Two goal Roberto Pereyra fired Watford to an opening day win against Chris Hughton’s Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Argentine opened the scoring on 35 minutes when he volleyed home a corner from Jose Holebas and put Watford two nil up just before the hour mark to hand the Hornets their first opening day win in the Premier League.
Brighton had looked dangerous until captain Bruno was withdrawn midway through the first half. Ben Foster made his debut for the Hornets, the only one of Gracia’s new signings to start the game.
The Hornets were good value for their win and Pereya’s brace handed the home team a well-deserved three points.
Brighton threatened briefly in the first half but failed to register a shot on target in the match and Watford were in control throughout the 90 minutes with Pereyra stepping up to fill the gap left by Brazilian star Richarlison who joined Everton in the summer.
Watford fans will be full of optimism for the season ahead and the returning Ben Foster was given a hero’s welcome. He had previously been on loan at Vicarage Road in two spells between 2005 and 2007.
The combination of Andre Gray and Troy Deeney proved too much for the Seagulls’ defence and Watford remained on top throughout, keeping up the initiative in the second half when Brighton failed to improve.
After the game, Watford’s players took to social media to celebrate.
Goalkeeper Ben Foster tweeted: “Perfect start! Fantastic team performance and a clean sheet too. Thanks @WatfordFC fans for the warm reception, it’s nice to be back.”
Speaking to the Watford FC website after the game, matchwinner Pererya said he was delighted with his performance,
He said: “I’m really happy with the way the goals arrived. It’s so important for the three points, that’s the most important thing this afternoon and we are all really happy for this.”