King haunts Everton with treble in stunning Watford comeback

Josh King came back to haunt former club with a hat-trick as Everton’s second-half capitulation gave Claudio Ranieri’s Watford a stunning 5-2 comeback victory at Goodison Park.

Just a week after conceding five against Liverpool, Ranieri’s side this time hit five, including four in 14 minutes in a second-half flurry, helped by former Toffee King, scoring his first goals in 29 league appearances across three clubs having not made a single start in his 11 games at Everton last season.

Tom Davies put Everton ahead early on from close range after fine work from Demarai Gray (3), but Watford levelled through King’s far-post finish, awarded after a VAR intervention (13).

Just under three minutes after coming on, Richarlison edged Everton ahead, stooping low to head Michael Keane’s cross home (63) against his former club, but Watford turned the game on its head with two goals in 88 seconds.

First, Juraj Kucka headed past Jordan Pickford unmarked from a Cucho Hernandez corner (78), before King finished calmly from a blistering Watford break (80). King, who said after the game he “wanted to prove a point” after “not being given a chance” at Goodison Park last term, was gifted a hat-trick from some woeful Everton defending (86), and Emmanuel Dennis rounded off the win in stoppage time (90+1).

Everton are eighth having hit the buffers with two straight defeats, while Watford are up to 14th after just their third win of the season.