Match ends, Watford 2, Burnley 1.
Watford 2-1 Burnley
M'Baye Niang scored one goal and made another on his home debut for Watford as 10-man Burnley's miserable away record continued.
Sean Dyche's Clarets, who have not won on their travels since last May, had midfielder Jeff Hendrick sent off in the sixth minute for a two-footed challenge on Jose Holebas.
Niang, signed on loan from AC Milan last month, then crossed for Troy Deeney to head his third goal in four matches.
The winger guided in Holebas' left-wing cross with a fine header to make it 2-0 just before half-time.
Ashley Barnes gave Burnley hope by scoring a penalty with 12 minutes left after Sebastian Prodl handled Joey Barton's shot - but they could not equalise.
Watford winning again after wobble
Walter Mazzarri's side were slipping towards relegation trouble after a dreadful run around the turn of the year, during which they took just three points from seven matches.
It did not help Mazzarri that a side showing seven changes tumbled out of the FA Cup at League One Millwall last Sunday, a result that prompted an apology from the head coach.
Yet under pressure, the Hornets have responded. Goalscorer Deeney said afterwards that this had been a big week for the club, a feeling intensified off the pitch by the emotion that surrounded the funeral of their former manager Graham Taylor on Wednesday.
Taylor was the man who led Watford into the top flight for the first time in 1982; the current generation at Vicarage Road showed they have the character to stay there.
Victory at Arsenal on Tuesday was a huge statement of intent. This performance did not match that one, with Watford tailing off in the second half, but they got the job done, and are 10 points clear of the bottom three.
Burnley refuse to wilt
A Burnley away victory is harder to come by than an iceberg lettuce at the moment; they last won on their travels on 7 May last year.
Dyche can point to impressive performances and bad luck in recent away games - and he has done - but they were not helped at Vicarage Road by the early dismissal of Hendrick, who was ruled to have gone in with two feet on Holebas.
When Burnley went in 2-0 behind at half-time, they could have folded, but instead made a creditable attempt at a fightback.
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton kept them in the game with a fine save after Deeney connected with a Niang cross, and once Barnes scored his penalty, Watford looked very edgy.
The striker could have saved an unlikely point late on when a Craig Cathcart slip left him clear, but goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes blocked to ensure Watford's win.
Who would be a referee?
Referee Michael Oliver must have known he was in for a tough day when Niang sent Burnley left-back Stephen Ward flying into the air with a woefully mistimed challenge just five minutes in.
Having only just put his yellow card back into his pocket after showing it to Niang, Oliver was then surrounded by furious Burnley players as he waved red at Hendrick.
This was not the easiest match to referee, with the first half in particular littered with fouls.
Oliver, at times, had the air of an exasperated primary school teacher, and was caught on camera shaking his head as he booked Etienne Capoue for a trip.
Overall, Oliver did well. He stepped in after half-time to prevent Deeney and Matt Lowton coming to blows after a tussle by the touchline threatened to get out of hand, and was right to disallow a Deeney goal for handball in stoppage time.
Even then, his afternoon was not over. The referee was visited in his dressing room after the game by Dyche, who wanted to know why Niang - already on a yellow card - had not been sent off for running into the crowd to celebrate his goal.
Man of the match - Tom Cleverley (Watford)
'I'm very angry'
Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri: "Our first-half performance was better than our second, and this is why I'm very angry. The big teams close these games 3-0, or 4-0, and we didn't do it. We have to grow in this mentality.
"This year, our objective is to stay in the Premier League, and becoming an important team. We have to work on this, and keep doing what we're doing."
Burnley manager Sean Dyche, on why he went in to see referee Oliver after the game: "I was only asking why M'Baye Niang wasn't sent off. He had been booked earlier, then ran into their crowd to celebrate his goal, and you're not allowed to do that.
"It wasn't so much about our sending-off. It's a tough one for referees. I don't think there was a lot of actual contact, but we know most times that's going to be a sending-off.
"I thought we were absolutely outstanding in the second half. We had a couple of real good chances. They had one golden moment when Tom Heaton made a great save. But given it was 10 v 11, we were excellent."
Hendrick's unwanted record
- Jeff Hendrick's sixth-minute red card was the quickest in the Premier League this season - and the fastest in the competition since 21 March, 2015, when West Brom's Gareth McAuley was dismissed in the second minute against Manchester City.
- Watford have netted two or more goals in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time.
- Burnley have won just one point in their 11 Premier League away games this season.
- Troy Deeney has scored in three consecutive Premier League appearances for only the second time. He scored in four in a row in November/December 2015.
- Deeney has scored in each of his four league appearances against Burnley at Vicarage Road.
- M'Baye Niang's assist for Deeney was his first involvement in a goal in 13 league games - since scoring for AC Milan against Chievo in October.
- Courtesy of Niang's goal and assist, this is the 10th occasion a Watford player has scored and assisted in the same Premier League game.
- Ashley Barnes has converted both of his penalties in the Premier League this season, his only two spot-kicks in his top-flight career.
Watford go to Manchester United next Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Burnley host Premier League leaders Chelsea the following day (13:30).
- 15CathcartBooked at 90mins
- 5PrödlBooked at 77mins
- 25HolebasBooked at 20mins
- 29CapoueBooked at 33mins
- 11BehramiSubstituted forDoucouréat 65'minutes
- 21NiangBooked at 6minsSubstituted forSuccessat 81'minutes
- 20ZárateSubstituted forJanmaatat 87'minutes
- 21BoydSubstituted forVokesat 86'minutes
- 13HendrickBooked at 6mins
- 37ArfieldSubstituted forWestwoodat 77'minutes
- 7GraySubstituted forBradyat 55'minutes
- 25Berg Gudmundsson
- Michael Oliver
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Watford 2, Burnley 1.
Craig Cathcart (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Craig Cathcart (Watford).
Robbie Brady (Burnley) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Hand ball by Troy Deeney (Watford).
Attempt saved. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Offside, Burnley. Michael Keane tries a through ball, but Ashley Barnes is caught offside.
Substitution, Watford. Daryl Janmaat replaces Mauro Zárate.
Substitution, Burnley. Sam Vokes replaces George Boyd.
Attempt saved. Robbie Brady (Burnley) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by George Boyd.
Mauro Zárate (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matthew Lowton (Burnley).
Substitution, Watford. Isaac Success replaces M'Baye Niang.
Goal! Watford 2, Burnley 1. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Sebastian Prödl (Watford) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.
Penalty conceded by Sebastian Prödl (Watford) with a hand ball in the penalty area.
Attempt blocked. Joey Barton (Burnley) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Robbie Brady.
Substitution, Burnley. Ashley Westwood replaces Scott Arfield.
Foul by Sebastian Prödl (Watford).
Robbie Brady (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Scott Arfield (Burnley) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Sebastian Prödl (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Etienne Capoue (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Robbie Brady (Burnley).
Attempt blocked. José Holebas (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.
Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by M'Baye Niang with a cross.
Attempt saved. Etienne Capoue (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by José Holebas with a cross.
Attempt missed. Tom Cleverley (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mauro Zárate following a set piece situation.
Mauro Zárate (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by George Boyd (Burnley).
Substitution, Watford. Abdoulaye Doucouré replaces Valon Behrami.
Foul by Sebastian Prödl (Watford).
Ashley Barnes (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Hand ball by Ben Mee (Burnley).
Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Heurelho Gomes.
Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Valon Behrami.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Robbie Brady.
Craig Cathcart (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.