West Ham bounced again from Emmanuel Dennis’ third-minute opener to ease to a dominant 4-1 win at Watford and reduce the hole to the highest 4 to 4 factors.
Dennis’ self-made stunner (4) – his eighth aim of the season – appeared to reply any questions over whether or not the Hornets can be rusty of their first sport for 18 days. However the vibrant efficiency the aim inspired by no means materialised and the Hammers had been quickly in full management to lift the stress on Claudio Ranieri, whose facet have now misplaced their final 5 video games.
Mentioned Benrahma’s warning shot towards the woodwork served as something however as the house facet held on towards mounting West Ham stress, however ultimately their defences had been lastly breached as Tomas Soucek fired in Jarrod Bowen’s slide-rule cross to stage (27).
Lower than two and a half minutes after that they had led, Watford had been behind. Michail Antonio’s run to the byline gave him time to search for and discover Benrahma, who went one higher from his earlier effort and beat Daniel Bachmann courtesy of a form nick off Adam Masina (29).
Solely a beneficiant VAR determination stopped Watford falling additional behind three minutes into the second half when Soucek was penalised for a mushy foul a number of seconds earlier than including what he thought was West Ham’s third.
One other determination from the video assistant made amends for the guests as Bachmann was judged to have fouled Bowen within the field, and captain Mark Noble sealed victory from 12 yards (58) earlier than Nikola Vlasic rounded off an outstanding afternoon for the Hammers in added time with a easy end (90+4).
Watford stay outdoors the underside three however they haven’t picked up a single level since costing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job towards Manchester United on November 20, whereas West Ham bounce above Tottenham into fifth, 4 factors off Arsenal within the remaining Champions League spot.
Watford: Bachmann (5), Femenia (5), Sierralta (5), Cathcart (6), Masina (5), Tufan (4), Sissoko (5), Kucka (4), Hernandez (4), King (5), Dennis (7).
Subs: Louza (5), Pedro (6), Sema (5).
West Ham: Fabianski (7), Coufal (7), Dawson (6), Diop (6), Johnson (7), Soucek (8), Noble (7), Bowen (8), Lanzini (7), Benrahma (8), Antonio (7).
Subs: Masuaku, Vlasic, Kral (n/a).
Man of the match: Tomas Soucek
Hammers go away Watford dazed after deserved thrashing
Shiny moments have been few and much between for Watford of late, with 4 successive defeats evaporating a lot of the early optimism round Ranieri’s appointment.
Nonetheless, even with nearly three weeks since their final sport they burst into life towards the Hammers, with Dennis – so many instances their saviour – once more the architect. He did nicely to engineer area towards a sluggish Craig Dawson on the sting of the West Ham field, earlier than beating Fabianski with a nice end into the highest nook.
The Hammers confirmed no ailing results of that early setback and had been quickly on the offensive, with quite a few well-timed last-ditch blocks from Craig Cathcart the one barrier denying them a speedy comeback.
The hosts ought to have taken heed because the guests’ stress ramped up. Benrahma waltzed in off the left and, unchallenged, smacked the goalframe from 20 yards. If not that, then West Ham’s dominance in midfield towards an ageing Juraj Kucka ought to have induced extra concern.
With neither warning shot addressed, Soucek’s path to aim for West Ham’s equaliser was easy sufficient – he strode ahead unmarked to latch onto Bowen’s ball in behind, and with Cathcart gradual to react, had a easy end to fireplace previous Bachmann.
As poor as that was, West Ham’s quickfire second was worse. Watford appeared punch drunk as their pleasure turned to despair inside three minutes, with Antonio allowed down the surface of Kiko Femenia into the world earlier than discovering Benrahma, and a contact of fortune taking his effort previous Bachmann courtesy of Masina’s deflection.
