Norwich have moved out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season thanks to a statement 3-0 win against Watford at Vicarage Road.
While levering the Canaries out of the bottom three, the result pushes the Hornets into it and leaves manager Claudio Ranieri under increasing pressure.
A brace from Josh Sargent made the difference, with a late own goal rounding off the scoring.
Watford dominated the first half and should have taken a lead into the interval when Moussa Sissoko failed to make clean contact with the ball right in front of goal and missed the target.
The Hornets were made to regret not turning that dominance into a goal because it was only a few minutes into the second half when Sargent scored his contender for goal of the season.
Teemu Pukki, starved of service in the first half, outmuscled the otherwise impressive Samir to send the ball to Sargent, whose scorpion-esque flick turned a poor cross into an outrageous goal. VAR checked the build for a potential foul from Pukki but the goal was allowed to stand.
The game was paused for more than 10 minutes midway through the second half when a very minor floodlight failure – the pitch was still well lit regardless – caused some confusion.
Norwich weren’t shaken by the delay and Sargent, having waited all season for his first Premier League goal, soon had his second. This time it was a deep cross to the far post from Milot Rashica and the American rose highest to power a header into the bottom corner.
Sissoko did have the ball in the net for Watford as the game ticked into 15 (!) minutes of stoppage time, but a brilliant volleyed finish was rendered pointless by an offside flag.
Watford’s misery was compounded only moments later when substitute Juraj Kucka turned the ball into his own net from Adam Idah’s low cross.
Pierre Lees-Melou had earlier cleared off the line to keep Norwich’s lead as it was, while Joao Pedro and Cucho Hernandez both went close to pulling one back with late efforts from distance.
Watford player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Daniel Bachmann (GK) - 5/10 - Stood little chance with any of the goals.
Kiko Femenia (RB) - 5/10 - Rolled by Rashica for Norwich's second goal.
Christian Kabasele (CB) - 5/10 - Second best when it mattered.
Samir (CB) - 6/10 - Had impressed in only his second Premier League appearance until he was too easily outmuscled when Norwich took the lead.
Hassane Kamara (LB) - 5/10 - Caught under the ball at the back post when Norwich scored their second. Better in the first half.
Moussa Sissoko (CM) - 6/10 - Missed a glorious chance at the end of the first half but was generally a powerful driving force. Later thought he had pulled one back but was marginally offside.
Edo Kayembe (CM) - 5/10 - On top in the first half, but faded like his teammates after the interval.
Tom Cleverley (CM) - 5/10 - Withdrawn early in the second half.
Emmanuel Dennis (RW) - 3/10 - A naive challenge when he was already on a yellow card resulted in an early bath.
Joshua King (ST) - 4/10 - Disappointing night. Not involved enough.
Joao Pedro (LW) - 6/10 - Looked a first half threat but his best effort was a tame effort shortly before half-time. Later rippled the top of the net.
Cucho Hernandez (AM) - 5/10 - Took a while to get into the game but rattled a dipping effort off the crossbar late on.
Ken Sema (LB) - 4/10 - Didn't really add much or change anything.
Juraj Kucka (RB) - 3/10 - Scored a poor own goal soon after coming on.
Norwich player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Angus Gunn (GK) - 6/10 - Did everything he needed to.
Max Aarons (RB) - 6/10 - Had to fight to keep Joao Pedro under wraps and just about came out on top in that individual battle.
Grant Hanley (CB) - 7/10 - Commanding at the back.
Ben Gibson (CB) - 7/10 - Like his partner. Strong and resilient.
Brandon Williams (LB) - 6/10 - Combative as usual but looked to be struggling when Watford were in the ascendancy. Better in the second half.
Josh Sargent (RM) - 9/10 - Netted his first Premier League goal with a contender for goal of the season and then doubled his tally soon after.
Jacob Sorensen (CM) - N/A - Forced off with injury 20 minutes in.
Pierre Lees-Melou (CM) - 7/10 - Cleared off the line at 2-0, stopping Watford from getting back into the game.
Milot Rashica (LM) - 7/10 - Made the crucial second goal with a high inviting cross to the far post.
Adam Idah (ST) - 7/10 - Looked bright again off the back of a fine performance against Everton last weekend. Made the third goal.
Teemu Pukki (ST) - 7/10 - Barely had a kick in the first half but worked hard and showed desire to keep the ball alive to create Sargent's goal.
Kenny McLean (CM) - 7/10 - Handled himself well after coming in difficult circumstances. Intercepted the ball to create his team's breakthrough.
Sam Byram (CM) - 6/10 - Added extra solidity when Norwich were trying to see the game out.
Przemyslaw Placheta (LM) - 6/10 - Provided fresh legs and looked to catch Watford on the counter attack.