Watford produced their best performance of the season to dismantle struggling Preston 4-1 on Saturday Afternoon. Goals from Domingos Quina, Troy Deeney, Nathaniel Chalobah and Joao Pedro sent The Hornets on the way to their biggest victory of the season.
The result means Watford move up into 3rd in the Championship, just one point off the automatic promotion places, while Preston slip to 18th.
The hosts started the game quickly and took the lead after just nine minutes.
Ismaila Sarr dug out a cross from the right hand side that brilliantly found Quina at the back post who tapped in from a few yards out.
Watford looked comfortable until the 24th minute when Andre Gray misplaced a pass on the edge of his own area which fell to Patrick Bauer who was brilliantly denied by Ben Foster.
Watford then thought they had extended their lead in added time when subsitute Pedro tapped in from a well worked corner but he was subsequently ruled offside.
The Hornets continued to assert their dominance at the start of the 2nd half and won a penalty when Sarr drew a foul from the Preston defender after a deft touch from Deeney.
It was Deeney who took the spot kick, smashing past Declan Rudd to make it 2-0.
The Visitors then got an unlikely reprieve just a couple of minutes later when Tom Barkhuizen long range effort took a deflection off James Garner which wrongfooted Foster.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to regain their two goal lead after a brilliant move between Chalobah and Deeney.
The skipper deftly dinked the ball behind the Preston back four with Chalobah smashing home to score his first league goal for seven years.
At this point Watford were in full flow and could have scored more if not for the impressive Rudd in goal for the struggling Visitors.
The final goal came in the 74th minute after another well worked corner which resulted in Craig Cathcarts header being turned in by top goalscorer Pedro at the back post.
Next up for Watford is an away game at Nottingham Forest while Preston travel to Bournemouth.
Watford 4-1 Preston
Man Of The Match: Ismaila Sarr