In-form Watford powered into the Championship play-off positions with an emphatic victory over Portsmouth.
Andrew Taylor put the Hornets ahead on the stroke of half-time with a stunning volley from the edge of the box.
Marvin Sordell raced on to Danny Graham's pass and slotted coolly past Jamie Ashdown to double the lead.
Graham then sealed the win, breaking through the visitors' defence and side-footing past Ashdown, before Pompey's Greg Halford was sent off late on.
The Hornets' fourth straight win was completed in the same impressive manner as recent wins against fellow promotion contenders Cardiff and QPR, and propels Malky Mackay's side into sixth spot.
But it was a miserable start to 2011 for depleted Pompey, who managed just two shots on target in the whole match.
Manager Steve Cotterill could only name four substitutes but his side came close to an opener inside 90 seconds when Dave Nugent fired over from 25 yards.
Watford should have opened the scoring when Taylor delivered the ball to the back post where Graham cushioned a deft header down to Will Buckley, who lashed wildly over the top.
But the game was lit up by a moment of magic from Taylor in the 42nd minute as he gave the Hornets a deserved lead.
Jordon Mutch's corner was punched away by Ashdown the ball fell to Taylor on the edge of the box, where the defender cracked it into the roof of the net to claim the first goal of his career in stunning fashion.
The Hornets doubled their advantage seven minutes into the second half when Pompey lost possession cheaply and were caught with a clinical counter-attack.
Graham played the ball through to Sordell who was in on goal and made no mistake, beating Ashdown calmly.
Graham then notched his 15th goal of the season in the 69th minute with a carbon copy of Sordell's goal.
Kanu lost the ball in the centre circle and Mutch released Graham, who accelerated away from Ibrahima Sonko and clipped a left-footed finish past Ashdown.
Nugent headed straight at Loach in the dying seconds before Halford was dismissed.
The midfielder lunged in on Taylor and, after taking offence to the defender's protests, was sent off for a headbutt by referee Andy D'Urso.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 1 January 2011
A Taylor 42
03 A Taylor
05 M Taylor
04 Eustace (Jenkins 59)
11 Buckley (Whichelow 87)
20 Sordell (Massey 90+2)
02 Halford red card
03 Dickinson yellow card
25 Sonko (Hreidarsson 85)
17 Utaka yellow card
24 Ciftci (Kilbey 60)
Ref: D'UrsoAtt: 12,577
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:51 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
90:00+2:03 Scott Loach takes the free kick.
90:00+1:15 Substitution Marvin Sordell leaves the field to be replaced by Gavin Massey.
90:00+0:23 Sent off The referee sends off Greg Halford for violent conduct.
89:04 A cross is delivered by Matthew Whichelow, clearance made by Aaron Mokoena.
87:45 Joel Ward fouled by Danny Graham, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joel Ward. A cross is delivered by
Greg Halford, David Nugent takes a shot. Save made by Scott Loach.
86:38 Substitution Matthew Whichelow comes on in place of Will Buckley.
84:05 Substitution Hermann Hreidarsson on for Ibrahima Sonko.
83:46 The ball is swung over by Tom Kilbey.
83:11 Danny Graham is caught offside. Jamie Ashdown restarts play with the free kick.
81:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Don Cowie on Joel Ward. The ball is crossed by Greg Halford, Headed effort from inside the
area by Tom Kilbey misses to the left of the goal.
77:10 Centre by Jordon Mutch.
75:21 The ball is crossed by Will Buckley, blocked by Aaron Mokoena.
73:24 Foul by John Utaka on Andrew Taylor, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Don Cowie.
73:24 Booking John Utaka goes into the referee's book.
70:13 John Utaka fouled by Jordon Mutch, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Greg Halford from right channel.
68:55 The assist for the goal came from Jordon Mutch.
68:55 GOAL - Danny Graham:Watford 3 - 0 Portsmouth Danny Graham scores a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Watford 3-0 Portsmouth.
67:50 The ball is sent over by Joel Ward, save made by Scott Loach. Shot by Greg Halford from outside the box goes over the net.
64:52 Don Cowie crosses the ball, save by Jamie Ashdown.
62:35 Jordon Mutch decides to take the corner short. Jordon Mutch takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post,
clearance by Nwankwo Kanu.
60:47 Don Cowie takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Tom Kilbey manages to make a clearance.
58:54 John Eustace challenges Joel Ward unfairly and gives away a free kick. Joel Ward restarts play with the free kick.
58:54 Substitution Tom Kilbey is brought on as a substitute for Nadir Ciftci.
58:54 Substitution Ross Jenkins joins the action as a substitute, replacing John Eustace.
