Troy Deeney became the first Watford player to score 20 goals in three successive seasons as Middlesbrough lost their place at the Championship summit.
Middlesbrough moved back to the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Wigan on Friday, but they were knocked off the summit within three days by Watford, who moved into pole position themselves before being usurped by Bournemouth and Norwich later on Easter Monday.
Watford actually grew stronger as the game went on, and could have won by a wider margin than two. Even more encouraging was the way they defended the threat of Patrick Bamford, one of the Championship’s in-form strikers, who barely got a sight of goal.
With his stilted English delivered in unwavering monotone, Slavisa Jokanovic – Watford’s fourth manager of the season – seems an unlikely inspiration but in these most pressured circumstances his side produced probably their most convincing display of the season.
Aitor Karanka was later to join the ranks of managers complaining about our strike threat as if it’s some kind of unfair advantage, like a twelfth player or a bribed referee.