West Ham United 2-4 Watford: Hornets record first Premier League win of the season
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 10/09/16 8:05pm
Watford recovered from 2-0 down to beat West Ham 4-2 at London Stadium as Walter Mazzarri won his first match since taking charge of the club.
Michail Antonio's two headers had appeared to put West Ham on course for all three points as half-time approached, both set up by the returning Dimitri Payet.
However, Odion Ighalo pulled a goal back with a deflected effort after 41 minutes, before captain Troy Deeney took advantage of a terrible mix-up at the back between James Collins and Adrian to send the visitors in level at the break.
And further goals early in the second period from Etienne Capoue and Jose Holebas completed a remarkable comeback for the Hornets, who moved out of the relegation zone as a result.
Both teams made four changes from their last games before the international break, with West Ham welcoming back influential midfielders Payet and Manuel Lanzini from injury.
There was also further good news for the home fans, who got to get a first glimpse of striker Simone Zaza, a recent recruit from Juventus, although another summer signing - Sofiane Feghouli - was not fit enough to feature.
The visitors were able to hand a first start to Argentina winger Roberto Pereyra, another purchases from the Serie A champions, while Craig Cathcart had recovered from a groin injury to take his place as one of three centre backs.
However, Mazzarri was unable to call upon recent new signings Adrian Mariappa and Kenedy for the trip to east London.
The Hornets, who were looking to end a poor run of three straight defeats, made the worst possible start to proceedings by falling behind after just five minutes and what is more, it was a soft goal to concede.
Payet curled in a corner from the left for Antonio to rise powerfully at the near post and head home past Heurelho Gomes, albeit with the aid of a deflection off Deeney's back.
If that goal was avoidable, though, there was little Watford could do to prevent the home team's second after 33 minutes, with again that man Payet pulling the strings.
The quick-footed France international worked himself some space on the right-hand corner of the box, before picking out the unmarked Antonio with an outrageous Rabona, the second time a West Ham player had produced such a piece of skill after Lanzini earlier in the half.
Antonio's simple header, his 10th since the start of last season, brought the Hammers fans to their feet in admiration, with many being ejected from the ground by stewards though for then refusing to sit back down.
Watford, however, were more than a little unfortunate to find themselves 2-0 down at that point after Ighalo had missed a glorious opening early on, while the visitors were a constant threat on the break.
The goal that brought the Hornets back into the contest had a touch of luck about it after Ighalo, who was released down the left by Capoue, cut in and saw his goalbound effort take a wicked deflection off Collins to wrong-foot Adrian.
However, if that was slightly fortunate then the West Ham - who had switched to a flat back four after their previous defeat at Manchester City - only had themselves to blame for Watford's equaliser in first-half stoppage time after a piece of poor communication between Collins and Adrian.
The ever-alert Deeney took advantage to nip in between the dithering duo and steal the ball, although the forward still had a lot of work to do to find the back of the net with a delicious chip over a covering defender on the line.
That goal appeared to knock the stuffing out of Slaven Bilic's men, who found themselves trailing for the first time in the game following a brilliant strike by Capoue eight minutes after half-time.
It was new boy Pereyra, though, who deserves much of the credit after the forward found his team-mate with a lovely cross, before the Frenchman rifled the ball past Adrian at his near post for his third goal in just four encounters this season.
And any hopes West Ham may have had about getting back into the contest were ended after 63 minutes when Holebas scored a fourth goal after fine approach play down the left-hand channel of the area by Ighalo.
The Nigerian then cleverly pulled the ball back for the waiting left back to place a well-struck shot past Adrian, who got a hand to the ball, but could not keep it out as West Ham's afternoon went from bad to worse.
West Ham: Adrian (5), Byram (6), Reid (6), Collins (5), Masuaku (6), Kouyate (6), Noble (6), Antonio (8), Lanzini (8) Payet (8), Zaza (6)
Used subs: Tore (6), Fletcher (6), Calleri (6)
Watford: Gomes (6), Janmaat (6), Britos (6), Kaboul (6), Cathcart (6), Holebas (7), Pereyra (9), Behrami (6), Capoue (8), Deeney (8), Ighalo (8)
Subs: Prodl (6), Success (6), Okaka (6)
Man of the Match: Roberto Pereyra