West Ham 2-0 Watford: Marko Arnautovic helps Hammers win
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 10/02/18 8:33pm
Marko Arnautovic scored on his return from injury as West Ham boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday.
Javier Hernandez gave the Hammers the lead at the London Stadium when he headed home in the 38th minute.
Arnautovic, who was the Hammers' standout player in his first appearance since January 20, then made sure of victory when he finished from close range in the 78th minute.
West Ham: Adrian (6), Cresswell (7), Collins (7), Ogbonna (6), Zabaleta (6), Noble (7), Joao Mario (7), Kouyate (6), Antonio (7), Arnautovic (8), Hernandez (7)
Subs: Byram (5), Rice (5), Hugill (5)
Watford: Karnezis (5), Janmaat (5), Prodl (5), Mariappa (5), Zeegelaar (5), Holebas (5), Capoue (5), Doucoure (5), Richarlison (5), Deulofeu (5), Deeney (5)
Subs: Pereyra (5), Lukebakio (5), Gray (5)
Man of the match: Marko Arnautovic
Watford were looking to build on their 4-1 win over Chelsea on Monday, but rarely threatened as they slipped to their eighth defeat in their last 12 matches.
The result sees West Ham - for whom new signing Patrice Evra was an unused substitute - move alongside Watford in the Premier League table on 30 points, with both sides five points above the relegation zone.
It also provides a timely boost for David Moyes, who lost his first game in charge of the Hammers 2-0 at Watford and whose future at the club was the subject of speculation during the week.
Watford were the first to threaten as Adrian kept out a header from Adrian Mariappa in the eighth minute, before Joao Mario saw a shot saved at the other end after some slick footwork from Arnautovic.
West Ham improved as the first half wore on and went close as Hernandez had a goal ruled out for offside and then Arnautovic missed a clear opening from eight yards out when he shot at Orestis Karnezis.
The breakthrough arrived in the 38th minute when Antonio skipped past Daryl Janmaat on the left and crossed for Hernandez to head in from 10 yards out.
Watford pressed more in the second half but failed to create any clear chances.
Adrian was only called into action to palm clear a free-kick from Deulofeu, while Hernandez spurned chances to score West Ham's second as he over-ran the ball in the box and then saw a shot tipped away by Karnezis.
Arnautovic eventually made sure of victory for the Hammers in the 78th minute as he finished from close range after Jose Holebas' attempted clearance rebounded into the six-yard area.
West Ham made two changes as Arnautovic returned from injury and Antonio also started. Evra was on the bench after joining in the week. Watford stuck with the same side that beat Chelsea on Monday.
- West Ham have gone five games without defeat at the London Stadium in all competitions for the first time (W3 D2).
- Watford are winless in their last seven Premier League away games (D1 L6), failing to score on five occasions in that run.
- Javier Hernandez has scored in three of his last four Premier League games for West Ham (3 goals), as many as he'd scored in in his opening 17 this season (4 goals).
- Marko Arnautovic has had a hand in 10 goals in his last nine Premier League games for West Ham (7 goals 3 assists).
- The Hammers kept their first clean sheet since December (3-0 at Stoke), ending a run of eight games in which they had conceded.
Man of the match - Marko Arnautovic
Making his first appearance since January 20, Arnautovic wasted no time in getting back into his stride. He was West Ham's most creative player and regularly threatened with the ball at his feet, showing some clever touches and quick footwork to escape challenges. He capped off a fine individual display with a routine finish from close range.
David Moyes on Arnautovic: "He's getting no praise. He'll be told to keep at it, he'll keep getting pushed all the way. We are not letting him off the hook, he's got a bit to go. He only trained for three days but you can see the impact he's had, and playing as a centre-forward has freed him up a bit."
Javi Gracia: "We were very soft during all the match. The first half we didn't compete in the best way and they were more aggressive and dominated areas and we didn't create clear chances to score. We will try to do better next time."
Neither side are in action again until Saturday, February 24, with West Ham facing a trip to Liverpool in the Premier League and Watford hosting Everton.