Odion Ighalo rediscovered his scoring touch as Watford won their first league game in six with victory over struggling Newcastle at Vicarage Road.
The Nigeria striker went into the game without a goal since 28 December, but finally notched his 14th when he beat the offside trap to slot in Troy Deeney’s through-ball.
He then set up Craig Cathcart, who drove in the second from six yards.
Jamaal Lascelles headed home in the 71st minute to set up a tense finish.
The Magpies remain in the bottom three with 21 points, while the Hornets move up to 10th with 32 points.
-A tale of two forward lines-
There are those who never lose it, and then are those who can’t find it.
For the sceptics who thought Watford’s Odion Ighalo had run dry, the persistent and hardy Nigeria striker proved them wrong today.
The Magpies kept the Hornet quiet in the first half by cutting off his supply line from midfield – a tactic similar to that employed by Southampton a couple of weeks ago.
But 44 seconds after the restart Newcastle switched off and allowed Ighalo to escape from their clutches. The 26-year-old checked his run before latching onto Deeney’s pass and rounding keeper Rob Elliot to score.
The Magpies started with Aleksandar Mitrovic in attack – their £13m summer signing, who arrived to a fanfare from Anderlecht, but has repeatedly misfired.
In the first half, he found himself one-on-one with the final defender but did not have a guile to pass him. He also had another sidefoot effort saved by the foot of Heurelho Gomes.
While Ighalo would have blocked those missed chances from his mind, Mitrovic retreated into his shell after the break. It’s now only four goals in 25 matches for the Serb.
The Magpies might need to spend again on a striker.