PHOTOS: Watford 1, Burnley FC 3

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I’M sure Eddie Howe didn’t have Elvis in mind when he declared before the trip to Vicarage Road “It’s Now or Never” for Burnley’s play-off ambitions.

But after Chris Eagles inspired the Clarets to a memorable away success, it was another of the King’s records that sprung to mind – “The Wonder of You”.

Pic by Jimmy Griffiths / Griffiths Photographers'Npower Championship Watford v Burnley 12-02-2011 'EAGLESCELLY

Pic by Jimmy Griffiths / Griffiths Photographers'Npower Championship Watford v Burnley 12-02-2011 'EAGLESCELLY

Eagles was at his swivel-hipped best back at the club where he started as a youth, before joining Manchester United, and later enjoying two loan spells back with the Hornets.

He was the stand-out performer, as Burnley celebrated successive league wins for the first time since the first two home games of the Premier League campaign, when they stunned Manchester United and Everton.

Eagles was again in irresistible form, on what could be a landmark day for Burnley, inadvertently having a hand in the Clarets’ opener, before scoring the second and laying on the clincher for Chris Iwelumo.

It says a lot about his performance, that on one of the worst pitches Burnley have played on all season – cutting up from the first whistle – a flair player should dominate proceedings.

Pic by Jimmy Griffiths / Griffiths Photographers'Npower Championship Watford v Burnley 12-02-2011 'Eagles

Pic by Jimmy Griffiths / Griffiths Photographers'Npower Championship Watford v Burnley 12-02-2011 'Eagles

He was a menace in the first half, always looking to get involved all across the front-line, while putting in the graft going the other way as well.

But it was after the break where he stepped up a gear, and Watford could not live with him.

Positive intent whenever in possession, he was in an elusive mood, scoring his goal after moving from the right to the centre, while he created the killer third for Iwelumo down the right.

He also popped up on the left, getting in behind the Watford defence to lay on another great chance for Jay Rodriguez, which the new England Under 21 cap side-footed wide.

Eagles was Burnley’s main outlet, but it was a day where Iwelumo turned in arguably his best performance in a Claret and Blue shirt.

He may have his hat-trick to show for a match-winning display in the derby against Preston, but his all-round contribution here was outstanding.

Making his first start under Howe, after new signing Charlie Austin was struck down with a bug, big Chris scored his first away goal for the club, and offered the complete package here.

He dominated the two centre-backs, along with Rodriguez, and his hold-up and link play was excellent.

His ability to make the ball stick contributed to the bizarre first goal, neatly controlling and laying the ball off for Eagles early in the build-up, while his pass was perfect for Eagles to put Burnley back in front at 2-1.

His third capped a fine display, with only one winner at the far post, after Eagles dug a brilliant cross out from the by-line.

But while the two Chrisses caught the eye, this was as good a team performance seen this season.

We have seen flashes from the side over the campaign, half an hour here, 45 minutes there, but for 75% of this game, Burnley were the better side, and ran out deserved winners.

They played with a real intelligence on an awful surface, playing their football in the right areas, while going from back to front with a real purpose when necessary.

Credit must go to Howe, who appears to be bringing the best out of players, giving them organisation and motivation.

Everyone looked in no doubt as to what their role was at Vicarage Road.

Burnley closed well from the front, forcing the sort of errors which led to the first goal.

And while squeezing the play meant Watford were always a threat in behind, the cover was excellent from both full-backs, while Lee Grant was a formidable final barrier.

Watford could have been ahead within 20 seconds when on-loan Danny Drinkwater dragged a shot wide from Danny Graham’s pass.

But Burnley settled and bossed territorially, with Dean Marney and Jack Cork winning most things.

Burnley won successive corners, before the comic-capers opener, as Iwelumo held up the ball on halfway and found Eagles. Rodriguez hunted down the pass in behind, only for keeper Scott Loach to fire his clearance into centre-back Dale Bennett, with the ball looping into the net.

Rodriguez didn’t quite know whether to celebrate or not!

However, the lead only lasted four minutes before Marvin Sordell got away from Clarke Carlisle, and his low centre was turned in by Graham.

Moments later Stephen McGinn played in Sordell, but Grant pulled off a fine save.

Loach redeemed himself, saving Eagles’ chip from Rodriguez’s pass, before Marney headed at the keeper, after Iwelumo’s knock-down from a Mears cross.

Iwelumo continued to pose a threat, and from his flick-on Rodriguez fired just wide before the break.

Credit to Watford, they came out for the second half at a high tempo, and the Clarets struggled to get out for a period.

But crucially, Grant wasn’t troubled, and gradually Burnley got the upper hand again.

Rodriguez turned and shot over after Eagles and Iwelumo combined again, before the Clarets regained the lead with a picture book goal.

Danny Fox spread the ball superbly to Ross Wallace, who worked the ball to Cork, who found Eagles.

Eagles swapped passes with Iwelumo, and the Clarets wideman took the shot early with his toe, Romario-like, finding the far corner.

Rodriguez again went close before Iwelumo’s clincher, and while Grant was forced into a save from sub Andreas Wiemann, and Graham should have scored with a header, Wallace was denied by Loach at the other end.