Watford climbed above Bournemouth and out of the relegation zone for the first time this season after a convincing victory over the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium.
Abdoulaye Doucoure capitalised on an error by Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers to fire home the opener from six yards shortly before half-time.
Hornets captain Troy Deeney then doubled Watford’s advantage midway through the second half with a powerful close-range effort after Ismaila Sarr’s cross fell into this path.
Substitute Roberto Pereyra completed the win in stoppage time with a fierce volley after Andre Gray’s shot had been cleared off the line by Ryan Fraser.
The win means Watford have now collected 13 points from six Premier League matches since Nigel Pearson’s appointment last month.
Bournemouth, in contrast, has now lost nine of their last 11 Premier League matches to drop to the second bottom and leave manager Eddie Howe under increasing pressure.
Only Liverpool and Manchester City have collected more points than Watford since Nigel Pearson’s appointment, a run of form that has seen the club go from six points adrift at the bottom of the table to out of the drop zone in the space of six matches.
Pearson’s side pressed high up the pitch early on as Bournemouth attempted to play out from the back, forcing mistakes that created two early opportunities for Sarr and Gerard Deulofeu that were well saved by Travers.
Travers was making his first Premier League start of the season in the absence of the injured Aaron Ramsdale and it was his error shortly before the break that led to the opener.
The 20-year-old, under pressure from Deulofeu, gave the ball straight to Sarr on the edge of the area. The Senegal winger then crossed into the six-yard box for Doucoure, who took a touch before blasting the ball into the roof of the nett for his second goal in as many matches.
As Bournemouth committed more men forward in the second half Watford looked to hit on the counter, with Sarr and Doucoure combining for Deulofeu to slice wide shortly after the restart.
They deservedly grabbed their second on 65 minutes when Sarr’s cross was deflected into the path of Deeney, who drove powerfully into the corner beyond an unmoved Travers.
Deeney and Deulofeu both went close as Bournemouth became increasingly ragged, with Pereyra wrapping up a fine win with virtually the last kick of the game.
Bournemouth started a game in the relegation zone for the first time in more than two years after being as high as seventh when they beat Manchester United at the start of November.
Since then the south-coast club has taken just four points from their last 11 matches, the worst run of form in the division.
Howe said in his programme notes that this game marked a “season-defining period” for the Cherries, with their next three league games after today against sides currently in the bottom seven.
But any hopes of a bright start to settle early nerves proved unfounded, with the home side sloppy in possession as they struggled to break free of Watford’s high press.
Their best chance of the first half came from a set-piece, with Harry Wilson’s curling free-kick well pushed away by Ben Foster.
They failed to muster a single shot on target in the second period, with the game virtually over as a contest once Watford had scored their second goal.
Plenty of Bournemouth fans had already left by the final whistle, with a number of those remaining booing a third successive Premier League defeat without scoring a goal.
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Source – Sport365coza