Watford pummeled Aston Villa despite going down a man in a 3-0 win at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
The Hornets led 1-0 through Troy Deeney when Adrian Mariappa was sent off, and Deeney added another to go with an Ismaila Sarr goal.
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Watford moves three points back of safety with 16 points, two behind 18th place Villa.
Three things we learned
1. Pearson’s personality bleeding through: Watford was well in control of the match before the red card, which somehow further steeled them. The Hornets created five big chances to Villa’s one, and gave Watford fans plenty of reason to believe they’ll escape the drop zone soon.
2. Grealish, Villa all mixed up: Dean Smith has been under some heat despite a place in the League Cup semifinals and the delivery of Premier League promotion, and emotional captain Jack Grealish did him no favors by losing his focus on several occasions. The star was worried more about the referee than the play.
3. Deeney delivers again: Watford’s spirit animal was clearly a big absence for most of the season, and his brace was well-earned. He rarely does the things that amaze, but Deeney is consistently getting himself in scoring places and he sure can finish. He can be a huge part of any successful run.
Man of the Match: Deeney.
The first 24 minutes was missing the final pass, but a Watford giveaway gave Wesley a chance to nod a cross home. Ben Foster did well to save it.
Tom Heaton fumbled a ball that Abdoulaye Doucoure blazed over the goal in a rare bit of promise.
The Hornets went ahead when Deeney forced a turnover and Doucoure ripped a shot to force a parry out of Heaton. Deeney put the rebound under the keeper, sloppy but it counts.
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Mariappa complicated Watford’s task when he clattered into Henri Lansbury and collected a second yellow card.
Deeney earned a controversial penalty with a run into the box, and dispatched it into the goal for 2-0. Sarr added a third with a run into the 18, a deserved win.