West Ham have been nonetheless working laborious deep into added time. David Moyes has turned them into one of many fittest groups within the Premier League and they didn’t seem like they wanted any relaxation when Nikola Vlasic completed off this complete win over Watford, making it 4-1 with his first purpose in claret and blue.
Behind to Emmanuel Dennis’s early purpose, West Ham ended up too highly effective for Watford. Mark Noble supplied authority after coming in for his first begin within the league this season, making certain that the absence of Declan Rice was not felt too keenly. There have been nice targets from Tomas Soucek and Stated Benrahma, who had a superb recreation, and Watford have been left to mirror on their eighth defeat in 10 video games beneath Claudio Ranieri. West Ham’s faltering push for Champions League soccer will not be over but.
Moyes should have feared that the wheels have been coming off when his group, who solely had 48 hours to organize after dropping to Southampton on Boxing Day, fell behind within the fourth minute. They’ve struggled at the again since dropping Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma to damage and their defensive frailties have been much more conspicuous due to the absence of Rice, who can normally be relied upon to close down opposition assaults with his impeccable studying of the sport.
Watford noticed an opportunity to assault from the beginning. The hosts had barely skilled after having their final three video games known as off due to Covid, however they did effectively to cover any indicators of rustiness in the course of the early levels. West Ham have been pinned again from their very own throw-in and when Joshua King crept inside to string a cross via to Dennis, the striker took what was a half-chance at greatest by leaving Craig Dawson on the ground with a deft shimmy and utilizing the house to intention a rising shot past Lukasz Fabianski.
West Ham needed to be resilient and belief of their means. They quickly started to dominate. Noble was a relaxing presence as soon as he had adjusted to the tempo of the sport and they might have been degree earlier than the tenth minute, just for Jarrod Bowen to spurn a good likelihood when a free ball reached him within the space.
Watford have been too keen to take a seat on their lead. Michail Antonio had began to torment Franciso Sierralta and Craig Cathcart, Watford’s centre-backs, and it didn’t come as a shock when the equaliser arrived within the twenty seventh minute. The strain had been rising, Benrahma seeing a shocking effort clip the bar, and Ranieri’s aspect paid for his or her lack of urgency when Bowen added some incision to a affected person transfer, slipping a cross via for Soucek to spank a low shot previous Daniel Bachmann.
Moussa Sissoko was the participant responsible of dozing off when Soucek made one in every of his trademark runs from midfield and it was not lengthy earlier than West Ham have been forward. Manuel Lanzini sprayed a slicing ball down the left flank to Antonio and the striker sped clear earlier than selecting out Benrahma, who beat Bachmann with the help of a deflection off Adam Masina.
West Ham, who had misplaced Pablo Fornals to a optimistic Covid take a look at, had clearly determined Watford’s full-backs have been weak hyperlinks. The difficult Benrahma had the higher of Kiko Femenía, who must make method for Imran Louza earlier than the interval, and the hosts have been lucky to not fall additional behind at the beginning of the second half. Bowen had volleyed previous Bachmann from shut vary, however a VAR assessment confirmed that Soucek had fouled Dennis at the beginning of the transfer.
Watford, who have been solely in a position to identify eight substitutes, nearly took benefit of that reprieve. They countered at tempo, pouring our bodies ahead when Noble offered himself within the center, and it took an exquisite save from Fabianski to cease Sissoko from making it 2-2.
The sport turned on that second. Quickly Watford have been creating issues for themselves at the opposite end. Heaven is aware of what Masina was considering of when he determined to let an aimless ball drift over his head on the appropriate.
The left-back had not counted on Antonio charging previous him and aiming a cross to the far submit, the place extra farcical defending ended with Bachmann bringing Bowen down earlier than the ball went behind. One other VAR verify confirmed the inevitable and Noble confidently tucked the penalty away.
Watford, two factors above the underside three, had run out of concepts. Bachmann made an excellent block to disclaim Antonio, however Vlasic would have the ultimate say.