Joshua King stung his former team for a hat trick as Watford beat Everton 5-2 with a second-half surge at Goodison Park on Saturday.
King scored early but looked set up for disappointment when Everton’s ex-Hornet star Richarlison came off the bench to put the Toffees ahead 2-1.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
But King scored two fine goals for the Hornets to join big Juraj Kucka on the score sheet, and Claudio Ranieri got a signature win for his young Watford tenure.
Emmanuel Dennis later scored to build off a pair of assists.
Tom Davies had Everton’s other goal on a weekend the Toffees would’ve been looking to end in the top four with so many big games on the docket. Instead, Everton sits ninth with 14 points.
Watford moves onto 10 points, six points clear of the bottom three.
Everton vs Watford final score, stats
Final score: Everton 2, Watford 5
Scorers: Davies (3′), King (13′, 80′, 86′), Richarlison (63′) Kucka (78′), Dennis (90’+1)
Shots: Watford, 20-15
Shots on goal: Watford, 8-4
Three things we learned from Everton vs Watford
1. King for a day (but now what?): Joshua King was well-traveled by the time he arrived at Bournemouth in 2015, chipping in six goals and looking like he’d become a meaningful player in the Premier League. 16-, 8-, and 12-goal seasons later, it appeared he might find the potential that Manchester United nurtured through its reserves. His rise to stardom stalled, but King looked the part Saturday in getting a pair of goals to go with his two assists as a Hornet. Can he build on it? If he does, Watford won’t be anywhere near the bottom three given the danger provided by Dennis and Ismaila Sarr.
2. Job (un)done: Everton didn’t assert its superiority in the first half and Watford looks better organized under Claudio Ranieri, but Rafa Benitez’s men looked they had enough to show their steel when push came to shove without Dominic Calvert-Lewin and others. That came undone quickly, and Benitez will be furious as the hallmark of his team is supposed to be steadiness at the back and they were cooked by a header off a corner kick and a Ranieri-approved counterattack. Then it fell apart, and Benitez will be very concerned at how soft the Toffees from that point forward.
3. Richarlison’s key cameo: The Toffees are without a lot of big pieces and Richarlison’s entry before the hour mark was a surprising and good development for Everton. With Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure among the missing, Richarlison was sure to deliver the goods with a flying header. His insertion also showed what the Toffees are missing without players of his ilk.
Man of the Match: Joshua King
First goal was fine but if there was a sign that the Norwegian could still be clinical, it was the pasted winner in the 79th minute. Dennis was also very good and, oddly enough, the MOTM would’ve been an Everton defender before the late onslaught.