Watford made it back-to-back wins at the start of the new Premier League season as they beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon.
Burnley 1 Watford 3
Gray (2′) scores against former club
Tarkowski (6′) equalises from a corner
Deeney (48′) puts Hornets back in front
Hughes (50′) seals convincing victory
The encounter got off to a flying start with two goals inside the opening 10 minutes. Andre Gray opened the scoring after just two minutes, before James Tarkowski levelled for the Clarets four minutes later.
Joe Hart made a couple of saves in the first half to keep Sean Dyche’s side in the contest, but two quick-fire goals from Troy Deeney and Will Hughes early in the second half secured the win for the Hornets.
Watford made a dream start when Gray steered Deeney’s low cross from the right beyond Hart at the near post to score against his former club after just two minutes.
But their lead lasted a mere four minutes as Tarkowski rose highest at a corner to guide his header inside the back post to get Burnley back into the contest.
Ben Foster was called into action for the first time on 17 minutes when he pulled off a brilliant save to deny Johann Gudmundsson from a free-kick 25 yards out.
Gray threatened again in the 26th minute after Roberto Pereyra raced away down the left flank and delivered a cross to the back post, where the striker skewed his effort wide of the goal.
Hart had to be alert to prevent Abdoulaye Doucoure from getting on the end of Etienne Capoue’s chip to the back post on 31 minutes, and the keeper was required to save Deeney’s long-range strike eight minutes later.
The hosts finished the half strongly, though, with Jeff Hendrick seeing his shot kept out by the fingertips of Foster on 43 minutes, before Jose Holebas blocked Aaron Lennon’s effort on the rebound and Ashley Westwood fired over from outside the box when the ball came out to him.
However, Javi Gracia’s troops hit the ground running after the restart and restored their lead three minutes into the second half.
After Deeney’s initial shot was blocked by Ben Mee, Doucoure picked up the rebound and fashioned to shoot before catching out the defence with a pass back to his skipper, who beat Hart with ease.
A poor pass from Matthew Lowton two minutes later gifted possession to Hughes, who surged into space before thumping the ball beyond Hart from the top of the D to give the Hornets a two-goal cushion.
The Clarets didn’t create much as the second half wore on, with a glancing header wide of the target from Sam Vokes on 70 minutes the closest they came to another goal.
The Hornets almost wrapped up the victory three minutes from time when Hart spilled Ken Sema’s strike from range, but Deeney couldn’t convert on the rebound.