Watford took a big step to becoming the ‘best of the rest’ in the Premier League as they moved seventh with a 2-1 win at Huddersfield on Saturday.
Gerard Deulofeu was at the double (4, 81) for the Hornets as he replaced the suspended Troy Deeney to great effect - the Spaniard has now scored eight goals in his last nine games.
Huddersfield's miserable season is ending with a whimper - this was their seventh straight defeat, although Karlan Grant did net a late consolation (90+2).
Watford could qualify outright for the Europa League by winning the FA Cup final, but if Manchester City win at Wembley, then the Europa League qualifying spot would be handed to the side that finishes seventh in the league.
Huddersfield: Lossl (6), Smith (6), Kongolo (7), Schindler (6), Durm (6), Mooy (7), Bacuna (6), Hogg (4), Mbenza (7), Mounie (5), Kachunga (5)
Subs: Daly (7), Lowe (6), Grant (7)
Watford: Foster (7), Cathcart (7), Mariappa (8), Masina (7), Doucoure (7), Capoue (7), Femenia (7), Hughes (7), Sema (7), Gray (6), Deulofeu (8)
Subs: Success (7)
Man of the match: Gerard Deulofeu
How Deulofeu inspired Hornets….
Watford started with great intent and were ahead inside four minutes.
Jonathan Hogg squandered possession under strong Watford pressure, and after Abdoulaye Doucoure's shot was blocked, Deulofeu was on hand to whip a silky effort into the far corner.
It was the same technique he used against Wolves at Wembley.
Apart from Isaac Mbenza, who tested Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster with a fierce effort from range, Huddersfield's attacking threat was non-existent.
Huddersfield 18-year-old midfielder Matty Daly made his first-team debut just before half-time, in place of Hogg, who had struggled and was on a booking.
Watford always seemed in control but were given a scare as Steve Mounie's overhead kick looped just over the crossbar.
Deulofeu sealed victory for Watford when he calmly finished from close range after Isaac Success' strike had been palmed away by Jonas Lossl.
Grant, a 66th-minute replacement for Mounie, nodded home in injury time to leave the home fans with something to cheer, but in truth, it was another bleak result for Jan Siewert's men.
Man of the match: Gerard Deulofeu
Who else? Despite struggling with an ankle injury in recent weeks, Deulofeu looked a man still at the top of his game in front of goal. He took just four minutes to whip home a trademark silky finish with his instep and was in the right place at the right time to fire home what was eventually was the crucial second goal.
- Huddersfield Town have lost 14 home Premier League games this season, a joint-record in the competition's history (also 14 for Sunderland in 2002-03 and 2005-06).
- Watford have won six away Premier League games this season, only winning more in a top-flight season in 1983-84 under Graham Taylor (seven).
- Huddersfield have lost 21 of their last 23 matches in all competitions (W1 D1 L21), losing 11 of their 12 games under manager Jan Siewert (W1 D0 L11).
- Gerard Deulofeu has scored six goals in his last five Premier League away games for Watford.
- Huddersfield have won none of the 45 Premier League matches in which they've conceded the first goal (W0 D3 L42), losing all 19 at the John Smith's Stadium when conceding first.
- In all competitions, Gerard Deulofeu has scored eight goals and assisted two more in his last nine appearances for Watford.
- Huddersfield midfielder Juninho Bacuna has started 15 matches for the Terriers in all competitions this season and ended on the losing side in all 15.
- Since his Premier League debut for Huddersfield Town on February 2nd, Karlan Grant has scored four league goals - no other Terriers player has scored more than once in that time.
Jan Siewert: "It was a big frustration as we were on the back foot after five minutes. We had some big opportunities to score - we had more chances than them but couldn't score. It was hard to take, but it's a learning process for me."
Javi Gracia: "At the moment, I'm not thinking about whether we'll be able to keep that position [seventh] or not. We're playing again in three days and have to prepare the players."
Huddersfield face a trip to Anfield on Friday Night Football as they try to dent Liverpool's title challenge while Watford play Southampton on Tuesday night.