Watford 1-3 West Ham United

  • by Staff Writer
  • Saturday, 24th August 2019

Sebastien Haller's first goals in English football were enough to secure West Ham United's first win of the 2019/20 campaign at Vicarage Road this afternoon.

The French striker, West Ham's record signing at a cool ?45million struck twice in the second half to ensure United left Vicarage Road with a second successive win in 2019, following the 4-1 success back in May on the final day of last season.

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The Hammers had taken the lead following their first attack of the match, after Manuel Lanzini was tripped inside the penalty by Abdoulaye Doucoure with barely 70 seconds of the match played.

Mark Noble, back in the starting XI for the first time this season having recovered from injury scored a brace against Watford in his last Premier League match - one of which was from a spot kick.

And the skipper made no mistake when firmly planting the ball to the left of Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster, who dived the wrong way, giving West Ham an early advantage.

Last week at Brighton, Manuel Pellegrini's side managed to hold on to the lead for just four minutes before conceding an equaliser. They managed a little longer today, although Andre Gray levelled the scores on 17 minutes when converting Will Hughes' centre.

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Both sides were to hit the woodwork before the half time interval; Gerard Deulofeu with an effort that grazed the crossbar shortly after Noble had given West Ham the lead and Felipe Anderson with a header across goal.

But it was West Ham who were to win the game by ultimately making the most of their second half chances.

Watford - who created 23 shots at goal of which only three hit the target - missed a golden opportunity to take the lead for the first time when Gray rounded Lukasz Fabianski before centreing the ball.

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But with the goal at his mercy, Hughes - no more than a yard from goal - somehow missed the target entirely, blasting his shot wide of the gaping goal.

That narrow escape appeared to spur West Ham into action - and with 11 minutes, they regained the lead. Anderson, who tormented Watford's full backs throughout made his way to the byeline before lifting the ball to the far post where Haller was waiting to score his first goal as a Hammer.

The hosts briefly threatened to level for a second time as they pushed for another equaliser, but the game was finished as a contest 17 minutes from time when Haller grabbed his second of the day.

Anderson began the move by crossing into the six yard box where substitute Michail Antonio was waiting to fire a diving header towards goal. Foster. That initial effort was saved, but an alert Haller was perfectly poised to convert the loose ball - and win the game for West Ham.

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West Ham Utd: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Rice, Noble, Yarmolenko (Antonio 55), Lanzini (Sanchez 88), Anderson (Fornals 78), Haller.

Subs not used: Roberto, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Ajeti.

Goals: Noble (pen 3), Haller (64, 73).

Watford: Foster, Femenia, Dawson, Cathcart, Holebas, Doucoure, Capoue, Cleverley (Quina 86), Hughes (Sarr 74), Deulofeu (Welbeck 74), Gray.

Subs not used: Gomes, Janmaat, Chalobah, Kabasele.

Goals: Gray (17).

Referee: Chris Kavanagh.

Attendance: 20,035.

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