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How the Watford players rated against Everton

Heurelho Gomes 6

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Strangely unconvincing for someone who didn’t have much to do. Opted for a bizarre volleyball technique to keep out a cross-shot from Gerard Deulofeu and skied a first half clearance, with his much weaker left foot, up into the air. Showed great willingness to come off his line for crosses and corners but it’s only three clean sheets in 15 for the big Brazilian.

Juan Zuniga 6

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Happier when you see the versatile Colombian on the ball going forward than you are when he’s going backwards defending. He’s such a handy player to have in the squad, though, as he can fill in on the left or the right, in a back four or as a wing back. He was much better here than at the Hawthorns.

Sebastian Prodl 8

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Sat on the top table at the fans’ forum in the week and reflected his growing status in this team with another towering display here, capped by a soaring header for the second. We should not forget the man he and Miguel Britos were marking scored twice but, one on one, he got the better of Romelu Lukaku in one midfield exchange in the first half near the Everton dug out. What a free transfer he is.

Miguel Britos 6

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Doesn’t look the same player that he was at this time last season. He didn’t play badly here but he doesn’t exude the same confidence he once did. Lukaku beat him in the first aerial challenge of the match and slipped him twice thereafter to score. One comical moment when he fell, head first, in front of the Graham Taylor stand when trying to keep tabs on Deulofeu. Couldn’t believe the save Stekelenburg pulled off to prevent his header finding the back of the net.

Jose Holebas 7

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Did some very good things – like two assists – but he was poor in the first half and his booking tally – he’s up to seven now – is getting ridiculous. He did the simple things badly, like allowing a straightforward pass from Etienne Capoue to roll over his foot and out of play in the first half, but then slung over two brilliant crosses for Prodl and then Stefano Okaka to score. We guess that’s what you get with Holebas.

Valon Behrami 7

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The game passed him by in the first period, as Watford bypassed the midfield and got the ball from back to front as quickly as possible. He did, however, lay the ball into Troy Deeney for the chance that Okaka curled straight at Stekelenburg. He was much more influential in the second half after, strangely, he had been sick. The late intercept tackle on Deulofeu, who was sprinting clear on the counterattack, was easily his best moment.

Adlene Guedioura 6

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He’s a lovely guy and has been a fine player for the club but Watford really shouldn’t be a year two club and have the Algerian in the heart of their midfield. And the plan was for him not to be had Abdoulaye Doucoure, his mate, been fancied by the head coach. Guedioura was booked early here and we feel Ben Watson is better suited to this defensive role. The Algerian did, though, play the angled, clip pass that dropped perfectly over the head of Seamus Coleman for Troy Deeney.

Etienne Capoue 6

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He will be thrilled with the no-look pass he fooled Idrissa Gueye with in the first half down by the north-east corner but it was difficult to recall him doing too much else of note, apart from a nice ball he slid across the face of goal for Okaka that Funes Mori expertly intercepted.

Nordin Amrabat 8

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Rapidly emerging as the heartbeat of this team. He sets the tone down the right-hand side and when he plays well, Watford tend to these days. He gave Leighton Baines a real going over, particularly in the first half and if Watford play with the same commitment he ploughed into a second-half challenge with Baines then Watford will be just fine this season. We liked how he didn’t make a fuss of Baines’ challenge, just dusting himself down and getting on with things.

Troy Deeney 7

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The ball just isn’t falling for Deeney in front of goal right now but his spirit and fight remains undimmed. He was involved in two earlier chances for Okaka before the goal and flicked a header on for Guedioura to have a sight of goal. An in-form Deeney, however, would have converted the ball that dropped over the head of Seamus Coleman at the far post and also not produced such a heavy touch after Amrabat got round the back of Baines and Funes Mori. He’s not scored since Oct 1, more than 12 hours of football ago.

Stefano Okaka 8

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Come on, be honest, who thought the big man was capable of a flick like that? Not us, that’s for sure. Not on the evidence of his full debut at West Brom. He showed his all-court game here and why Mazzarri, despite having Odion Ighalo and Isaac Success on the bench, has such faith in him. He led the line, held the ball up well, was neat and tidy on the floor and a bit of a brute in the air. We particularly loved the way he chased back and tackled Coleman in front of the Watford dugout.

Substitutes

Daryl Janmaat 7

You’ve got to admire his bravery to be back out and playing at full throttle after such a sickening clash of heads with Adrian Mariappa. He was eager to get down the left as he is down the right and clipped over several teasing inswingers after replacing Guedioura.

Ben Watson

Brought on for Okaka to shore things up. No time to make an impression. Unlucky not have to started the last two games.

Christian Kabasele

A late, token substitution for Zuniga as Mazzarri sought to run the clock down. Can consider himself unfortunate to be on the bench after scoring at West Brom the week before.