Emmanuel Dennis emerged as the saviour for Premier League relegation battlers, Watford, after scoring with less than fifteen minutes left to help his side seal a crucial 1-nil win at Villa Park.
It was Dennis’ first goal in almost two months after last scoring in Watford’s 4-1 home loss against West Ham United on December 28, 2021.
Dennis goal also ended Watford’s longest goalless run in the English top-flight since 1987.
In the game which Watford initially sat deep to absorb all pressure and hit Villa on counter, their best chance before Dennis’ goal was in the first half.
The Nigerian forward cut through the Villa defence, only to be denied by a fabulous save from Emiliano Martínez, who sprung to his right to tip Dennis’ shot wide of the post.
Surprisingly, the first half ended goalless and Watford came on in the second to continue from where they stopped before half time.
As Watford remained resolute, frustrations around Villa Park only grew, when Lucas Digne struck a free-kick wide from the edge of the area just past the hour mark, and Phillipe Coutinho clipped the top of the Hornets net from range.
The decisive moment of the game would come in the seventy-eighth minutes when the Super Eagles forward rose highest to head home his ninth goal of the season, and bolster Watford’s unlikely bid to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Meanwhile, Dennis’ Nigerian teammates William Troost-Ekong and Samuel Kalu were unused substitutes for the game.
With the win, The Hornets have moved up to eighteenth place on the log eighteen points, and six points from safety.