Premier League Match Report: Watford 1-3 West Ham
West Ham registered their first victory in the Premier League this season, as Manuel Pellegrini’s side brushed past Watford 3-1 away from home in a game that saw both teams keep the fans on the edge of their seats throughout the ninety minutes.
The Hammers climbed up to 13th in the standings with that victory but the 3-1 result also meant that Watford suffered their third consecutive defeat of the Premier League this season, having already lost to Brighton and Everton in their previous two fixtures.
The game witnessed plenty of chances created by both the teams, although neither were right up there with the very best when it came to putting those opportunities to bed.
The Hammers, though, ultimately had the last laugh, with Pellegrini’s men showing a bit more quality and composure in front of goal.
West Ham managed to get 10 out of their 16 attempts on target while the home side were pretty wasteful, managing to test the keeper on only 3 occasions from a staggering 23 attempts.
Those numbers pretty much sum up the whole story and it would be fair to say that both sides looked pretty vulnerable at the back, whilst providing the fans with plenty of excitement in the attacking third.
It was West Ham who drew first blood, as Mark Noble put the Hammers in the driver’s seat on his Premier League return from the penalty spot after Manuel Lanzini was brought down inside the box by a rather needless tackle from Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Gerard Deulofeu came close for Watford soon after being played behind the backline by Andre Gray but it was the latter who found the equaliser at the 17th-minute mark.
Deulofeu picked out Will Hughes, who slipped it through for Gray to draw the hornets level, marking the club’s first goal of the Premier League this term.
Both the sides had plenty of chances to take the lead before the interval, with West Ham’s Felipe Anderson coming the closest to putting his team in the driver’s seat when his glancing header went out of the post.
Ironically enough, though, both the teams went into the interval at 1-1, with neither showing the clinical edge to make the chances count. It was West Ham, however, who started the second half as the brighter of the two sides, with Andriy Yarmolenko calling Ben Foster into action with a long-range effort.
Watford, though, had a golden opportunity soon after. Deulofeu created space with his trickery and played in Gray, who set it up on a platter for Hughes, only for the former Derby County wonderkid to spurn the easiest of tap-ins.
And in a dramatic sequence of events, Hammers’ record signing Sebastien Haller made the Hornets pay for their wastefulness, tapping in Anderson’s cross from the left for his first Premier League goal to make it 2-1 in favour of the visitors.
Michail Antonio started the game on the bench but his introduction added a lot more directness to West Ham’s attack, with his pace and power giving the Watford backline plenty to think about. And it was the veteran who played a major role in the Hammers’ third goal.
Antonio drew a save from Foster with his powerful header and once again hit the post off the resultant corner before the rebound was turned in with supreme finesse by Haller in the 73rd minute.
Javi Gracia brought on the likes of Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr for the last twenty minutes or so but those changes came way too late for Watford to avoid a third straight Premier League defeat.
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Up next for West Ham is a trip to Newport County in the League Cup before they play host to Norwich City in the Premier League next weekend.
Here’s how some of the West Ham fans reacted to the club’s first win of the season in the Premier League:-