Watford earnt three points against Everton in Saturday night's clash at Vicarage Road in a 1-0 victory after a poor first-half display from both sides.
Watford manager Javi Garcia's early second-half substitution that made the difference with substitute Stefano Okaka providing the assist for Watford striker Troy Deeney to give his side the victory.
The goal came after both teams lacked any real threat in the first half to give their side an edge in this match. Watford moved up into the top half of the table into tenth place.
Everton manager Sam Allardyce made two changes for this game from the side that beat Crystal Palace 3-1 last time out. Eliaquim Mangala and Seamus Coleman were replaced by Jonjoe Kenny and Ashley Williams. It also marked 50 Premier League appearances for midfielder Tom Davies.
There was only one change in Watford’s starting line-up with Roberto Pereyra coming in for Marvin Zeegelaar.
The first half was a scrappy 45 minutes of football with both teams unable to find the back of the net or any real moment of brilliance.
In the 12th minute of the game, a beautiful pass from Davies to Oumar Niasse released the striker who burst past defender Adrian Mariappa and into the penalty area. He managed to shoot past the defender but goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis pushed the ball away at his near post.
Davies started the game brightly in his 50th appearance, playing a neat one-two with Gylfi Sigurdsson to produce the first shot on target just before the 20-minute mark.
Both teams lacked any creative spark in the first half, both unable to distributed an accurate final ball to put their team ahead. Everton were unable to control the ball and were guilty of losing possession too often - as were Watford.
The second half started brighter than the first with both teams having chances in the first ten minutes. Idrissa Gueye picked out a pass for Michael Keane, who guided the ball towards the far post. It bounced wide just missing Davies.
Watford had a great chance to go one up in the 54th minute, with Wayne Rooney losing possession to Troy Deeney, but the striker's looping header was easily saved by Pickford.
But the deadlock was finally broken in the 79th minute of the game, after substitute Stefano Okaka squared the ball to captain Deeney, who took a neat first touch before smashing the ball past Jordan Pickford straight into the top corner. It was the moment of quality this game desperately needed. It was his fourth goal of the season so far.
Watford were the team with the better chances throughout with the home side attempting to trouble Jordan Pickford but eventually settling with just the one goal.
Pickford almost grabbed the equalising goal in the final minute of the game but was unable to find the back of the net after an ensuing scramble.
🔢 | #watfordfc line-up v @Everton | Karnezis (GK); Janmaat, Mariappa, Prödl, Holebas; Doucouré, Capoue; Deulofeu, Pereyra, Richarlison; Deeney (C).— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) February 24, 2018
Subs | Gomes (GK), Britos, Femenía, Zeegelaar, Carrillo, Gray, Okaka.#WATEVE pic.twitter.com/EEnpjYzyzO