Troy Deeney scored the only goal of the game with a rasping finish to move Watford six points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with 1-0 win over Everton.
No team has conceded more top-flight home goals than the 26 Watford have shipped, and when Oumar Niasse inadvertently hit the woodwork in the first half, the Vicarage Road crowd would have been forgiven for expecting another difficult examination for their defence.
But, in a game in which opportunities were extremely limited, Deeney took his with aplomb 11 minutes from time to light up an otherwise disappointing spectacle.
Jordan Pickford had previously produced a fine save to deny Kiko Femenia, who had seen the Everton goalkeeper's clearance deflect off Deeney and into his path.
However, he could do little to stop the Watford captain from settling the contest as the forward rifled a stunning finish into the top-right corner.
Sam Allardyce's visitors had no response as Javi Gracia claimed his second win as Watford manager, moving them on to 33 points and into the top 10, just one point and one place behind Everton.
27 - Troy Deeney scored a goal from open play for the first time in his last 27 Premier League games (v West Brom April 2017). Thumped.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 24, 2018
Everton had the best chance of the first half when Niasse saw his low cross deflected onto the base of the near post following a quick counter.
From there chances proved few and far between in the opening 45 minutes, with the even nature of the contest reflecting the two teams' relative proximity in the table.
Sebastian Prodl and Michael Keane each wasted opportunities after the restart, both defenders heading off target at either end as the game became slightly more open.
Deeney then forced Pickford into action, but his save from the Watford striker's header was still relatively comfortable as defences continued to dominate.
Cenk Tosun, still yet to score for Everton since his January move from Besiktas, was brought on for Niasse in the second half in an attempt from Allardyce to spark the game into life.
But one of the chief creative presences on the pitch was then withdrawn as former Everton playmaker Gerard Deulofeu limped off after the hour.
Wayne Rooney fired way over on the volley before Pickford had to dive to his left to deny substitute Femenia after Deeney had partially blocked his clearance.
Yet there was an unexpected twist as Stefano Okaka pulled the ball back for Deeney to turn and lash beyond the helpless Pickford, who prevented the scoreline from being more comfortable for the hosts with a fine save from Okaka.
A remarkable late equaliser almost arrived deep in stoppage time as Pickford charged up for a corner and headed into the path of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but the substitute could not scramble the ball in as Everton's miserable away record extended to one win from 22 top-flight games.
Key Opta Stats:
- Watford kept a clean sheet at Vicarage Road for the first time in their last eight top-flight games.
- They enjoyed only a third win over Everton in their last 25 meetings in all competitions (D3 L19).
- After picking up 10 points in his first four Premier League games as Everton boss, Sam Allardyce has seen his side accrue just nine in the last 10.
- Watford had to wait until the 55th-minute to register their first shot on target of the game, via a Troy Deeney effort (there had only been one before that from Everton).
17 de diciembre 2018
|Mourinho´s players below Manchester United standards, says Giggs|
|We´ve got to find a way to get better in a hurry - McVay challenges spluttering Rams|
|Van Dijk hails ´game-changer´ Shaqiri for downing Man United|
|LeBron praises magical Wall as Lakers fall flat on the road|
|Champions League last 16: Who could get who in Monday´s draw?|
|Pochettino urges fans to ´kill´ racism ahead of EFL Cup derby|
|Ajax star De Ligt wins Golden Boy award|
|Foles fuels Eagles´ upset win over Rams|
|Latham carries bat as New Zealand leave Sri Lanka reeling|
|Keep your cool, Virat – Paine and Kohli in another confrontation|
|Depleted Nuggets complete season sweep of Raptors|
|Fabinho was ´outstanding´, says Klopp|
|Patriots QB Brady on loss to Steelers: We aren´t playing well enough to win|
|Elliott says Cowboys´ shut-out loss to Colts was embarrassing|
|De Bruyne not worried about Liverpool title challenge|
|Sixers star Simmons makes history with triple-double|
|WATCH: Nowitzki receives standing ovation in first home game of season|
|Seattle´s playoff spot on hold after Seahawks suffer OT loss to 49ers|
|Cheika survives as Wallabies coach, Johnson appointed|
|Vikings remain in NFC playoff picture|
|Steelers stay ahead as Patriots lose AFC´s second seed|
|Lionel Messi is the best, says Amor|
|I´m still tired just looking at Robertson – Mourinho in awe of Liverpool intensity|
|Casillas takes swipe at Mourinho after United lose to Liverpool|
|Valverde relieved as Messi brilliance prevents another Levante nightmare|
16 de diciembre 2018
|WATCH: Leno proposes to girlfriend after Bears clinch division title|
|Messi and Suarez the world´s best strike partnership, says Pique|
|Klopp: I cannot keep every Liverpool player happy|
|Messi and Suarez outscoring Real Madrid and Atletico in LaLiga|
|Levante 0 Barcelona 5: Marvellous Messi banishes ghosts of last season|
|Colts rout Cowboys to keep playoff hopes alive|
|Bears shake off Packers to win NFC North and return to playoffs|
|Mourinho explains Pogba omission and defends Lukaku´s Liverpool showing|
|Liverpool´s display against Manchester United one of the best, claims Klopp|
|Look away Jose! Damning stats expose Manchester United´s limp Liverpool loss|
|Time´s up, Mourinho: Manchester United can dither no longer|
|Manchester United´s players are not dishonest – Mourinho|
|Manchester United´s lack of ambition under Mourinho is scary – Keane|
|Mourinho: All Manchester United can achieve is fourth|
|Quagliarella should be protected by UNESCO, jokes Sampdoria coach|
|Manchester United surpass last season´s goals-against tally in first 17 games|
|Hasenhuttl revels in ´unbelievable´ victory over Arsenal|
|Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1: Shaqiri´s late show bails out Alisson as Reds return to the top|
|Edinburgh in control in Champions Cup, Racing win again|
|Emery ponders January signing after Bellerin injury|
|It is only a knock – Sarri plays down Hazard injury fears|
|Redskins QB Alex Smith released from hospital|
|Starc: If I listen to Warne, I may as well retire|
|Curry interviews retired NASA astronaut, apologises for moon comments|
|Hazard refusing to give up on Premier League title hopes|
|Ziyech & Blind score hat-tricks as Ajax claim 8-0 win|
|Canelo v Fielding: What next for three-weight champion Alvarez?|
|Southampton 3 Arsenal 2: Austin and Ings end Gunners´ long unbeaten run|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2: Sensational Hazard proves the difference|
|Pogba on the bench as Clyne starts for Liverpool|
|Lipsky ends long barren spell in Malelane|
|Lakers´ Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical|
|Fletcher pushed Miller on to Broncos sack record|
|The Sarri effect: Hazard surpasses 2017-18 goal involvements in just 16 games|
|Van der Burgh retires on a high note with breaststroke double|
|Rashford: Liverpool was never an option|
|No team Liverpool play this season will be as motivated as Man United – Klopp|
|India surprised by contentious Kohli decision - Bumrah|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 15|
|Miller eyeing Joshua bout at Madison Square Garden|
|Finch cleared of serious damage after another finger blow|
|Rashford ´untouchable´ because he plays on his limits – Mourinho|
|It´s important to have his mentality - Mayfield thrilled with Kobe Bryant visit as Browns beat Bronc|
|Centurion Latham indebted to ´world-class´ Williamson|
|Spurs´ Dier out until January after appendix removal|