Odion Ighalo laboured in vain on Saturday as Watford fell 2-1 to Manchester United on Saturday.
The Super Eagles striker could not add to his seven league goals but he was a handful for the United defence all game.
Ighalo helped Watford level the match in the 87th minute after skilfully tricking Marcos Rojo into giving away a penalty.
But United temporarily went top of the Premier League after a Deeney own goal in added time.
Deeney had scored the penalty from Rojo’s foul on Ighalo, while Memphis Depay scored United’s first goal.
After the Hornets were forced to whether initial pressure from Louis van Gaal’s side, they nearly fell behind when Allan Nyom mistimed his clearance and saw the ball land on top of Heurelho Gomes’s net.
On 11 minutes, United finally broke the deadlock after a cross from Ander Herrera on the right flank found Depay and the Dutchman’s side-foot volley flew past the Brazilian keeper.
Herrera would play limp out of the game minutes later, but his side were lucky to stay ahead when Ashley Young lost possession to Deeney before Ighalo decided to shoot rather than cross and ultimately see his effort drift wide.
More sloppy play from Quique Sanchez Flores’s team gifted Morgan Schneiderelin with a chance to double United’s lead, with Etienne Capoue blazing a shot over the bar before the break.
Rather than tighten up in defence, Watford continued to gift United chances after the break and, once Capoue ceded possession to Depay, the Dutchman picked out Jesse Lingard, whose shot was tipped away by Gomes.
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