The Hornets lastly recovered to stem the tide earlier than half-time, however having pieced their sport plan again collectively it took lower than three minutes of the second half to seemingly unravel once more. One other Cathcart intervention ensured a contact on Soucek’s cross however this time took it into the trail of Bowen who bundled over the road from 4 yards. If that was unlucky, the VAR determination to overturn the aim for a minor foul round 10 seconds earlier than it was scored appeared extra beneficiant.
David Moyes later declared himself “amazed” by that call – however he had fewer grievances about VAR’s subsequent intervention. Kucka’s tried chest again to Bachmann ended up falling brief and when Bowen was taken out by the goalkeeper when beating him to the ball.
Referee Darren England initially pointed for a nook kick, however after viewing a video replay on the VAR monitor, he had little hesitation in overturning that call, permitting Noble to ship Bachmann the improper method from 12 yards.
Watford appeared to make a sport of it late on however their probabilities owed as a lot to particular person cases of complacency slipping into West Ham’s efficiency than their very own good work, and from one significantly lax piece of Hammers defending Joao Pedro was denied by a sprawling Fabianski.
Defensive mishaps had been to stay extra of a speciality for the hosts, although, and in added time allowed the guests to seal a nice afternoon as Bowen labored his well past Francisco Sierralta with ease and pulled the ball again for Vlasic to fireplace into an empty web.
That method of defeat, as a lot because the loss itself, will elevate questions on whether or not Watford’s trigger-happy homeowners could also be tempted right into a second managerial change of the season – the Hornets stay two factors above the underside three, however 18th-placed Burnley have two video games in hand.
On the very least, back-to-back video games with Newcastle and Norwich in January might go a good distance in the direction of defining the Hornets’ season, no matter who sits within the dugout.
What the managers mentioned…
Watford head coach Claudio Ranieri: “On the finish of the match, we should always have had extra objectives than West Ham, however they scored and we did not. We should assist one another to seek out the proper resolution individually and likewise as a workforce. It is not doable to proceed this manner.
“Eventually we’ll rating objectives, however we have to cease conceding objectives.
“I do not wish to make excuses, however when you have got the gamers for at some point to arrange, it is not simple as a mentality to get everybody to the identical stage. It is a powerful second, not just for the second however for the entire world. We’ve got to enhance ourselves, and we should try this with out conceding objectives. That is the issue.”
West Ham supervisor David Moyes: “I am demanding excessive ranges of our gamers and I need that to point out in how we play.
“We did it as we speak in our objectives, our play may be higher and has been higher, however we have a toughness about us and as we speak the largest factor for me was to play a sport 48 hours after the final one, be able to go once more and rating 4 objectives away from house.
“Watford have had Covid however they’ve had a interval to recuperate too. Numerous groups would love a few weeks off, you would not need Covid, however it’s an opportunity to unfold your video games out.”
Match information: Completely satisfied Hammers seal historic 2021
- West Ham earned their 22nd Premier League win of 2021; solely in 1959 (23) have they loved extra top-flight league wins in a single calendar yr within the membership’s historical past.
- Watford have misplaced 5 consecutive Premier League matches, their longest dropping run inside a single league season since they misplaced every of their remaining six video games of the 2016-17 marketing campaign underneath Walter Mazzarri.
- West Ham have recovered 12 factors from dropping positions within the Premier League this season, greater than another facet. The Hammers have gained 4 league matches by which they’ve fallen behind this time period, as many as they managed in the entire of final season.
- At 03:59, Emmanuel Dennis’ opener was Watford’s earliest aim from the beginning of a Premier League match since November 2019 v Norwich (01:16), and earliest at Vicarage Street within the competitors since Could 2018 v Newcastle (01:58).
- There have been simply 110 seconds between Tomáš Souček’s equaliser for West Ham (26:16) and Saïd Benrahma placing the Hammers 2-1 forward (28:06) towards Watford.
Watford see in 2022 by welcoming Tottenham to Vicarage Street on New Yr’s Day; Kick-off at 3pm.
Later that afternoon, West Ham journey to Crystal Palace in a London derby, stay on Sky Sports activities Premier League from 5pm; Kick-off at 5.30pm.