Barnsley slumped to the foot of the Championship as Watford breezed to a fifth-straight home league win.

The Hornets were in command within 16 minutes after Cristian Battocchio scored, then Troy Deeney netted his 17th goal of the season.

And the Vicarage Road faithful were sent home happy when Alexander Merkel added a third 16 minutes from time.

A poor Barnsley side rarely threatened and they are now three points from safety, while Watford are 11th.

  • Watford have won six successive home games in all competitions without conceding a goal.
  • Watford have collected just three points from their last six away games.

Watford still have an outside chance of making the play-offs, sitting nine points behind sixth-placed Nottingham Forest with a game in hand and 11 matches remaining.

Only five minutes were on the clock when Daniel Pudil's cross was converted superbly from 20 yards by Battocchio.

Davide Faraoni nearly increased the lead on two occasions before Deeney latched onto a mis-hit Lewis McGugan effort and fired home.

Barnsley rarely looked like breaking a sequence that now extends to over 10 hours without conceding a goal at home for Watford.

And Merkel finished the job off with his first for the Vicarage Road club with a neat finish to beat Luke Steele from six yards.

Barnsley manager Danny Wilson:

"There have been a lot of very candid words spoken. The season is far from over but if they are going to start believing what people are writing about us it will be.

"We've got to have a little cocoon around us and make sure we don't take it to heart and really believe we can stay up."

Watford manager Giuseppe Sannino on bouncing back from midweek defeat at Doncaster:

"Barnsley were facing a very angry team today.

"I'm pleased about the performance and we were able to give some cheer to the crowd, but I am demanding guy and we can improve."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Watford

  • 01 Almunia
  • 19 Faraoni
  • 18 Pudil Booked (O'Nien - 88' )
  • 04 Angella
  • 27 Cassetti
  • 12 Doyley (Neill - 84' )
  • 28 Tözsér
  • 10 McGugan (Merkel - 64' )
  • 09 Deeney
  • 21 Anya
  • 07 Battocchio

Substitutes

  • 05 Belkalem
  • 06 Ekstrand
  • 08 Merkel
  • 29 Neill
  • 30 Bond
  • 31 Hoban
  • 32 O'Nien

Barnsley

  • 01 Steele
  • 12 Hunt
  • 04 Kennedy
  • 08 Dawson Booked
  • 22 Mvoto
  • 05 Nyatanga
  • 14 Lawrence (O'Grady - 60' )
  • 15 Frimpong (Noble-Lazarus - 60' )
  • 09 Proschwitz
  • 21 Mellis Booked
  • 16 Jennings

Substitutes

  • 10 O'Grady
  • 11 Woods
  • 19 Cywka
  • 24 Noble-Lazarus
  • 31 Turner
  • 32 Rose
  • 42 McCourt
Ref: Graham Salisbury
Att: 14,531

Match Stats

Shots

12 10

On target

7 1

Corners

4 1

Fouls

17 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Watford 3, Barnsley 0.

90:00 +3:12 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Watford 3, Barnsley 0.

90:00 +2:00

Offside, Watford. Ikechi Anya tries a through ball, but Luke O'Nien is caught offside.

90:00 +0:20

Attempt missed. Nick Proschwitz (Barnsley) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jacob Mellis.

88:20

Thomas Kennedy (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:20

Foul by Luke O'Nien (Watford).

87:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Luke O'Nien replaces Daniel Pudil.

87:15

Attempt missed. Jean-Yves Mvoto (Barnsley) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jacob Mellis with a cross following a corner.

86:46

Corner, Barnsley. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

86:39

Attempt blocked. Nick Proschwitz (Barnsley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

86:36

Nick Proschwitz (Barnsley) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Jacob Mellis.

85:23

Jack Hunt (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the right wing.

85:23

Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

84:45

Jacob Mellis (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:45

Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

83:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Lucas Neill replaces Lloyd Doyley.

81:48

Foul by Jean-Yves Mvoto (Barnsley).

81:48

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

79:35

Dale Jennings (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:35

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

73:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 3, Barnsley 0. Alexander Merkel (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the top left corner.

