Odion Ighalo’s early goal gave Watford their third successive win and left Sunderland stuck in the bottom three.

Ighalo and Black Cats defender Sebastian Coates met Allan Nyom’s low cross at the near post and diverted the ball past Costel Pantilimon.

Sunderland took time to find a response but dominated the second half.

Jermain Defoe and Jack Rodwell forced good saves from Heurelho Gomes but the Hornets hung on for a victory that moves them up to seventh in the table.

Sam Allardyce highlighted the importance of keeping the Watford front boys, Ighalo and Deeney quiet before the game in his pre-match press conference.

Sunderland finished strongly, firing a succession of crosses into the Watford box and creating several second-half chances.

Another loss for the Black Cats were an early goal has cost them dearly.

Sunderland

  • Pantilimon
  • 24 Yedlin Substituted for Rodwell at 19 minutes Booked at 60 mins
  • 22 Coates
  • 16 O’Shea
  • Jones
  • van Aanholt
  • Borini Substituted for Johnson at 57 minutes
  • 20 Toivonen
  • 21 M’Vila
  • 41 Watmore
  • 26 Fletcher Substituted for Defoe at 72′minutes

Substitutes

  • Rodwell
  • 11 Johnson
  • 12 Matthews
  • 17 Lens
  • 18 Defoe
  • 19 Graham
  • 25 Mannone

Watford

  • Gomes
  • Nyom
  • 15 Cathcart
  • Britos
  • 16 Aké
  • 29 Capoue
  • 23 Watson
  • 22 Abdi Substituted for Guédioura at 69 minutes
  • Deeney
  • Jurado Substituted for Anya at 76 minutes
  • 24 Ighalo

Substitutes

  • 10 Oularé
  • 14 Paredes
  • 17 Guédioura
  • 20 Berghuis
  • 21 Anya
  • 32 Diamanti
  • 34 Arlauskis
Referee:Graham Scott
Attendance:43,989
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