doucouré played the ball out to Capoue who blasted a low shot from distance into the Wolves net. There was a momentary delay before the celebration as we couldn’t quite believe what we had seen. It was a terrific strike. We had hardly stopped bouncing when the second goal went in. Straight from the restart, the ball found its way to Pereyra on the left from where he effortlessly curled a shot over the keeper and into the opposite corner. Well, that was unexpected!
Pereyra came close to adding a third before half time, but his curled effort from the edge of the box flew over the bar. The half time whistle brought to an end one of the finest halves of football we’ve seen in a long, long time.