Watford held off late pressure from to claim a hard-fought victory at Vicarage Road.

Much was promised of a game that saw Marco Silva return to his former club, but neither side was able to take a strangle-hold of the game.

Half-time substitute Andre Gray scored the only goal of the match midway through the second half when he tapped in Will Hughes’ low cross.

goalkeeper had earlier been alert to keep out Etienne Capoue and Gerard Deulofeu, while saved well to deny Cenk Tosun.

And while the Toffees did twice rattle the woodwork in the second period – through Gylfi Sigurdsson’s deft flick and Lucas Digne’s free-kick – they did not apply any real pressure until the closing stages.

Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin twice should have done better with headers, but the Hornets deserve credit for how they defended.

The result consigns to their third straight defeat, keeping them ninth, while Watford move four points clear of the Toffees in eighth.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Watford

  • 26Foster
  • 2Janmaat
  • 6Mariappa
  • 15Cathcart
  • 25HolebasBooked at 83mins
  • 16Doucouré
  • 29Capoue
  • 19HughesSubstituted forChalobahat 90′minutes
  • 12SemaSubstituted forGrayat 45′minutes
  • 7DeulofeuSubstituted forCleverleyat 81′minutes
  • 9DeeneyBooked at 70mins

Substitutes

  • 1Gomes
  • 8Cleverley
  • 11Masina
  • 14Chalobah
  • 17Peñaranda
  • 18Gray
  • 27Kabasele

  • 1Pickford
  • 43Kenny
  • 4Keane
  • 5ZoumaBooked at 90mins
  • 12Digne
  • 17Gueye
  • 8André GomesSubstituted forWalcottat 63′minutes
  • 30RicharlisonSubstituted forBernardat 66′minutes
  • 26Davies
  • 10G SigurdssonSubstituted forCalvert-Lewinat 74′minutes
  • 14Tosun

Substitutes

  • 11Walcott
  • 16McCarthy
  • 20Bernard
  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 23Coleman
  • 29Calvert-Lewin
  • 31Lookman
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
20,333

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway Team
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home7
Away9
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home21
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 1, 0.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Kurt Zouma ().

Booking

Kurt Zouma () is shown the yellow card.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 1, 0.

Lucas Digne () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kurt Zouma ().

(Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, . Bernard tries a through ball, but Cenk Tosun is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Dominic Calvert-Lewin () header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lucas Digne with a cross.

Bernard () wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Daryl Janmaat (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Nathaniel Chalobah replaces Will Hughes.

Idrissa Gueye () wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Andre Gray (Watford).

Attempt missed. Dominic Calvert-Lewin () header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kurt Zouma.

Corner, . Conceded by Craig Cathcart.

Tom Davies () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).

Lucas Digne () hits the bar with a left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right from a direct free kick.

Booking

José Holebas (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Theo Walcott () wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by José Holebas (Watford).

Bernard () wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Will Hughes (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Tom Cleverley replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

Attempt missed. Cenk Tosun () left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Theo Walcott with a cross.

Attempt blocked. (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Idrissa Gueye () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andre Gray (Watford).

Tom Davies () wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).

Cenk Tosun () wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Cathcart (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, . Dominic Calvert-Lewin replaces Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Attempt missed. Adrian Mariappa (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by José Holebas with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jonjoe Kenny.

Offside, . Jonjoe Kenny tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.

Booking

(Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kurt Zouma () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

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