WATFORD PRODUCED a fine display too comfortably see off Barnsley at Vicarage Road and push themselves into the top six.
Gianfranco Zola made just one change from the midweek win at Sheffield Wednesday with Troy Deeney replacing Alex Geijo.
Watford immediately started the game on the front foot and took the lead after just ten minutes. Straight from a Mark Yeates corner, Troy Deeney got in front of his marker and flicked his header in to the top corner of the goal.
Despite good Watford possession, Barnsley did look dangerous going forward themselves when Craig Davies met a corner but his header came back off the bar. Manuel Almunia also had to be at his best to tip over from Emile Sinclair when he met a corner.
Watford too had their moments going forward. Marco Cassetti clipped the top of the bar with a looping header from another Yeates corner, and Fernando Forestieri was denied what looked a clear penalty by the referee when he was brought down when through on goal.
Barnsley came close to equalizing again as the first half drew to a close. Watford were caught out at the back and Emile Sinclair found himself through on goal, he rounded Almunia but was denied by Tommie Hoban on the line.
Half Time: 1-0
Barnsley started the second half brightly with good possession but struggled to make it count in the final third.
Watford needed a spark to get them back to life and Mark Yeates provided it on the hour. Troy Deeney held the ball up well on the edge of the Barnsley box and found Yeates out wide who cut inside along the goal line and finished low under Luke Steele.
That goal sparked Watford back to life and they gave themselves a three goal cushion just minutes later with another well taken goal. Forestieri was pulled back on the edge of the box by a Barnsley defender, he took the free kick immediately and found Deeney who fired in from the edge of the box.
Watford then started to play some very nice football with Deeney coming close to a hat trick but his shot was saved by Steele. Watford scored their fourth of the afternoon with just ten minutes remaining from the penalty spot. Substitute Matej Vydra broke into the box and was fouled by Jim McNulty. The Czech international picked himself up and scored the penalty with ease sending Steele the wrong way.
Watford twice nearly made it five. Firstly, when Joel Ekstrand hit the bar with a thumping header from another Yeates corner, and again when Yeates himself dispatched a free kick which came back off the post.
The only blot on the afternoon was Barnsley`s consolation goal scored by Marcus Tudgay in the very last minute of stoppage time after Ekstrand had given the ball away on the edge of the box.
Watford: Almunia, Ekstrand, Hall, Hoban, Cassetti, Pudil, Chalobah (Battocchio), Hogg, Yeates, Forestieri (Vydra) & Deeney (Geijo)
Subs Not Used: Bonham (GK), Dickinson, Murray, Mujangi Bia
Barnsley: Steele (GK), Crainie, Foster, McNulty, Golbourne, Mellis (Dawson), Greening (O`Brien), Buzsacky, Tudgay, Sinclair (Noble-Lazarus), Davies
Subs Not Used: Alnwick (GK), Wiseman, Stones & Cywka
Referee: Mr F Graham.