Josh Sargent had not scored for Norwich City in the Premier League before this game
Josh Sargent scored twice to help Norwich City gain a much-needed victory over 10-man Watford and move out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season.
Sargent acrobatically hooked Teemu Pukki's cross from behind him and saw it bounce in off the underside of the crossbar for Norwich's opener.
The 21-year-old's thumping header made it 2-0 after a lengthy stoppage in play because of a floodlight fault.
Norwich rubbed salt in Watford's wounds with a third goal late on - substitute Juraj Kucka poking past his own goalkeeper at the near post.
Sargent, who had not scored in the Premier League prior to this victory, celebrated wildly as he put his side in the driving seat midway through the second half.
Watford were stunned by his double and were further hampered by Emmanuel Dennis' sending off - the forward shown a second yellow card by referee Mike Dean for a rash challenge on Max Aarons.
Shortly before Kucka poked in Adam Idah's pull-back, Watford had a goal disallowed when Moussa Sissoko thumped in a stunning volley from an offside position.
Cucho Hernandez later hit the crossbar for Watford but Norwich were comfortable winners in the end, and move two points above the hosts in the table.
Claudio Ranieri's side still have two games in hand but it was an 11th defeat in 13 games during his tenure, while Dennis' sending off means he will miss another crucial relegation battle with bottom side Burnley on 5 February.
- Reaction to Norwich's win over Watford
Pressure mounts on relegation rivalsWatford forward Emmanuel Dennis' sending off means he will be suspended for the trip to Burnley on 5 February
Sargent's celebrations, which were echoed by the visiting Norwich supporters, showed how important this victory was to Dean Smith's side.
It is the first time this season Norwich have moved out of the bottom three, while defeat for Watford piles more pressure on manager Ranieri.
Norwich were most people's favourites to go down before Christmas but back-to-back wins over Everton and Watford have seen them shoot up the table from bottom to 17th in just over a week.
The relegation battle promises to continue as Burnley, now at the foot of the table, have five games in hand on Norwich, having had numerous games postponed because of Covid-19 cases and injuries.
Watford and Newcastle United also have games in hand, but with no side in the current bottom six winning more than five games so far this season, Norwich will be heavily boosted by their recent victories.
The Canaries face a tough February including games against Manchester City and Liverpool, but Watford are under pressure to bounce back against Burnley in their next match having already dropped points to relegation rivals Norwich and Newcastle in recent games.
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- WatfordWatfordWatfordNorwichNorwich CityNorwich City
WatfordStarting XIAvgSquad number26Player nameBachmannAverage rating
12345678910Squad number21Player nameKiko FemeníaAverage rating
12345678910Squad number27Player nameKabaseleAverage rating
12345678910Squad number22Player nameSamirAverage rating
12345678910Squad number14Player nameKamaraAverage rating
12345678910Squad number8Player nameCleverleyAverage rating
12345678910Squad number39Player nameKayembeAverage rating
12345678910Squad number19Player nameSissokoAverage rating
12345678910Squad number25Player nameDennisAverage rating
12345678910Squad number7Player nameKingAverage rating
12345678910Squad number10Player nameJoão PedroAverage rating
12345678910SubstitutesAvgSquad number12Player nameSemaAverage rating
12345678910Squad number29Player nameCucho HernándezAverage rating
12345678910Squad number33Player nameKuckaAverage rating
12345678910Share your Watford player ratings withFacebookTwitterWhatsAppCopy and share linkNorwich CityStarting XIAvgSquad number28Player nameGunnAverage rating
12345678910Squad number2Player nameAaronsAverage rating
12345678910Squad number5Player nameHanleyAverage rating
12345678910Squad number4Player nameGibsonAverage rating
12345678910Squad number21Player nameWilliamsAverage rating
12345678910Squad number24Player nameSargentAverage rating
12345678910Squad number20Player nameLees-MelouAverage rating
12345678910Squad number19Player nameSørensenAverage rating
12345678910Squad number17Player nameRashicaAverage rating
12345678910Squad number35Player nameIdahAverage rating
12345678910Squad number22Player namePukkiAverage rating
12345678910SubstitutesAvgSquad number3Player nameByramAverage rating
12345678910Squad number11Player namePlachetaAverage rating
12345678910Squad number23Player nameMcLeanAverage rating
12345678910Share your Norwich player ratings withFacebookTwitterWhatsAppCopy and share link
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
- 26Bachmann21FemeníaSubstituted forKuckaat 89'minutes27Kabasele22Samir14KamaraSubstituted forSemaat 84'minutes8CleverleySubstituted forHernándezat 59'minutes39Kayembe19Sissoko25DennisBooked at 78mins7King10João Pedro
- 28Gunn2Aarons5Hanley4Gibson21Williams24Sargent20Lees-Melou19SørensenSubstituted forMcLeanat 21'minutesBooked at 38mins17RashicaSubstituted forPlachetaat 90+6'minutes35Idah22PukkiSubstituted forByramat 87'minutes
Referee:Mike DeanAttendance:20,782Match StatsHome TeamWatfordAway TeamNorwichPossessionHome68%Away32%ShotsHome15Away7Shots on TargetHome4Away2CornersHome5Away1FoulsHome16Away11Live TextPost update
Match ends, Watford 0, Norwich City 3.
Second Half ends, Watford 0, Norwich City 3.
Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Watford).
Brandon Williams (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Moussa Sissoko (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sam Byram (Norwich City).
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Max Aarons.
Attempt blocked. João Pedro (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Cucho Hernández (Watford) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko.
Attempt missed. Joshua King (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Substitution, Norwich City. Przemyslaw Placheta replaces Milot Rashica.
Own Goal by Juraj Kucka, Watford. Watford 0, Norwich City 3.
Offside, Watford. João Pedro tries a through ball, but Moussa Sissoko is caught offside.
Substitution, Watford. Juraj Kucka replaces Kiko Femenía.
Samir (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Adam Idah (Norwich City).
Substitution, Norwich City. Sam Byram replaces Teemu Pukki.
Attempt missed. João Pedro (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Substitution, Watford. Ken Sema replaces Hassane Kamara.
Samir (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
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