Watford maintained their promotion charge as they made it four Championship wins in a row by defeating out-of-form Blackburn 3-2.
All the visitors' front three found the net as they stayed level on points with second-placed Brentford.
Joao Pedro's deft lob - his third goal in as many games - put Watford ahead before Ismaila Sarr's close-range tap-in doubled the advantage.
Harvey Elliott spectacularly gave Blackburn hope before the break, but the Hornets regained control just after the hour through Ken Sema's pinpoint finish.
Ben Brereton made it a nervy finish but Watford should have had the game sewn up by that point, with Sarr thwarted by Thomas Kaminski, and one cleared off the line at 3-1.
But they held on and put down a marker to the rest of the promotion hopefuls that they mean business.
It was a fifth straight league reverse for the first time under Tony Mowbray for Blackburn, who have fallen alarmingly out of the play-off picture.
Ryan Nyambe was passed fit for Rovers while Dan Gosling made his first start for Watford.
They set about controlling the game and an incisive Will Hughes pass found Sarr completely unmarked in the area but he mis-hit his shot and Kaminski was able to parry.
The reprieve was temporary as the Hornets deservedly took the lead in the 25th minute when Tom Cleverley's hooked ball forward deceived the Rovers defence and Pedro beat Kaminski to the ball before delicately lobbing the goalkeeper for his ninth goal of the season.
Adam Armstrong whistled one wide but Sarr should have doubled the lead but saw his shot turned behind by Kaminski.
Blackburn were undone seven minutes from the break when Jarrad Branthwaite failed to clear a cross and though Kaminski brilliantly saved Pedro's deflected shot, Sarr tapped home the rebound.
The hosts were handed a 43rd-minute lifeline when Adam Masina was robbed and when the ball reached Elliott, he slammed emphatically into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Rovers came out with purpose but were indebted to Kaminski early in the second half as he made a vital save to divert Sema's effort away for a corner.
But he made no mistake in the 61st minute as Watford restored their two-goal advantage. Sema was fed by Pedro and after his stepover afforded space, he slotted into the bottom-right corner.
It would have been four had Branthwaite not cleared Francisco Sierralta's improvised effort off the line after Kaminski flapped at a 69th-minute corner.
Substitute Brereton handed the hosts a lifeline in the 82nd minute when he volleyed home Stewart Downing's corner from close range, but Watford deservedly saw it out.
What the managers said...
Blackburn's Tony Mowbray: "Watford are a good team. All over the pitch they have got experience. We gave it our best shot. We always looked a threat on transition. I think (Adam) Armstrong is looking every inch a Premier League footballer. He's a real threat. I thought Harvey Elliott was really good tonight.
"Sometimes good teams pick the right pass, they turn you round at the right times, and yet the goals we lost were pretty soft really. The first one is just a lob over the top that didn't bounce and the keeper got caught in no man's land. Another day it would bounce straight through to him. Maybe they played the conditions a little bit better than us, and yet we could have got an equaliser late on.
"I thought the team competed really well for the vast majority of that game. We have to accept it's another defeat to a very good team."
Watford's Xisco Munoz: "I think Joao Pedro needs to continue to score. We know he is an exciting player, he's a brilliant striker, and I know also he scores a lot of goals. I repeat, I have a very good squad but I am happy with Joao because right now, he's working hard and also in defence, because he does very good things for the team in defence and offence.
"The second goal also was excellent. All the players moved the ball well. This is our work, we need to continue. We need to keep improving and try to play better. In the first half, we had control of the game. In the second half, it changed a little bit but we had the chances in transition to try and kill them off. We scored three times and had important chances in the second half to close the game. I think that we can mature better in the game."