The 27-year-old Argentine opened the scoring with a sweet volley 10 minutes before the break, after he was left unmarked from a Jose Holebas corner.
Roberto Pereyra scored both goals as Watford opened the new Premier League season with a comfortable win over Brighton at Vicarage Road.
Shortly after half-time, the former Juventus man got his second after driving into the area and curling the ball beyond a helpless Mat Ryan from a tight angle.
The Seagulls, who finished last season a point and a place behind Watford in 15th, bought on club record signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh and fellow summer signing Yves Bissouma, but Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster was rarely troubled.
The visitors – hampered by the loss of captain Bruno, who was forced off early on by what appeared to be a hamstring injury – failed to muster a single effort on target and Watford were worthy winners.
Foster closes the gap – stats
- Watford is unbeaten in their last 12 opening games to a league season (W6 D6), with their last defeat coming against Everton in August 2006.
- Brighton is winless in their last 14 Premier League away games (W0 D4 L10), the longest current such run in the division.
- Watford has lost only one of they’re past nine Premier League matches at Vicarage Road (W5 D3).
- Roberto Pereyra has had a hand in each of Watford’s past six Premier League goals, scoring five and assisting one.
- Ben Foster made his first Premier League appearance for Watford since 13 May 2007 vs Newcastle (4,108 days ago) – the second-longest gap between two games for a single team in the competition after Wayne Rooney for Everton (4,837 days).