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Having appeared doomed for relegation, Watford's sudden revival under Nigel Pearson continues

The Hornets are now within two points of 18th-placed Aston Villa.

Watford celebrating against Aston Villa.
Watford celebrating against Aston Villa.

WATFORD EASED TO a 3-0 win over relegation rivals Aston Villa despite having Adrian Mariappa sent off.

Nigel Pearson’s impact is becoming impressively clear at Watford, with the new manager guiding them to two wins in a week, having also presided over the 2-0 defeat of Manchester United before Christmas.

Watford are now within two points of 18th-placed Villa and having previously looked doomed for relegation, they have been revived under Pearson.

A tense first half at Vicarage Road remained goalless until just before the interval, when Ezri Konsa’s error allowed Abdoulaye Doucoure to get a shot away and Troy Deeney converted on the rebound.

Villa were given a boost just before the hour when Mariappa was shown a second yellow card for appearing to catch Henri Lansbury late, though replays suggested contact was minimal.

But Watford got a second goal in the 67th minute — Deeney smashing in a penalty after he had been barged over by Douglas Luiz, and Ismaila Sarr finished Villa off 19 minutes from time.

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