Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic put his nightmare November behind him as Troy Deeney inspired a 5-0 demolition of 10-man Fulham.Jokanovic, the Hornets' fourth head coach this season, watched his side suffer four straight defeats which saw them drop from first place to seventh.
But Deeney's hat-trick and two goals from Almen Abdi lifted Watford back into the Play-Off spots and to within three points of leaders Derby.
"We can be happy," said Jokanovic. "After a bad November we have started December better. It was very close to a perfect performance after some bad results.
"We played a fantastic game. I must to be happy, I expect my players and supporters go home happy.
"In the last few games we did not have control and offered up to many presents. Today we were in control. But in front of us is a big space to improve."
In contrast to Watford, Fulham have been in fine form and were looking for a fifth win in six home games.
But they could have been two down inside eight minutes had it not been for Marcus Bettinelli's stunning save from Daniel Tozser and Konstantinos Stafylidis clearing Denney's header off the line.
Watford did get their noses in front after 15 minutes when Abdi drove a low free-kick through Deeney's legs and underneath a jumping Fulham wall.
The hosts' evening went from bad to worse three minutes later when Bettinelli clipped Matej Vydra as the Czech striker attempted to round him, earning the Hornets a penalty and the home goalkeeper a straight red card.
Deeney dispatched the spot-kick past Gabor Kiraly and prodded the third through the substitute keeper's legs shortly before half-time after more dismal Fulham defending.
Abdi hit the goal of the night after 51 minutes, a superb, powerful curling effort from 25 yards, and Deeney completed his hat-trick with a breakaway strike in stoppage time.
"You've got to learn from it and there's quite a lot we can learn from that," admitted Fulham manager Kit Symons. " There is a lot of hard work and a lot of improving to be done.
"We started very poorly and Watford came out all guns blazing. We gave a way bad goal and then the sending-off makes life difficult. We had a mountain to climb.
"After the break there was a wonder strike and a sloppy late goal, but the players showed good character in the second half."