Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu bagged a hat-trick as Watford hammered lowly Cardiff City 5-1 on Friday to move up to seventh place in the Premier League.
Deulofeu put Javi Gracia’s side ahead in the 18th minute with a well-placed finish after a mistake from Cardiff defender Bruno Manga.
Cardiff should have had a penalty when Daryl Janmaat’s rash challenge brought down Josh Murphy but Watford ran away with the game after the break.
Deulofeu made it 2-0 with a clinical finish, rounding Cardiff keeper Neil Etheridge after a swift break in the 61st minute.
The former Barcelona and Everton winger completed his hat-trick after more poor defending from Neil Warnock’s side – Harry Arta gave the ball away in midfield and Deulofeu’s calm finish gave him Watford’s first top-flight hat-trick since Mark Falco in 1986.
Deulofeu then turned creator, bursting into the box and unselfishly teeing up Troy Deeney for a simple tap-in as Watford romped into a four-goal advantage.
Cardiff, who are 17th and could fall back into the bottom three after this weekend’s games, pulled a goal back through defender Sol Bamba, who bundled the ball in following a scramble at a corner.
But Watford added further punishment with Deeney’s second in stoppage time after good work from Will Hughes.
Elsewhere, Fulham fell deeper into relegation trouble with a 3-1 Premier League defeat by West Ham United at London Stadium on Friday.
Claudio Ranieri’s 19th-placed side made the ideal start, grabbing the lead in the third minute with former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel scoring from close range after he had earlier missed a golden chance.
There was controversy about West Ham’s equaliser when Mexican striker Javier Hernandez stooped to head in from close range but replays suggested the ball went in off his arm.
Issa Diop’s first Premier League goal, with a header five minutes before the break, put West Ham in charge and while Fulham produced some decent football after the break, they rarely threatened.
The Hammers made sure of the win in stoppage time as Michail Antonio powerfully headed home a cross from substitute Marco Arnautovic.