Premier League

Dennis and Sarr combine to hand Watford critical victory against Aston Villa

6:17 PM GMT 19/02/2022
Emmanuel Dennis Watford 2021-22
The Africans were key players as the Hornets registered their first away league win while also keeping a first clean sheet since January 2020

Nigeria's Emmanuel Dennis and Ismailia Sarr of Senegal provided critical contributions as Watford picked up a 1-0 Premier League win over Aston Villa on Saturday.

Dennis scored the goal - in the 78th minute - that could prove massive for Watford in their fight against relegation, and it came from an assist provided by Sarr. The goal - ninth for the Nigerian star - handed the away side their first victory under Roy Hodgson.

Sarr was making his first start since their victory against Manchester United in November and had a great impact on the game.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa's Danny Ings was unlucky in the 30th minute when his goal was ruled out for offside after he was impressively spotted in a good goalscoring position by Emiliano Buendia.

Moussa Sissoko would have put the Hornets ahead just when the second half began, but the Frenchman hit the side-netting with their first open chance after the restart.

Finally, the struggling side broke the deadlock late in the second half when Sarr's great attacking move and patience on the ball ensured Dennis positioned himself well before scoring. The Nigerian managed to beat Ashley Young and produced a good header that went into the back of Aston Villa's net.

Dennis has now been directly involved in 14 goals for Watford in the league this season - nine goals and five assists - the most by a player in a single campaign in the competition for the Hornets since both Gerard Deulofeu (15) and Troy Deeney (14) did so in 2018-19.

The result means Aston Villa have lost both meetings with Watford in the Premier League this season, the second time that the Hornets have achieved a league double over them in the competition (also in 2015-16) while Watford picked up their first Premier League away win since October (5-2 v Everton).