Fulham's Tom Cairney cannot believe it after Abdoulaye Doucoure scored the first goal for Watford. Photo: David Klein/Reuters

LONDON – Fulham were relegated from the Premier League after collapsing to a 4-1 defeat at Watford on Tuesday, a result which left them 16 points adrift of the safety zone with five games remaining.

The London side will play in the Championship next term with Huddersfield Town, who on Saturday became only the second team to go down from the Premier League before the end of March.

Abdoulaye Doucoure put Watford ahead in the 23rd minute, but Fulham fought back to score through Dutch forward Ryan Babel 10 minutes later.

But after Will Hughes restored Watford’s lead in the 63rd minute, Fulham fell to pieces with Troy Deeney making it 3-1, and Kiko Femenia adding the fourth in the 75th minute.

Fulham were promoted to the top-flight after winning last season’s playoffs, but struggled from the outset, with promotion-winning manager Slavisa Jokanovic sacked in mid-November.

Italian Claudio Ranieri failed to turn things around for the West London club, and was also sacked, on February 28, with former player Scott Parker taking over.