The reaction and result Marco Silva had been hoping for wasn’t to be when Huddersfield came to town.
Following the disappointing result at Selhurst Park, Watford returned to home soil with a point to prove.
But a slow start for The Golden Boys, and the failure to clear thier lines from a corner gave Elias Kachunga the chance to convert at the back-post. He was offside, a point Marco Silva will no doubt be pleading after the game.
It got even worse when Aaron Mooy turned home a cross from the right-hand side in the 23rd minute. A wet and gloomy evening matched the first-half performance, and another red card, this time for captain Troy Deeney, made things even harder.
Laurent Depoitre made it three just after the break, taking advantage of the stricken José Holebas to smash past Heurelho Gomes.
The Hornets’ faint hopes of getting back into the game were given a boost when Jonathan Hogg was shown a second yellow, and Abdoulaye Doucouré scored his best yet, a ripping half-volley that left Huddersfield 'keeper Lössl motionless.
Mooy finalised the all but confirmed defeat with a late penalty, after Doucouré had brought down Depoitre in the penalty area.
Huddersfield started the brighter of the two teams, with The Golden Boys struggling to find the biting point, let alone get out of first gear.
The poor start gifted Huddersfield the initiative and then the lead. A corner to the back-post wasn’t cleared by the Watford defence, allowing Kachunga the easiest of tap-ins to give the Terriers a deserved lead. Replays showed it to be offside.
Watford looked to go on the attack straight away. André Carrillo showed a glimpse of his attacking prowess when he burst down the right, before clipping a cross to the back-post. It was a cross that was inviting a player in yellow to head home, but it was well dealt with by the visitors.
Marco Silva watched on as Watford continued to knock on the Huddersfield door. The cultured left-foot of Holebas provided The Golden Boys with their first and only clear-cut chance. A delightful delivery to the back-post found Richarlison, but the Brazilian was left frustrated by an accidental touch off his shoulder as he primed himself to shoot.
The missed opportunity was soon punished. Colin Quaner pounced on Holebas' loss of concentration, over-lapping past the Watford left-wing-back. His ball across the face of the Hornets’ goal, missed by Adrian Mariappa, was bundled in Mooy. The Terriers' fans were in dreamland.
Silva immediately changed the system. Moving to four at the back and sending on Roberto Pereyra to replace Mariappa.
But, his proactive move had barely had time to take effect when Deeney was shown a harsh looking red card. What looked like a tough challenge, but a fair one, was deemed dangerous, and Oliver instructed the Watford striker to leave the field of play. Three red cards in consecutive Premier League games must be some kind of record.
The Terriers started the second-half much like the first, dominating, and they soon made it three in the first top-flight fixture between the two sides.
Holebas looked to have dealt with Quaner’s jinking run, but the Greek defender fell to the ground clutching his face, and Depoitre acted first, pouncing on the loose ball before firing his past Gomes.
Former Watford midfielder Hogg was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Richarlison and suddenly Watford were offered a glimmer of hope.
Sixty-five minutes in and the Golden Boys started to play. Two chances in the space of five minutes finally resulted in a goal for Silva’s side. Holebas’ free-kick from the left was headed away, only to Doucoure. The Frenchman set himself, before firing a half-volley past the frozen Jonas Lossl in goal.
Any hope of a Watford comeback was thwarted late on though, when Mooy converted from the spot after Doucoure had tripped Depoitre after a loose touch. The penalty resulted in many of the Hornet faithful to head home after a disappointing afternoon.
The Golden Boys now look to the continued flurry of festive fixtures, with a trip to Brighton next on the agenda this time next week. Silva will be hoping for a turn in performance and in luck.