LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 24 – A goal from Troy Deeney was all that separated the two teams as Watford beat Everton 1-0 in a tight encounter at Vicarage Road on Saturday night.
The first half produced just one shot on target as Oumar Niasse tested Orestsis Karnezis, with the Watford keeper managing to comfortably keep out the effort.
Deeney eventually brought the game to life when he scored with a powerful shot into the top of the net from the centre of the box.
Everton had an early opportunity to put pressure on Watford with a free-kick in the first few minutes. Gylfi Sigurdsson floated a good cross towards Niasse who was at the far post, but the forward missed his attempted shot.
Niasse then managed to force a good save from Karnezis after beating Adrian Mariappa and letting loose a good shot which took a deflection before the Watford keeper pushed the effort away.
Both teams seemed to lack creativity where it counted as they traded possession without creating any clear-cut chances. Gerard Deulofeu had a promising chance with a free-kick in the perfect area, but the former Everton loanee only managed to find the wall with his effort.
The half-time whistle brought an end to an uneventful half with just one shot on target courtesy of the visitors who at times struggled to maintain possession as easily as the home side.
Watford started the second half positively and had an attacking corner which saw Sebastian Prodl get onto the end of a decent cross, but the defender could only watch his effort fly over the crossbar.
Michael Keane then guided through a ball towards the far post with the ball somehow missing the onrushing Tom Davies, while at the other end, Etienne Capoue was the first to go into Anthony Taylor’s book after a late challenge on Theo Walcott.
Watford were dealt a big blow when Deulofeu was forced to leave the pitch early after picking up a knock in a clash with Cenk Tosun.
Jordan Pickford then gave the ball away cheaply which allowed Kiko Femenía the chance to run on goal before choosing to shoot rather than square the ball and Pickford made up for his mistake by making a good block.
A good period from Watford culminated in Deeney opening the scoring for the home side. Stefano Okaka squared the ball towards his captain who took a heavy touch before launching a powerful effort on the turn which found the top of the net.
The last play of the match was an Everton corner and Pickford, who had come up to add another body, directed a header towards Dominic Calvert-Lewin who managed to shoot but Karnezis gathered as Watford got back to winning ways.