Watford made it 10 points from 12 after beating Middlesbrough in a game in which both sides finished with 10 men.

Troy Deeney put the hosts ahead with a penalty after Ben Gibson brought down Fernando Forestieri.

Watford then handed the initiative to Boro as Samba Diakite was sent off for a rash challenge on Dean Whitehead.

Home comforts

  • Watford have lost only one of their last seven home games in all competitions, winning the last four.

But Gibson was dismissed for a second booking after preventing keeper Jonathan Bond clearing the ball, before Watford saw out the game for victory.

The win puts Watford six points from the play-off positions, while Boro are a further two points adrift.

Striker Danny Graham, who netted 27 goals for the Hornets four seasons ago, had a chance to score against his former club after 28 minutes but chipped over the bar.

Boro then had the ball in the net only for Jonathan Woodgate's header to be disallowed for offside in a low key first half.

However, the game sparked into action after the break when Deeney confidently scored from the spot for his 14th goal of the season.

Diakite, who was making his full debut after joining on loan from QPR, was dismissed and, shortly afterwards, Gibson also made an early exit.

Watford contained any Boro threat and could even have extended their lead when substitute Ikechi Anya raced clear before shooting wide.

Watford manager Giuseppe Sannino:

"I think if the referee sent them off they deserved to be sent off.

"What I did like was all the game, not part of the game, because my team were able to suffer.

"They work as a unit, as a team and I'm very happy about my lads."

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka:

"We lost the game because of our mistakes.

"We were losing but we were one man more and I thought with the three substitutes I had made we could change the score but, five minutes later, Gibson was sent off and the game was very, very difficult.

"The problem is the mistakes. It's not the mentality or the capacity of my players because we played at 100% like we played a lot of games in the past."

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (6)

Watford

  • 30 Bond
  • 19 Faraoni (Anya - 64' )
  • 18 Pudil
  • 12 Doyley (Hoban - 45' )
  • 04 Angella
  • 27 Cassetti Booked
  • 23 Diakité Dismissed
  • 28 Tözsér
  • 11 Forestieri Booked (Battocchio - 71' )
  • 09 Deeney
  • 16 Murray

Substitutes

  • 03 Bellerín
  • 07 Battocchio
  • 08 Merkel
  • 20 Park Chu-young
  • 21 Anya
  • 24 Woods
  • 31 Hoban

Middlesbrough

  • 12 Given
  • 08 Varga (Main - 73' )
  • 03 Friend
  • 07 Leadbitter
  • 39 Woodgate (Kamara - 84' )
  • 22 Gibson Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 11 Ledesma (Carayol - 45' )
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 09 Graham
  • 24 Chalobah Booked
  • 27 Adomah

Substitutes

  • 06 Butterfield
  • 13 Konstantopoulos
  • 15 Hines
  • 19 Carayol
  • 23 Main
  • 25 Omeruo
  • 29 Kamara
Ref: Oliver Langford
Att: 15,391

Match Stats

Shots

11 15

On target

4 4

Corners

2 7

Fouls

13 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Watford 1, Middlesbrough 0.

90:00 +5:11 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Watford 1, Middlesbrough 0.

90:00 +4:18

Attempt missed. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kei Kamara.

90:00 +2:57

Attempt saved. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a headed pass.

90:00 +1:07

Foul by Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough).

90:00 +1:07

Sean Murray (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:31

Offside, Watford. Sean Murray tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

89:47

Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:47

Foul by Sean Murray (Watford).

87:27

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tommy Hoban.

87:15

Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

86:31

Attempt saved. Daniel Tözsér (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

85:43

Attempt blocked. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

84:29

Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:29

Foul by Cristian Battocchio (Watford).

83:49

Offside, Watford. Daniel Pudil tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

83:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Kei Kamara replaces Jonathan Woodgate.

82:49

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

79:28

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jonathan Woodgate.

77:48

Attempt blocked. George Friend (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

75:46

Attempt saved. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Dean Whitehead with a cross.

73:38

Attempt missed. Ikechi Anya (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

72:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Curtis Main replaces József Varga.

72:39

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tommy Hoban.

70:47

Attempt saved. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

70:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Cristian Battocchio replaces Fernando Forestieri because of an injury.

68:31

Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:31

Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

64:33

Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Tommy Hoban.

63:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Ikechi Anya replaces Marco Davide Faraoni.

62:40

Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).

62:40

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:12

Attempt blocked. Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

61:44

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jonathan Woodgate.

60:55

Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).

60:55

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:30

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tommy Hoban.

58:21 Booking

Booking Fernando Forestieri (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

58:13 Booking

Booking Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

57:27

Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:27

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

56:29 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) for a bad foul.

56:23

Foul by Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough).

56:23

Jonathan Bond (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:54

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tommy Hoban.

54:12

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

53:30

Delay in match Troy Deeney (Watford) because of an injury.

52:50

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

52:38

Attempt blocked. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathaniel Chalobah.

51:52 Dismissal

Dismissal Samba Diakité (Watford) is shown the red card.

51:41

Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:41

Foul by Samba Diakité (Watford).

50:42

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

50:09

Delay in match Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) because of an injury.

49:03 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 1, Middlesbrough 0. Troy Deeney (Watford) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

48:16

Penalty conceded by Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) after a foul in the penalty area.

48:16

Penalty Watford. Fernando Forestieri draws a foul in the penalty area.

47:08

Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

47:08

Foul by Tommy Hoban (Watford).

45:19

Offside, Watford. Gabriele Angella tries a through ball, but Fernando Forestieri is caught offside.

45:00

Second Half begins Watford 0, Middlesbrough 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Mustapha Carayol replaces Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Tommy Hoban replaces Lloyd Doyley because of an injury.

45:00 +1:08 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Watford 0, Middlesbrough 0.

45:00 +0:10

Attempt missed. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

42:01

Foul by Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).

42:01

Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

41:10

Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Marco Davide Faraoni with a cross.

38:50

Offside, Middlesbrough. József Varga tries a through ball, but Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma is caught offside.

38:05

Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

38:05

Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

37:10

Offside, Middlesbrough. Grant Leadbitter tries a through ball, but Jonathan Woodgate is caught offside.

36:38 Booking

Booking Marco Cassetti (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

36:12

Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

36:12

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

34:08 Booking

Booking Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

33:54

Foul by Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough).

33:54

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

33:31

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

33:31

Samba Diakité (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:17

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:17

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

31:01

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from long range on the right is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

29:57

Foul by Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough).

29:57

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

28:29

Attempt missed. Daniel Pudil (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Fernando Forestieri.

27:10

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Lloyd Doyley.

26:16

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

22:57

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:57

Foul by Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford).

22:28

Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:28

Foul by Samba Diakité (Watford).

21:41

Attempt missed. Sean Murray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

18:49

Offside, Watford. Sean Murray tries a through ball, but Daniel Tözsér is caught offside.

18:08

Corner, Watford. Conceded by George Friend.

18:05

Attempt blocked. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Pudil.

16:46

Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:46

Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

16:21

Attempt saved. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma.

15:17

Offside, Middlesbrough. Ben Gibson tries a through ball, but Grant Leadbitter is caught offside.

13:53

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from long range on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by József Varga.

13:04

Foul by József Varga (Middlesbrough).

13:04

Gabriele Angella (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:39

Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

9:39

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

7:47

Attempt missed. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from long range on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Danny Graham.

1:30

Offside, Watford. Marco Cassetti tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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