Claudio Ranieri was left counting the cost of Watford’s mistakes after they crashed to a dramatic 2-1 defeat at Brentford.
The Hornets were leading with only six minutes remaining through Emmanuel Dennis and looking good value for a win which would have lifted them six points clear of the relegation zone.
But Pontus Jansson headed previously toothless Brentford level and in stoppage time Watford’s capitulation was complete after William Ekong tripped Saman Ghoddos in the area.
Bryan Mbeumo stepped up to take the penalty and condemn Ranieri to a fourth straight defeat.
Ranieri said: “Look, we started well, we scored a goal, but in the second half we went too deep. I don’t want this. We had to stay close together.
“We missed a chance to score a second goal and we made mistakes to concede two goals. We lost the first battle but we will do better in the next match.
“The last goal we made three mistakes! We missed a short pass. So then put the ball out of the stadium. Then the penalty – if Willie had just stayed calm.
“I was frustrated, but my mind is on the next match. We are stronger than tonight.
“We know we are in a relegation battle. It is important to react immediately. We have to be stronger than tonight and be ready for the battle.”
Dennis headed the Hornets in front from a 24th-minute corner moments after Joshua King’s shot crashed off a post.
The Bees, without key men Ethan Pinnock and Ivan Toney due to Covid-19, looked to have run out of ideas until Jansson got his head onto Vitaly Janelt’s cross.
Then Mbeumo, deputising from the spot for the deadly Toney, mimicked his absent strike partner’s run-up to sidefoot the winner and fire Brentford up to ninth.
Boss Thomas Frank said: “That’s very difficult to describe, it is an amazing feeling I must say.
It's going to be two big glasses of wine tonightThomas Frank
“Everything we’ve been through in terms of injuries, having two big, big players out with Covid, we were really hit hard for this game.
“Then going 1-0 down. We needed to fight back, we scored in the 84th minute and never settled for the draw. We kept fighting and got the winner.
“Oh my God. An amazing feeling. It’s going to be two big glasses of wine tonight.”