EPL: Rejuvenated Leeds dent Watford’s survival hopes

A revitalised Leeds United took a big step towards Premier League survival with a 3-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday, dealing another blow to the hosts’ dwindling hopes of staying in the top flight.

Relegation-threatened Watford needed a win after Everton beat Manchester United earlier on Saturday to distance themselves from the drop zone but goals from Raphinha, Rodrigo and Jack Harrison condemned them to a ninth straight home defeat.

Roy Hodgson’s side were toothless in front of goal and shaky in defence, unable to capitalise on an early attacking spell as the visitors took the lead thanks to a botched clearance.

Dan James slid the ball across to Raphinha on the edge of the 18-yard box and the Brazilian international’s shot curled past Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster and went in off the post for his 10th goal of the season.

A defensive mix-up between Hassane Kamara and Samir gifted Leeds their second goal as the Watford duo could not deal with a routine ball forward, allowing Rodrigo to round Foster and tap into an unguarded net.

Harrison added a third with six minutes remaining through an angled strike to end the game on a high note for Leeds, who remained in 16th place with 33 points. Watford are 19th with 22 points, six points from safety.

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