Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 3, Watford 1.
West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Watford
West Brom moved up to sixth in the Premier League after securing a third win in four league games with victory over Watford at The Hawthorns.
Central defender Jonny Evans headed in a Chris Brunt corner to put the Baggies in front with his first goal of the season.
The influential Brunt added a second when his low, left-footed strike from 25 yards went in via a deflection off Watford defender Juan Zuniga.
Watford pulled one back when Christian Kabasele sidefooted in from close range before Baggies keeper Ben Foster crucially saved from Roberto Pereyra.
Pereyra was then dismissed late on when he reacted angrily to a James McClean challenge in an incident which resulted in both sets of players clashing on the touchline.
Matt Phillips curled in a stoppage-time goal for the home side as West Brom moved ahead of Manchester United, who travel to Everton on Sunday, on goals scored.
Melee ruins Watford chances
Just before Pereyra's 84th-minute dismissal, Watford had the Baggies defence under pressure and had forced the Midlands side into some last-ditch defending.
Watford had 18 shots on goal compared to 11 for West Brom, with four efforts on target in the second half compared to one from their rivals.
Pereyra had gone close to a leveller when he was played through on goal only for keeper Ben Foster to save at the midfielder's feet.
Foster also dived low to palm the ball away from Stefano Okaka in the box, with the Hornets striker unsuccessfully appealing for a penalty.
Moments later, Pereyra ended his side's hopes of getting anything from the game when he shoved McClean in scenes that led to Watford boss Walter Mazzarri coming on to the field to restrain his player.
Players from both camps also clashed before Pereyra was shown a red card and McClean a yellow.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis has built a reputation on being a professor of set-piece situations and he is only emphasising that at West Brom.
Evans' opener was the Baggies' seventh goal from a corner this season - a league high - while it was the eighth Watford had conceded from such a set-piece, which is is the worst record in the Premier League.
The home side's second came from a free-kick when Phillips ran over the ball and James Morrison rolled it into the path of Brunt, who was helped by a deflection off Zuniga taking it past keeper Heurelho Gomes.
Phillips' lovely goal put the icing on the win and the only negative for the Midlands club was the number of empty seats at the ground, with 22,244 in attendance at the 26,850-capacity stadium.
"Confidence is running through the side at the moment and we played some good stuff," Phillips said.
"We work very hard on set-pieces. Our job is to get the ball into the box and we know we have got players who can score."
Man of the match - Chris Brunt
What they said:
West Brom boss Tony Pulis: "It was tough. Watford are very strong physically. We have had to stand up for ourselves.
"I'm more disappointed with the one we conceded from a set-piece than the one we scored. They went zonal today."
On the players' melee: "I was more concerned about James McClean getting involved in it. Trouble seems to follow him around. I was more concerned with keeping him out of trouble as much as possible.
"The lad [Roberto Pereyra] has kicked out. Whether you catch him or not, it is the intent.
"We have a good spirit here. They are playing well. I am very pleased with Matty Phillips today. In a lot of areas we have had to grind it out and still created good opportunities."
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri: "I'm very happy with how my team played. I think it is the best they have played since I have been here and we deserved victory.
"Pereyra was fouled. He was on the floor and his rival kept fouling him. He stood up and gave a small push and that's when I went to separate them. He was unfairly sent off.
"Of course, the game changed from there."
Key stats - Brunt ends long wait
- Watford have won just one of their last nine league visits to The Hawthorns (D3 L5).
- Chris Brunt ended a run of 29 Premier League appearances without a goal, netting his first in the competition since May 2015.
- Jonny Evans has ended on the winning side on each of the six occasions he has scored in the Premier League.
- Matt Phillips has had a hand in six goals in his last four Premier League appearances (three goals, three assists).
- West Brom have scored 20 goals in their 14 Premier League games so far this season - only in 2012-13 (24) have they scored more at this stage.
Watford, who are 10th in the table, host Everton at 12:30 GMT on Saturday, 10 December, while West Brom travel to Chelsea for a 12:00 GMT kick-off on Sunday, 11 December.
- 23McAuleyBooked at 15mins
- 11BruntSubstituted forMcCleanat 80'minutesBooked at 84mins
- 7MorrisonSubstituted forChadliat 75'minutes
- 9RondónSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 88'minutes
- 18ZuñigaSubstituted forIghaloat 77'minutes
- 37PereyraBooked at 84mins
- 33OkakaSubstituted forSinclairat 90+4'minutes
- 9DeeneyBooked at 85mins
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 3, Watford 1.
Odion Ighalo (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt blocked. Odion Ighalo (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Jerome Sinclair (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).
Hand ball by Adlène Guédioura (Watford).
Substitution, Watford. Jerome Sinclair replaces Stefano Okaka.
Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Christian Kabasele.
Goal! West Bromwich Albion 3, Watford 1. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.
Attempt saved. Odion Ighalo (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Troy Deeney.
Attempt missed. Adlène Guédioura (Watford) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is high and wide to the left.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Salomón Rondón.
Troy Deeney (Watford) is shown the yellow card.
James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card.
Roberto Pereyra (Watford) is shown the red card for violent conduct.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. James McClean replaces Chris Brunt.
Offside, Watford. Sebastian Prödl tries a through ball, but Odion Ighalo is caught offside.
Substitution, Watford. Odion Ighalo replaces Juan Zuñiga.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Nacer Chadli replaces James Morrison.
Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James Morrison.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) because of an injury.
Foul by Nordin Amrabat (Watford).
Nyom (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Nordin Amrabat (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion).
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Juan Zuñiga.
Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Watford).
James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt saved. Nordin Amrabat (Watford) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Troy Deeney.
Goal! West Bromwich Albion 2, Watford 1. Christian Kabasele (Watford) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Troy Deeney following a corner.
Attempt missed. Sebastian Prödl (Watford) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Adlène Guédioura with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Ben Foster.
Nordin Amrabat (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt missed. Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Phillips with a cross.
Attempt missed. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Brunt with a cross.
Christian Kabasele (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.