Ismaila Sarr's first half goal was enough for the Hornets, who stifled Norwich's attack throughout the match, and ended the Canaries' excellent winning run. Watford were good value for their win, showing they have more than enough quality to challenge for promotion at the end of the season.
Story of the game
Both sides began the game well, with early chances at both ends. Max Aarons tested Ben Foster early on, skidding a low shot into the goalkeeper's arms after cutting inside from the right.
Andre Gray missed a clear cut chance at the other end, slamming a volley into the side netting after Troy Deeney's miscued effort fell to him in the box.
Much to the delight of new boss Xisco Munoz, Watford took the lead shortly before half time. Great work from Ken Sema down the left wing resulted in a cross flashed across goal. A sliding Ismaila Sarr did the rest, turning home from close range.
Watford could have doubled their lead shortly after the opening goal, with Gray again missing the target after the ball again broke to him in the box.
Despite his side taking the lead, Etienne Capoue was fortunate to remain on the field. Already on a yellow card, he pulled the shirt of a Norwich player, which went unnoticed by the referee.
In the second half, Norwich were sluggish and failed to find a dominant tempo. Watford were comfortable in possession, with Norwich unable to apply any consistent pressure to Ben Foster's goal.
They were restricted to a number of efforts from range, with Emi Buendia providing yet more catching practice for Foster.
Watford could have sealed the win after a horrible back-pass sent Stipe Perica clear on goal. Having rounded the keeper, he could not apply the finishing touch, with Christoph Zimmerman able to recover and smuggle the ball away.
Despite late pressure, Norwich could not find the crucial leveller, and were ultimately disappointing as Watford held on for a valuable three points.
Man of the match: Ismaila Sarr
The winger was electric throughout the match, regularly beating his man and providing ammunition for the Watford strikers. He took his goal superbly, providing a far post run to convert Sema's teasing ball.
Watford can challenge the top sides
Watford's defensive solidity cannot be understated. They boast the second best defensive record in the division, and have the attacking flair for new boss Munoz to construct a side capable of attaining automatic promotion.
Norwich come unstuck at last
Despite boasting excellent recent form, Daniel Farke's side looked disjointed and lethargic, far from the approach which has contributed to the Canaries winning run.
Once Watford took the lead, Norwich lacked a plan B. The introduction of substitutes did little to alter the pattern of the match, and Foster's goal remained relatively untroubled throughout.