Search

Premier League: West Ham 3 Watford 1

PUBLISHED: 22:27 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 22:27 17 July 2020

West Ham United's Declan Rice celebrates scoring his side's third goal

West Ham United's Declan Rice celebrates scoring his side's third goal

PA Wire/PA Images

The Hammers all but secured safety with this vital victory over fellow strugglers Watford at London Stadium, where they romped into a three-goal interval lead.

West Ham United's Michail Antonio scores his side's first goal of the gameWest Ham United's Michail Antonio scores his side's first goal of the game

On-fire Michail Antonio soon got the show on the road with his ninth goal of the season, before Tomáš Souček doubled home advantage inside the opening 10 minutes.

Then, nine minutes before the break, Declan Rice found the net for the first time this campaign with a simply sublime 25-yard curler.

And, although Hornets skipper Troy Deeney pulled one back just after the break to set up a some inevitable second half scares, it was not enough to stop his Hammers counterpart, Mark Noble from celebrating this welcome and wonderful win on his 500th appearance in the Claret and Blue.

Now taking a superior goal difference into their final two fixtures against Manchester United and lowly Aston Villa, only a cocktail of a mathematical meltdown and a string of improbable wins by those in and around the dreaded drop zone can prevent the Hammers from kicking-off in the Premier League next season.

West Ham United's Tomas Soucek celebrates scoring his side's second goalWest Ham United's Tomas Soucek celebrates scoring his side's second goal

Following his side’s fantastic four-goal thrashing of Norwich City last Saturday lunchtime, David Moyes had made just one change as Ben Johnson came in for Ryan Fredericks at right-back, but the Hammers shrugged off that slight reshuffle as they soon carried on from where they had left off at Carrow Road.

With just six minutes on the clock, Souček mopped up a defensive clearance on the edge of the Watford area before squaring to Pablo Fornals, who instinctively fed the ball to Antonio. The striker, whose quadruple knocked the Canaries off their Premier League perches at the weekend, wasted no time in depositing a low, angled 10-yarder past Ben Foster as Christian Kabasele helplessly slid in.

It got even better just three minutes later, when Johnson fed Jarrod Bowen down that right flank and the January capture from Hull City whipped over the perfect cross to fellow New Year arrival Souček, who soared between both Kabasele and Kiko Fermenía to head the Hammers into a two-goal lead with his third strike in club colours.

Wobbling Watford had given themselves a lifeline with victory over Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon and, following that win, Nigel Pearson made just one switch as Etienne Capoue was replaced in midfield by Tom Cleverley, who collected an early booking for a high boot on Bowen.

West Ham United's Declan Rice celebrates scoring his side's third goalWest Ham United's Declan Rice celebrates scoring his side's third goal

Trailing by two goals, the visitors fruitlessly tried to get back into the game using the pace of Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr, who forced Łukasz Fabianski into a low save at the base of his left-hand upright and the flying Hornet also had a penalty shout ruled out by VAR after straying marginally offside.

You may also want to watch:

Heading past the first-half drinks break, though, Moyes boys were already firmly in control but the wary Scot, bottle of water in hand, still diligently patrolled his technical area, while skipper Noble – making that incredible landmark appearance for the club – marshalled the troops out on the pitch.

Shortly after Will Hughes was booked for felling the Hammers captain, on 36 minutes, Noble having dusted himself down, fed Rice on the left-hand edge of the Watford area.

Watford's Troy Deeney (left) and West Ham United's Ben Johnson battle for the ballWatford's Troy Deeney (left) and West Ham United's Ben Johnson battle for the ball

Taking a touch, the 21-year-old England midfielder only had eye for the target in front of him as he whipped a 25-yard curler beyond the flat-footed Foster to claim his first goal of the season in spectacular style and put yet more daylight between these two sides at the interval.

With Adrian Mariappa replacing Adam Masina for the restart, Pearson had his side back out on the pitch long before West Ham emerged and Kabasele gave an early warning of Watford’s intentions, when he sent a downward header inches wide following an early corner.

Then on 49 minutes, the visitors grabbed a lifeline, when Abdoulaye Doucouré glided into the left hand side of the area before drilling a low angled 12-yarder across the face of Fabiański and, although the ball rebounded off the post, Deeney reacted first to fire home from eight yards.

Despite still maintaining a two-goal advantage, an inevitable nervousness crept over a Hammers side that has dropped 24 points from winning positions this season, while resurgent Watford began to enjoy their best spell of the evening.

Watford's Troy Deeney celebrates scoring his side's first goalWatford's Troy Deeney celebrates scoring his side's first goal

Kiko Fermenía flashed another effort beyond the far post, while Andre Gray and Nathaniel Chalobah stepped from the bench, too, but it was the arrival of Hammers record signing, Sébastien Haller, who almost created the biggest stir, when – with his first touch of the evening – he forced the back-pedalling Foster to tip aside his audacious 30-yard chip.

But in the end, that stinging first-half treble salvo from the Hammers had meant the clock simply ran down on the Hornets who now go into their final two matches just three points clear of the dreaded drop, while West Ham rise into 15th spot.

West Ham: Fabiański, Johnson, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Diop, Noble, Souček, Fornals (Haller 72), Bowen (Yarmolenko 80), Antonio (Balbuena 90+2). Unused subs: Randolph, Anderson, Lanzini, Wilshere, Masuaku, Coventry.

Watford: Foster, Fermenía, Masina (Mariappa h/t), Kabasele, Dawson, Cleverley, Hughes, Sarr, Doucouré (Chalobah 72), Welbeck (Pedro 86), Deeney (Gray 67). Unused subs: Gomes, Cathcart, Quina, Pussetto, Pereyra.

West Ham United's Declan Rice battles for the bal with Watford's Andre Gray (right) and Nathaniel Chalobah (left) at London StadiumWest Ham United's Declan Rice battles for the bal with Watford's Andre Gray (right) and Nathaniel Chalobah (left) at London Stadium

Booked: Cleverley (8), Noble (34).

Referee: Martin Atkinson.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

Saturday, November 28, 2020

League Two: Port Vale 2 Leyton Orient 3

Friday, November 27, 2020

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton understands perspective will be important as they look to get themselves into the League Two play-off places.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has revealed it could be a chance for young creative attacker Jordan Maguire-Drew to shine as they travel away to Port Vale.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has revealed the club is already working on a number of contract extensions for players, including top goal scorer Danny Johnson.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has explained the reasons behind the Port Vale match being swapped to an earlier kick-off.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Leyton Orient defender Dan Happe insists it’s a rare occasion for him to find the back of the net but was more focused on the clean sheet and picking up the win.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton heaps praise on young defender Dan Happe as he netted the winner in their 1-0 victory over Bradford City.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Bradford City 0

PROMOTED CONTENT

Let’s get physical! One of the dangers of lockdown is to be lulled into laziness, watching too many box sets, and eating and drinking too much, but there is no excuse to not start exercising to get fit and stay healthy.

UK Government Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced extra measures to support workers and businesses throughout winter, including a furlough scheme extension paying 80 per cent of staff wages.

The way the UK does business with Europe changes from January 1, heralding a new start. All companies that trade with the EU need to act now to make sure they are set to go.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Latest from the East London Advertiser