Brentford came back from a goal behind in the final 10 minutes to deny Watford victory. Minutes after captain Pontus Jansson had equalised with a header at the back post, Bryan Mbeumo scored a stoppage-time penalty to make it 2-1.
Watford took the lead for an hour thanks to Emmanuel Dennis’ first-half header, but Brentford’s late surge was rewarded.
Dennis, who has been directly involved in nine of Watford’s previous 12 Premier League goals, went unnoticed in the first half when he tapped in the opener against the run of play.
Brentford had dominated the first 20 minutes, with Shandon Baptiste and Mbeumo going close to scoring, but Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann produced several excellent stops.
Watford’s first corner of the match was earned when Joshua King’s curling effort hit the post and was converted by Dennis. He appeared destined to capture all three points as well, but Brentford came alive late on when Jansson nodded in an equaliser from a curling cross.
As the game entered stoppage time, Brentford poured on the pressure, and substitute Saman Ghoddos was hauled down by William Ekong, setting up a dramatic finish.
For the time being, Mbeumo held his calm to send goalkeeper Bachmann the wrong way, and the victory, which elicited joyful scenes at the Brentford Community Stadium, lifts the Bees to ninth place in the table for the time being.
With only six points separating 14th and 20th in the table, this season’s relegation battle might be a slugfest.
Norwich, Newcastle, and Burnley are now in the bottom three, but Sean Dyche’s team have two games in hand and will leap above 17th-placed Watford if they win both.
Watford looked set to go six points clear of the drop zone until Jansson equalised in the 83rd minute.
Jansson’s first Premier League goal was well-received, and he urged his teammates and the spectators to keep playing for the remaining few minutes.
Brentford retaliated by pinning Watford in their half before Mbeumo calmly netted the winner from the penalty spot.