West Ham clinical in Watford win
Ca[e Town – West Ham United's superior finishing on the day proved to be the difference in a tightly fought 2-0 win for the Hammers over Watford on Saturday.
Watford will feel slightly aggrieved not to have got more from a match where they had 63% of possession and had as many shots as their hosts.
However, West Ham's forwards were more ruthless on the day and goals from Javier Hernandez (38') and Marko Arnautovic (78') sealed the points for the London club on the day.
Watford began the better of the two sides and Adrian Mariappa had a very good chance to put his side ahead just eight minutes into the game, but he sent his header straight at Adrian, who made a comfortable save.
However, the hosts soon showed their prowess going forward, with Arnautovic using quick feet to dribble past three defenders before teeing up Joao Mario, but his shot was excellently saved by Nick Pope.
The Hammers thought they had the lead in the 31st minute when Chicharito headed a Joao Mario free kick past Pope, but the flag was up and the goal was chalked off for offside. It was an incredibly tight call, but the correct one.
Etienne Capoue then forced another smart save from Adrian before Arnautovic hit one straight at Pope at the other end as this engaging end-to-end fixture began to gather pace.
The inevitable goal came in the 38th minute and it was the home side who would break the deadlock. Michail Antonio skinned Daryl Janmaat on the left flank before crossing the ball in towards Hernandez who, after Marvin Zeegelaar slipped, was left completely unmarked to nod in the opening goal in the 38th minute.
Watford pushed hard for an equaliser after the break with Gerard Deulofeu leading the charge with his creative flair. However, a combination of excellent goalkeeping from Adrian, disciplined defending from West Ham and some bizarre decisions by Watford's front men, they were unable to capitalise.
The result was secured in the 78th minute when the home side got a little bit of luck with Jose Holebas' mishit clearance falling perfectly for Arnautovic to tap home and double his side's lead.