Josh Sargent scored twice as Norwich secured a crucial 3-0 victory on the road against relegation rivals Watford.
Norwich looked marooned a matter of weeks ago, but their fortunes have been revived by Dean Smith - and the win was his 200th as a manager.
For Watford, the loss drops them below Norwich into the relegation zone, and Claudio Ranieri's Hornets are heading in the wrong direction.
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The visitors started the brightest and had a good chance to go ahead in the early stages.
Sargent picked the ball up on the right flank, cut inside to unleash a strike but his effort was wide of the mark.
After a poor half in terms of quality, Watford slowly grew into the game, and had a great chance to head into the break with the advantage.
Josh King made a run down the right flank in behind the Norwich defence and crafted an inviting ball towards the oncoming Moussa Sissoko, who could not sort his feet out and sent the ball well wide.
Early in the second half Norwich broke the deadlock. Sargent, who looked threatening all evening, latched onto a Teemu Pukki cross that was clipped in behind the 21-year-old, but after some incredible improvisation, he managed to get a flick on it with a trailing leg and put the Canaries ahead.
There was an 11-and-a-half minute delay in the second half as a section of the Vicarage Road lights went out, but after consulting with both managers referee Mike Dean decided to play on with most of the lights still active.
Minutes after play resumed, Sargent doubled Norwich’s lead with a brilliant header, rising highest at the back post and guiding the ball beyond the outstretched Daniel Bachmann.
An own goal from Juraj Kucka, minutes after coming on, rubbed salt into Watford wounds.
TALKING POINT - NORWICH OUT OF THE DROP ZONE
A few weeks into the season, Norwich City were written off. Daniel Farke was sacked and Dean Smith was brought in to keep the Canaries afloat and try to replicate what he did at Aston Villa last season. Slowly but surely, Norwich started to climb the table, and for the first time this campaign, they’re out of the bottom three. Not only are they above Watford and into 17th, they did it convincingly. A big improvement on some of the stuff we’ve seen from them so far this season.
Watford drop into the relegation zone but have two games in hand on the Canaries, while bottom side Burnely - five points off Norwich - have five games in hand. The Canaries will certainly be looking over their shoulders in the coming weeks, but for now, they’ll be delighted to have their heads above water.
MAN OF THE MATCH - JOSH SARGENT (NORWICH)
This was an easy one. Sargent was magnificent. Even before he broke the deadlock on 51 minutes, he looked the sharpest player on the pitch by some distance. The 21-year-old took both of his goals superbly, especially the first which required some serious improvisation to convert from close-range, but he meant every bit of it.
If Norwich stay up this season, they can look back and give bundles of credit to Sargent, who stepped up for this crucial six-pointer. His performance at Vicarage Road could prove to be all the difference for Norwich, especially if he continues on this form. The Canaries have an exciting player on their books.
WATFORD: Bachmann 5, Femenia 5, Kabasele 4, Samir 4, Kamara 5, Sissoko 6, Kayembe 5, Cleverley 5, Dennis 3, King 5, Pedro 6 Subs: Kucka 4, Sema 4, Hernandez 6
NORWICH CITY: Gunn 7, Aarons 6, Hanley 7, Gibson 6, Williams 6, Sargent 9*, Sorensen 5, Melou 6, Rashica 7, Idah 7, Pukki 7 Subs: McLean 7, Placheta N/A, Byram 5
45’+2 - BIG CHANCE WATFORD! Josh King does really well to run in behind the Norwich defence and put a superb cross in as Sissoko arrives, but the Watford skipper can't get his feet together and his strike is a poor one.
51’ - GOAL! WATFORD 0-1 NORWICH (SARGENT): Unbelievable finish from Sargent! Pukki does well to win the ball on the byline, and put in a cross for Sargent but it's behind him, and somehow he gets a flick on the ball from close-range. Incredible improvisation. What a finish!
74’ - GOAL! WATFORD 0-2 NORWICH (SARGENT): It's going to be checked for offside, but Sargent has leapt like a salmon to head Norwich into a two-goal lead! Rachica puts in a deep cross and Sargent wants it more than Kamara, and doubles Norwich's lead!
78’ - RED CARD (DENNIS): He's lost his head, Dennis. He goes into a challenge with his leg hanging in the air and he's been given his second booking.
90’+1 - GOAL! WATFORD 0-3 NORWICH (KUCKA OG): Kucka turns the ball into his own net from a cross, game over!
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