The Senegalese winger once again had the beating of Villa’s Matt Targett, and managed to play a low pass across to Dennis in the 10th minute. The Nigerian’s first attempt was blocked but the ball fell back favourably, and the new signing made no mistake on the follow-up, slotting under goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez.
Vicarage Road erupted with jubilation as the net bulged and yellow shirts wheeled away in celebration.
The Sarr and Dennis connection continued for the duration of the half, as the two exchanged fancy flicks and both tested Martínez in the Aston Villa goal.
The visitors hen started to grow into the game, and former Hornet Ashley Young’s curled cross forced Daniel Bachmann to dart off of his line and collect.
The second goal came when Dennis broke away in the middle of the park, had space to run into and then played a ball out to Sarr. The winger drove past Targett and fired at goal, with Tyrone Mings’ attempted block creating a deflection, looping over Martínez and, eventually, into the net.
Half-time beckoned soon after, and for fans and players alike, the chance for a breather. It also gave a chance to reflect, and remember those from the Watford family who could not be at Vicarage Road, having passed away during the pandemic. And it was a chance to show support and gratitude to the NHS, with more than 200 staff from West Herts Hospitals walking a lap of honour to applause from all four corners of the stadium.
The second-half began with Villa on the front foot. Jacob Ramsey’s effort deflected wide of the far post and his resultant volley from the corner whizzed over.
Dennis hadn’t seemed to stop running since the first minute, and after 65 minutes he was withdrawn. Hernández was given the green light to replace him and introduce himself to the Watford fans after four years on loan.
As introductions go, this one is definitely up there with the best.
Immediately into the thick of the action, the Colombian cut onto his right foot from the left flank, curling a shot in off the far post for Watford’s third of the afternoon. Just a minute after his substitution, on his Premier League debut, in front of The Rookery.