A much improved performance could not prevent relegated Aston Villa from suffering an eleventh consecutive defeat as their former youth academy product Troy Deeney netted a late double.
More confidence in attack as Villa create a bundle of opportunities
The Villains had been blasted for a seeming lack of desire and commitment this season, from both fans and former players alike. Yet they looked to have developed a sense of inspiration after scoring two against Southampton last weekend and will feel disappointed not to have got anything out of the game.
Ciaran Clark opened the scoring for Villa from a corner, before Jordan Ayew hit the post with another header. Despite an Almen Abdi equaliser just before half-time, Ayew and Rudy Gestede were involved in an excellent passing move with the former putting his side back ahead. Villa then had opportunities to score a third as both Gestede and Kevin Toner missed excellent opportunities.
Extra ambition from free-flowing Watford
Despite Villa creating a number of chances, Watford dominated possession on home turf. 500 passes to their opponents 250 gave them a strong foothold in the game as Ben Watson in particular ran the tempo of the show.
The Hornets were also a lot more ambitious going forward. Ikeychi Anya and Juan Carlos Paredes continued the usual attacking prowess of colleagues Nathan Ake and Allan Nyom as they continued to push forward from their full-back positions. Jose Manuel Jurado was also a willing runner beyond Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, an usual sight for the Vicarage Road faithful.
Villa switch off at crucial points
Despite Watford's favoured short passing game, it was the more direct route that turned out to be the more lucrative, as Villa lost concentration at vital points in the match.
Idrisa Gueye was the first man at fault as he gave away a needless foul on Almen Abdi just outside the box right on half-time. The Watford midfielder then picked himself up to curl the Hornets level at the break.
A lack of concentration sums up Villa's defence this season, whilst Watford captain Troy Deeney is never one to switch off. It was certainly the case as Steven Berghuis found the striker with a delicious cross, as neither Kevin Toner not Joleon Lescott could prevent his injury time equaliser.
The visitors were then unable to learn from their mistakes oncemore as Deeney found himself in acres of space between the Villa midfield and defence, before firing Watford ahead from Odion Ighalo's header with just second remaining.
Is Flores safe?
For Aston Villa it was a much improved display that was tainted by lapses of concentration, whilst Watford won an important three points that could help them finish in the top half of the table and save Quique Sanchez Flores' job.