Watford won their first away game in the Premier League since November 2017 as they dispatched Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor.
Watford started brightly and soon punished Burnley when Andre Gray scored within three minutes. Troy Deeney and Gray linked up nicely before Gray made a darting run into the box and met Deeney’s cross on the volley sending it flying past Joe Hart.
The goal spurred some life into Burnley and they were soon rewarded with an equaliser with James Tarkowski heading in Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s corner at the back post. Javi Gracia will be disappointed that his team allowed Gudmundsson to track the flight of the ball completely unmarked and easily head it in past Foster.
After Burnley’s goal the game settled down slightly with Sean Dyche’s men finding their rhythm. Before long the Watford box was being peppered by crosses as Burnleys game-plan of utilising the flanks became clear. However Chris Wood and the rest of Burnley attack could not find the end product to get themselves in front.
Both goalkeepers had work to do with Joe Hart pulling off some impressive saves and Ben Foster steering out a fizzing free-kick from Gudmundsson.
There was a good chance for Jeff Hendricks in the Watford box but he took one too many touches and was eventually brought down which Referee Paul Tierney deemed not to be a foul.
As the first half wore on the quality in play started to slip with more balls going high and long and scrappy challenges flying in with the Watford players in particular looking the more volatile.
Javi Gracia had the more effective half-time team-talk as Watford started the second half just as strongly as they did the first. Deeney slotted the ball past Hart with the outside of the foot from a wonderful pass from Doucore.
Not even five minutes later Will Hughes capitalised on a sloppy cross field pass from Matthew Lowton. Hughes picked the ball up deep in the Burnley half and drove forwards before firing it in from outside the box.
Dyche brought on Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes in an attempt to get back in the game. Vokes came close to scoring very soon after coming on but shot just wide.
It seems that perhaps Burnley’s European campaign may have a detrimental effect on them this season. They played 120 minutes on Thursday night and the players were visibly tired and less sharp than their Watford counterparts. Sean Dyche will have to manage his squad incredibly well if he wants Burnley to finish anywhere as near as high as they did last season.
For Watford however they look rejuvenated under Javi Gracia. Other than a period in the first half Watford were the comfortable winners here and outplayed Burnley all over the pitch. They look organised and move the ball well and appear to have no trouble scoring goals.
The Watford owners are not know for their patience with managers but if Gracia continues in this fashion then he may not give them any choice but to stick with him.
Next up for Burnley is Olympiacos in the Europa League and then Fulham in the Premier League. This will be a must win game for Sean Dyche as he looks to get their season up and running.
Watford find themselves up against Crystal Palace next week as they bid to keep up their perfect start to the season.