72:36

Attempt missed. Chris O'Grady (Barnsley) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.

71:27

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Reuben Noble-Lazarus.

71:02

Jack Hunt (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:02

Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

67:42

Attempt missed. Dale Jennings (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

63:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Alexander Merkel replaces Lewis McGugan.

62:56

Offside, Barnsley. Thomas Kennedy tries a through ball, but Nick Proschwitz is caught offside.

61:52

Hand ball by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

60:06

Attempt missed. Daniel Tözsér (Watford) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ikechi Anya with a cross.

59:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barnsley. Reuben Noble-Lazarus replaces Emmanuel Frimpong.

59:11 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barnsley. Chris O'Grady replaces Liam Lawrence.

57:32

Thomas Kennedy (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the left wing.

57:32

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

56:45

Offside, Watford. Marco Cassetti tries a through ball, but Marco Davide Faraoni is caught offside.

55:50

Jacob Mellis (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:50

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

55:00 Booking

Booking Jacob Mellis (Barnsley) is shown the yellow card.

54:39

Foul by Jacob Mellis (Barnsley).

54:39

Daniel Tözsér (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:06

Cristian Battocchio (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

50:06

Foul by Stephen Dawson (Barnsley).

48:34

Attempt saved. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Gabriele Angella.

47:45

Offside, Barnsley. Nick Proschwitz tries a through ball, but Jacob Mellis is caught offside.

47:14

Foul by Daniel Pudil (Watford).

47:14

Jack Hunt (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Watford 2, Barnsley 0.

45:00 +3:31 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Watford 2, Barnsley 0.

45:00 +2:54

Daniel Pudil (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +2:54

Foul by Nick Proschwitz (Barnsley).

45:00 +1:36

Offside, Watford. Lewis McGugan tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

43:30

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

42:25

Delay in match Daniel Pudil (Watford) because of an injury.

41:39

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jean-Yves Mvoto.

40:39

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jack Hunt.

39:30

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

39:30

Emmanuel Frimpong (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:10

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

39:10

Foul by Jacob Mellis (Barnsley).

36:50

Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Cristian Battocchio with a headed pass.

35:17 Booking

Booking Daniel Pudil (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

35:07

Emmanuel Frimpong (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:07

Foul by Daniel Pudil (Watford).

31:27

Foul by Nick Proschwitz (Barnsley).

31:27

Cristian Battocchio (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:03

Nick Proschwitz (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:03

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

28:29

Attempt missed. Lewis McGugan (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

28:26

Attempt blocked. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

27:58 Booking

Booking Stephen Dawson (Barnsley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

27:31

Foul by Stephen Dawson (Barnsley).

27:31

Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

24:52

Stephen Dawson (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the left wing.

24:52

Foul by Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford).

23:48

Attempt saved. Dale Jennings (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luke Steele.

22:57

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

21:22

Delay in match Lewis McGugan (Watford) because of an injury.

20:42

Liam Lawrence (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:42

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

17:53

Attempt missed. Liam Lawrence (Barnsley) left footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Stephen Dawson with a cross.

16:55

Offside, Watford. Lewis McGugan tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

16:31

Offside, Watford. Gabriele Angella tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

15:22 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 2, Barnsley 0. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ikechi Anya.

14:43

Attempt saved. Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ikechi Anya.

10:45

Jacob Mellis (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:45

Foul by Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford).

10:20

Thomas Kennedy (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:20

Foul by Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford).

9:32

Attempt saved. Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Pudil with a cross.

8:22

Attempt missed. Stephen Dawson (Barnsley) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high. Assisted by Nick Proschwitz.

7:22

Offside, Watford. Daniel Tözsér tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

7:13

Foul by Emmanuel Frimpong (Barnsley).

7:13

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

6:28

Attempt missed. Lewin Nyatanga (Barnsley) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Thomas Kennedy with a cross following a set piece situation.

5:51

Thomas Kennedy (Barnsley) wins a free kick on the left wing.

5:51

Foul by Cristian Battocchio (Watford).

4:45 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 1, Barnsley 0. Cristian Battocchio (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner.

1:48

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér.

0:13

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jean-Yves Mvoto.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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