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Men's Football West Ham get complacent and suffer as Watford leave London Stadium with three points

West Ham were left wondering what might have been in this hard fought affair on Saturday afternoon.

The home team started with the attitude of a side who had just won four games on the trot and thought they only needed to turn up for this one to make it five.

Watford pressured, right across the pitch, getting their reward on the half hour when Fabian Balbuena pulled down Roberto Pereyra for a penalty. Troy Deeney converted.

West Ham came out brighter in the second half, with Michail Antonio hitting the post with a header from a Robert Snodgrass corner.

The usually clinical Javier Hernandez missed two clear chances right in front of goal, both times being set up by Antonio.

The best chance for West Ham came when a cross from substitute Grady Diangana was headed goalward by Snodgrass, who saw the deflected effort pushed out by Ben Foster. Then with the goal at his mercy Antonio somehow managed to head onto the bar.

But Watford were always dangerous, with Lukasz Fabianski pulling off point-blank saves to foil Abdoulaye Doucoure and Deeney.

So with three minutes of normal time left, and Andy Carroll having just seen his header tipped over, Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu combined for the latter to finish with ease in the area.

West Ham manager Manuel Pelegrini felt his team were unlucky not to at least get a draw from the game.

The manager though was not too downbeat stating that if he’d been told he’d be on the present points total, 24, at this stage of the season, after the four defeats at the start, he’d have been happy.

He was also optimistic that talismanic striker Marko Arnautovic would “soon” be back from injury.

Watford boss Javi Gracia underlined how his team had “scored goals and created clear chances.”

He felt they could have had more but for Fabianski’s “two very good saves.”

“Today, all the time we were very very organised,” said Gracia, who felt his team had”solidarity and ambition.”

He paid tribute to captain Deeney for his “commitment”and Pereyra for “always keeping a good level.”


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