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A pair of headed goals either side of half-time earned Burnley a comfortable 2-0 win over a disappointing Watford at Turf Moor.
Having disposed of Manchester United in such impressive fashion at Vicarage Road last weekend, the Hornets were looking for a third win on the trot which would have moved them up to at eighth place in the Premier League table.
However, they turned in a lacklustre display in which they were outmuscled and outthought by a Burnley side who appear set to make a more compelling case to avoid an immediate return to the Championship than two seasons ago.
Watford boss Walter Materazzi was noticeably angry with his side for the manner in which they conceded, both goals coming via headers from set-pieces.
The hosts took the lead through Jeff Hendrick on 38 minutes, the Ireland international rising above Jose Holebas to head into the far corner.
Five minutes after the break Sean Dyche’s men doubled their advantage when from another corner former Manchester United youth player Michael Keane climbed highest to meet Steven Defour’s centre and nodded the ball down into the bottom corner.
Summer recruit Defour and club record signing Hendrick both caught the eye and appear to have already struck up a great understanding in midfield for the Clarets.
Watford were resorting to long balls to strike duo Idion Ighalo and Troy Deeney towards the end of the match but, as with throughout the game, Keane and centre-back partner Ben Mee were more than a match for the physical challenge presented by their opposite opponents.
Isaac Success almost brought them back into the game on 82 minutes however, when his jinking run brought him close to the byline inside the box and his effort from the acutest of angles was touched wide by Tom Heaton.
From the resulting corner Valon Behrami’s first-time strike from outside the box flashed a couple of yards past the keeper’s left-hand post.
In truth it would have been more than the visitors deserved with Burnley’s mix of pressing and intelligent passing and movement too much for an out-of-sorts Watford to handle.
The victory moves Burnley up to 13th spot in the table and will give them confidence that they can avoid a season-long relegation battle.
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