Watford 1-0 Burnley: How did the Watford players rate at Vicarage Road?
Watford VS Burnley/ Rob Newell/ Getty Images

After a relatively quiet first half, Tom Cleverley was able to poke home Ken Sema’s cross to seal the three points for the Hornets

Watford had Daniel Bachmann to thank on multiple occasions, as his saves preserved Watford’s lead and drove them to the three points. 

Hassane Kamara’s red card gave Watford fans a nail-biting finale, which saw Josh Brownhill force Bachmann into a save, before hitting the crossbar in the closing moments. 

A debut was given out to Hamza Choudhury, while Mario Gaspar was handed his first start by Rob Edwards. 

The win means that Watford are unbeaten in their first three games, following their win against Sheffield United and their draw against West Bromwich Albion. 

Watford fans will be happy with this return, considering they played against three teams who could challenge at the top end of the table this season.

Watford have shown gradual signs of improvement in each of their games so far, but who impressed the most against the Clarets?

Starting XI

Daniel Bachmann - 9

After Rob Edwards made the decision to select Daniel Bachmann over the new signing, Maduka Okoye, many Watford fans felt slightly apprehensive towards the Austrian being given the opportunity to start the season in goal.

He has excelled so far with flying colours though and proved to be vital for Watford during the Burnley game. He made a number of crucial saves throughout, including a vital one at the end from Josh Brownhill. 

His distribution is something that can be worked on, but a great showing overall from the Austrian. 

Hassane Kamara - 6.5

After a positive start to the second half for Kamara, he was sent off for a challenge on Vitinho. It was a tactical decision from Kamara, who chose the red card and the suspension over Vitinho running through on Daniel Bachmann’s goal. 

While he was on the pitch for Watford, he was defensively strong and showed a real presence at left-back. He will be a big loss for the Hornets while he is suspended.

Craig Cathcart - 8

Cathcart put in a strong performance, where he was able to display his experience and his composure.

He won some vital headers throughout and dealt well with the physical threat that Burnley posed throughout.

Francisco Sierralta - 8

Similarly to Cathcart, the Chilean was a stalwart member of Watford’s defensive line which kept a clean sheet. 

He dealt with Ashley Barnes well while he was on the pitch, to the point that Vincent Kompany pulled the striker off in order to try and get near the Watford goal. 

Like last time in the Championship, Sierralta is proving to be a vital player in Watford’s promotion hopes. 

Mario Gaspar - 6.5

Gaspar was given his first start in English football by Rob Edwards and put in a relatively strong shift.

His experience and leadership showed, however at points it looked like he was adjusting to the pace of the Championship. He was also caught slightly out of position at times. 

Despite this though, Gaspar looks like a player who will grow into his role in the Watford side.

Hamza Choudhury - 8.5

Having signed for Watford earlier this week, Choudhury walked straight into the starting eleven and impressed hugely. 

He made some vital interceptions and challenges throughout and was positive on the ball when he was able to be.

He gave a Watford midfield that had struggled in previous weeks a clearer shape and balance, and the Englshman looks set to play a big role for the Hornets during the rest of the season.

Watford VS Burnley/ Richard Heathcote/ Getty Images
Watford VS Burnley/ Richard Heathcote/ Getty Images

Tom Cleverley - 7

The birthday boy managed to secure the perfect present by scoring the winner for Watford. 

He picked up an injury through scoring the goal and the severity of this remains to be seen. He had to be taken off at half-time, but Rob Edwards will hope to have his captain back as soon as possible.

Edo Kayembe - 8

Particularly in the second period, Kayembe was everywhere on the pitch as Watford closed out the game. He managed to win challenges, intercept the ball and progress it forward late in the match. 

He benefited by having the extra pair of legs in the middle to support him, however this was a really positive display from Kayembe. 

Ken Sema - 7.5

Sema was a threat to the Burnley backline for the majority of the first half. His final ball however was poor during key moments, as some of his crosses evaded everyone in the middle. 

He did provide the crucial assist for Tom Cleverley though and helped out defensively during the closing stages of the game.

Joao Pedro - 7

Out of Watford’s opening fixtures, this was probably Pedro’s quietest game so far. 

He struggled at times to get into the game, but did a good job in providing a link between the two wingers that were either side of him. 

Ismaila Sarr - 7.5

After his mixed display on Monday evening where Sarr scored from sixty yards before missing a penalty, some Watford fans did not know what to expect from the Senegalese international. 

He was able to utilise his sheer pace to bring Watford forward though and he played an important part in the goal that won the game. 

With Emmanuel Dennis nearing the exit door according to Fabrizio Romano, Watford may look to Sarr to supply some of his magic against the sides that will be more difficult to break down. 

Substitutes

Dan Gosling - 7

Christian Kabasele - 7

Vakoun Bayo - 6.5

Yaser Asprilla - 6.5

Rob Edwards - 8

Rob Edwards demonstrated how his style can be flexible, with the way that he changed his shape to accommodate Hamza Choudhury and the imminent departure of Emmanuel Dennis. 

His team showed the fight and passion which he has instilled into them, which dragged them over the line against Burnley. 

It was still far from perfect, but the Hornets are without doubt moving in the right direction.

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