Today was the first time that Watford had faced Cardiff in the top flight and in the freezing cold weather, it was a first to remember.
It was clear from the very beginning that it was Watford who were on top and in the 6th minute, Gerard Deulofeu very nearly converted the early possession into a lead, curling just wide of the post.
Ten minutes after the Spaniard’s first attempt, he scored on his second. Saturday afternoon’s game was packed with brilliant goals, but Deulofeu’s first was one of the best.
The Hornet’s midfielder scored a memorable solo goal, running past any defender in his way and calmly slotting past Neil Etheridge in goal.
At points it seemed as though Cardiff were playing a friendly; however, the Blues did have their chances, missing two very simple headers in the 29th and 37th minute.
Neil Warnock’s side would have gone into the break three down if it were not for Etheridge, who had a fantastic game.
The Philippines’ international made two fingertip saves in the dying minutes of the first half, both of which prevented Roberto Pereyra from getting his name onto the score sheet.
Two minutes into the second half, Etheridge kept the on-going battle between himself and Pereyra alive, making a good stop to prevent the Hornets doubling their lead.
It was only a matter of time before Javi Gracia’s team deservedly scored their second and in the 51st minute, Jose Holebas found the net with a wonderful long shot from the edge of the box, curling the ball past the on-form keeper.
It looked game set and match when Watford’s 19 year old Domingos Quina scored his first goal for the club, but the 68th minute beautifully bended goal – making him Watford’s youngest ever Premier League goal scorer – was not the last.
Cardiff’s Junior Hoilett scored a screamer in the 79th minute and whilst it was completely out of the blue, it has got to go down as a goal of the month contender.
A comeback never seemed to be on, even when Bobby Reid scored a second for the visitors in the 82nd minute.
The scrappy finish, following a brilliant Ben Foster save, still didn’t seem to spark that much of a reaction from Cardiff, who seemed lackadaisical for most of the game.
The Golden Boys next face West Ham as they make the trip to the London Stadium on Saturday.