57:31 Marvin Sordell takes a shot from 25 yards. Blocked by Carl Dickinson. Outswinging corner taken by Jordon Mutch from the right
by-line played to the near post, Header by Lloyd Doyley from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
56:49 Unfair challenge on Will Buckley by Carl Dickinson results in a free kick. Scott Loach restarts play with the free kick.
56:49 Booking Carl Dickinson booked for unsporting behaviour.
56:05 Carl Dickinson fouled by Marvin Sordell, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Carl Dickinson.
54:16 Foul by Aaron Mokoena on Will Buckley, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Don Cowie from right by-line,
Carl Dickinson makes a clearance.
51:19 Assist by Danny Graham.
51:19 GOAL - Marvin Sordell:Watford 2 - 0 Portsmouth Marvin Sordell fires in a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Watford 2-0 Portsmouth.
48:41 Danny Graham challenges Ibrahima Sonko unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aaron Mokoena restarts play with the free kick.
48:19 The ball is crossed by Carl Dickinson, clearance by Jordon Mutch.
48:13 Greg Halford crosses the ball.
45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
45:00+1:19 The referee calls an end to the first half.
45:00+0:46 Corner taken right-footed by John Utaka to the near post, clearance made by John Eustace.
45:00+0:33 Centre by Nadir Ciftci, Lloyd Doyley makes a clearance.
44:27 Will Buckley delivers the ball.
41:38 Andrew Taylor produces a cross, clearance made by Greg Halford. Corner taken by Don Cowie from the left by-line played to
the near post, Jamie Ashdown makes a save.
41:38 GOAL - Andrew Taylor:Watford 1 - 0 Portsmouth Andrew Taylor finds the net with a goal from just outside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Watford 1-0 Portsmouth.
40:30 Effort by Nadir Ciftci from a long way out goes over the target.
40:06 Will Buckley sends in a cross. Danny Graham delivers the ball.
37:43 The ball is crossed by John Utaka.
36:20 Andrew Taylor delivers the ball, Will Buckley conjures a right-footed shot from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
35:38 The ball is swung over by Greg Halford, clearance made by Martin Taylor.
34:50 The assistant referee flags for offside against David Nugent. Scott Loach takes the indirect free kick.
33:42 The ball is swung over by Greg Halford, clearance by Adrian Mariappa. John Utaka takes a outswinging corner to the near post,
clearance by Adrian Mariappa.
33:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hayden Mullins by Jordon Mutch. Aaron Mokoena takes the free kick.
31:57 Unfair challenge on Nwankwo Kanu by Jordon Mutch results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Jamie Ashdown.
30:02 The assistant referee flags for offside against David Nugent. Direct free kick taken by Scott Loach.
28:51 Unfair challenge on Lloyd Doyley by John Utaka results in a free kick. Scott Loach takes the direct free kick.
27:52 Inswinging corner taken by Don Cowie from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Nwankwo Kanu.
25:37 Will Buckley sends in a cross, Carl Dickinson gets a block in. Corner from right by-line taken by Jordon Mutch.
23:58 The ball is delivered by Andrew Taylor, Headed effort from inside the area by John Eustace misses to the right of the goal.
23:50 Adrian Mariappa crosses the ball, clearance by Greg Halford.
23:05 Will Buckley sends in a cross, Aaron Mokoena gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Jordon Mutch, Martin Taylor takes
a shot. Nwankwo Kanu makes a clearance.
20:48 The ball is crossed by Danny Graham.
20:10 Marvin Sordell produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Blocked by Ibrahima Sonko.
18:38 Inswinging corner taken by John Utaka from the left by-line, Lloyd Doyley makes a clearance.
17:42 Jordon Mutch challenges Nwankwo Kanu unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Ashdown.
17:21 The ball is swung over by John Eustace.
16:51 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jordon Mutch, Greg Halford manages to make a clearance.
16:19 Danny Graham takes a shot. Jamie Ashdown makes a save.
15:14 Corner taken right-footed by John Utaka, clearance made by Will Buckley.
13:59 Corner taken short by John Utaka. Shot from outside the area by Greg Halford misses to the left of the target.
11:18 The ball is swung over by Carl Dickinson.
10:07 Shot from just outside the box by Marvin Sordell goes over the crossbar.
6:51 Nadir Ciftci takes a shot. Scott Loach makes a comfortable save.
6:23 The ball is crossed by Carl Dickinson.
4:55 Foul by Nwankwo Kanu on John Eustace, free kick awarded. Scott Loach takes the direct free kick.
2:58 Corner taken by Jordon Mutch from the right by-line, save by Jamie Ashdown.
1:13 Shot by David Nugent from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.
0:48 Jordon Mutch concedes a free kick for a foul on John Utaka. Free kick taken by Carl Dickinson.
0:00 The match begins.
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