Jeff Hendrick and Michael Keane scored their first Premier League goals as Burnley beat Watford 2-0 to taste victory for the first time in four top-flight outings.
Watford headed into the match with a devilishly tough opening set of fixtures behind them and buoyed by rousing successes over West Ham and Manchester United.
But they turned in a pedestrian effort at Turf Moor and had spent much of the contest on the retreat by the time Republic of Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick – a club-record signing from Derby County last month – headed the 38th-minute opener.
That meant Walter Mazzarri’s side continued their unwanted record of conceding in every game this season and their struggles with Burnley’s threat both aerially and from set plays were underlined when former Manchester United youngster Will Keane left goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes with no chance five minutes after half-time.
Sean Dyche’s Burnley, playing without last season’s suspended top scorer Andre Gray, then held on in relative comfort to join their beaten 11th-placed opponents on seven points.
As Mazzarri once again deployed a 3-5-2 formation, Burnley looked to attack their visitors down the flanks during the early stages and, after Johann Gudmundsson had an in-swinging delivery cleared behind, Gomes acrobatically denied George Boyd from a partially cleared corner.
Burnley continued to make most of the running against a deeply stationed Watford defence, with Iceland international Gudmundsson allowed to cut in from the right on to his favoured left foot to drive narrowly wide midway through the first half.
Jose Holebas had an ambitious volley blocked from Etienne Capoue’s corner on a rare Watford attack but it remained a listless showing from Mazzarri’s men and they fell behind seven minutes before the break.
Steven Defour hung up Burnley’s fifth corner of the half to the back post and a momentary loss of concentration from Holebas allowed Hendrick to rise unchallenged and steer a header home.
Burnley were quick to seek a second, with Sam Vokes unable to turn in Ben Mee’s knockdown as Watford’s set-piece defending again failed to measure up.
Juan Zuniga, who netted the pivotal second goal in the 3-1 win against United, came on at the break for Watford and another scorer from that triumph – captain Troy Deeney – thu
dded goalwards inside the area to draw an excellent save from Tom Heaton early in the second half.
But it proved to be a false indication of any Watford revival and Defour was the provider again as the hosts doubled their advantage.
The Belgium midfielder saw his initial corner cleared on this occasion but the ball returned and he unerringly picked out Keane for a fine glancing header.
Gomes beat away a Defour drive after the hour, while Deeney was denied by a perfectly judged Dean Marney challenge on his latest sight of goal.
Boyd had a looping effort clawed behind by Gomes and at the other end substitute Isaac Success steered a shot along the goal-line after a driving run – a display of Watford intent that came far too late in the piece.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!