A third home win on the bounce saw Watford reach the much-coveted 40 point mark in the Premier League after a 1-0 victory over Swansea City.
A game of few chances was decided by Etienne Capoue’s 42nd minute strike as the Frenchman made the most of an error from Alfie Mawson to notch his first goal since November.
Watford’s strong defensive display restricted the Swans to few chances as Watford held onto their advantage with relative ease to retain 10th spot.
The victory takes the Hornets further clear of the relegation zone and has them looking up the table ahead of a visit to Hull City next week.
Here’s how the Golden Boys got on at Vicarage Road.
Heurelho Gomes – 6
As stress free a day as a keeper is likely to go through in the Premier League, Gomes had little to do and coped with the minimal pressure Swansea applied on his goal.
Daryl Janmaat – 6.5
Provided attacking impetus from right-back and helped keep Swansea’s attack at bay throughout as Watford eased to their third straight home clean sheet.
Sebastian Prodl – 6.5
Watford benefitted from the fit-again Austrian’s presence and he was solid in defence. Distribution found wanting at times.
Adrian Mariappa - 7.5
Despite starting just his second league game of the season, Mariappa looked assured throughout and kept Fernando Llorente at bay. Many expected the Spaniard to cause Watford’s number six problems, but he rarely lost a challenge against the Swansea forward.
Jose Holebas – 7
Like Janmaat, provided attacking intent and rarely lost a challenge in defence. Set-piece delivery typically accurate.
Tom Cleverley – 5.5 (replaced by Behrami 89)
Struggled in a first half blotted by poor passing and gave the ball away needlessly on a number of occasions. Improved after the break, but was below his usual standards.
Etienne Capoue – 7
Excellent anticipation and determination to dispossess Alfie Mawson for the Watford winner and did well to react after his initial shot had been saved.
Abdoulaye Doucoure -7.5
Keeps improving in the centre of midfield. Broke up play and used the ball well on a day where Watford’s midfield stopped Swansea playing.
Vital tackle deep into second half stoppage time to deny Gylfi Sigurdsson a shot at goal.
Nordin Amrabat – 6 (replaced by Kabasele 64)
Involved early on, but the game largely passed him by. Best moment came in the first 10 minutes as he drove inside and delivered a dangerous cross.
M’Baye Niang – 6.5 (replaced by Okaka 78)
Similarly to Amrabat the winger’s influence waned as the game went on. Was Watford’s most dangerous player in the opening half and drew a good low stop with a free-kick from 20 yards.
Troy Deeney – 6
Back in the starting line-up but had little opportunity to impress on a day when genuine chances were at a premium. A committed display, but not one that will live long in the memory.
Stefano Okaka – 6.5
Correctly denied a lovely goal by the linesman’s flag when controlling and volleying home in the six yard box. A decent cameo in which he helped see the game out with strong hold up play.
Christian Kabasele – 6
Came on as a third centre-back to solidify Watford’s position late on and did so to good effect.
Valon Behrami – N/A
A welcome return to fitness but given too little time to impress.