Watford manager Roy Hodgson made two changes from the team that featured against Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, with Sarr and Imrân Louza returning to the starting line-up after time away at AFCON 2021.
With the Senegalese winger making his first start since the victory against Manchester United in November, all eyes were on Sarr and his potential impact in the Midlands.
The home side were quick out of the blocks, forcing Samir into an early challenge on Danny Ings. Although the Villa faithful were adamant a penalty should have been given, referee Robert Jones begged to differ and a VAR check confirmed the original decision.
The Hornets responded well to the initial Aston Villa pressure as Dennis nearly finished a free-flowing Watford move but for a one-handed diving save from Martínez.
The Nigerian was played in by Sarr, who had created the chance through some impressive quick skill, which allowed Watford’s top goalscorer time on the ball to jink and jive past the approaching defenders.