By Richard Morgan
Football journalist - @Richiereds1976
Watford 0-3 Burnley: Hornets drop to bottom of Premier League
Report and highlights as Hornets' home struggles continue
Last Updated: 23/11/19 9:20pm
Burnley overcame struggling Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road to increase the pressure on returning boss Quique Sanchez Flores, whose side are now bottom of the Premier League.
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The visitors opened the scoring through Chris Wood's close-range finish eight minutes after half-time, before Ashley Barnes's VAR-assisted penalty doubled their lead with eight minutes to go.
Watford: Foster (7), Holebas (7), Dawson (6), Mariappa (6), Cathcart (6), Femenia (6), Hughes (6), Doucoure (6), Capoue (7), Deulofeu (8), Gray (5)
Subs: Deeney (6), Masina (6), Sarr (6)
Burnley: Pope (7), Taylor (6), Tarkowski (8), Mee (9), Bardsley (6), McNeil (7), Cork (6), Westwood (6), Hendrick (7), Wood (7), Barnes (7)
Subs: Rodriguez (6)
Man of the match: Ben Mee
With two minutes left, James Tarkowski's first goal of the season confirmed Burnley's first top-flight away win since April as the Clarets moved up to sixth, while Watford dropped to the foot of the table as their struggles at home continued.
How Clarets moved up to sixth
The best chance of a disjointed first half fell to the one player Watford would have wanted, but after taking advantage of Tarkowski dwelling too long on the ball, Gerard Deulofeu shot too close to Nick Pope, who made a good block with his feet.
It did not take the Clarets long to make the breakthrough after half-time, though, as from a deep corner to the far post, Tarkowski nodded the ball back for the waiting Wood, who hooked home from close range for his sixth goal of the season.
Minutes after substitute Jay Rodriguez had come desperately close to confirming all three points, only for the substitute to hit the bar, Burnley did increase their advantage with the help of the VAR.
Watford made three changes from the side that won 2-0 at Norwich before the international game, with Adrian Mariappa, Kiko Femenia and Andre Gray all recalled. But captain Troy Deeney was still on the bench having recovered from knee surgery in August.
Burnley were unchanged from the team that beat West Ham 3-0 at home last time out, meaning forward Chris Wood started after missing New Zealand's game with Lithuania on an artificial pitch with a hamstring issue.
Referee Paul Tierney had initially waved away the visitors' appeals for a penalty, but the VAR intervened to decide Jose Holebas had caught Barnes in the box. And despite Ben Foster's valiant attempts, the striker converted from the spot for his sixth goal of the campaign.
And with the clock ticking down, Tarkowski added a late third to give the final scoreline a slightly unflattering look for the hosts, who have now gone 231 days since they last won at home in the league, a club-record run stretching 11 games.
- Burnley's 3-0 win against Watford is their joint-biggest away victory in the Premier League alongside 4-1 v Hull in April 2010 and 3-0 v West Ham in March 2018
- Watford have won just once in their last 17 Premier League games (W1 D6 L10), winning just once in nine games since Quique Sanchez Flores returned to the club
- Watford have picked up just eight points from their 13 Premier League games this season - their lowest return at this stage of a top-flight season
- Ashley Barnes has scored 15 Premier League goals in 2019 - more than any other Burnley player in 2019 (Chris Wood, 14)
- Burnley's Chris Wood has scored six goals in his last six Premier League appearances, as many as he'd bagged in his previous 19 in the competition
What the managers said...
Quique Sanchez Flores: "We just need time, we need belief, we need fight; all these kind of things. We can do it together, but it doesn't depend on me, it's not my control. I'm not worried about anything in my life.
"It is very difficult to explain the result as I don't want it to sound like excuses. But we had the better chances. Things changed that affected our mentality and spirit.
"After winning at Norwich we did not think everything was resolved and fixed. But after defeat we don't think everything is lost. We need to keep positive. Football is very unpredictable, it is impossible to say how everything is.
"It's about how you trust or not trust in your players. About me, I don't have any doubt in my players or the squad, I believe in them 100 per cent they can change in the situation. But I know it is very difficult."
Sean Dyche: "We've been up in that territory a couple of years ago, but last year was a real reminder of how tough the Premier League is. We won't get carried away but it is there to be enjoyed, of course it is.
"Since the turnaround at the turn of the year into 2019, our goalscoring record has been really pleasing. Today's chances weren't quality but we took them. We've got to keep looking to try to do that.
"It all comes down to the details in order to take as many chances we can. It's really difficult to create them let alone take them in the Premier League."
Man of the Match - Ben Mee
The Burnley skipper was a rock all afternoon long at the heart of the visitors' defence, expertly marshalling his back line throughout.
Not only that, but the blond-haired centre back was also a powerful presence in the Watford box all afternoon long, with his deflected header leading to the corner from which his team opened the scoring.
Watford face fellow strugglers Southampton at St Mary's, with that game live on Sky Sports Premier League next Saturday (5.30pm).
Meanwhile, Burnley take on Crystal Palace at Turf Moor next Saturday (3pm).