Premier League
West HamWest Ham United2WatfordWatford0

West Ham United 2-0 Watford

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
West Ham take the lead against Watford
Before this game, West Ham hadn't won any of their five previous games in which Javier Hernandez had scored this season

Manager David Moyes says he is targeting a top-10 finish after his West Ham side put further distance between themselves and the relegation zone with victory over Watford.

Moyes took over the Hammers in November when they were 18th in the table with nine points from 11 games.

Goals by Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic took them to 30 points - five above the relegation zone and just one behind 10th-placed Bournemouth.

"When I took over we were in the relegation zone and I'd have said 'you're kidding' if you'd said we could get into the top 10," said the former Manchester United boss.

"It's great credit to the players. We want to keep improving. There's not that big a points difference between 11th, 10th and ninth."

Mexico forward Hernandez, who had earlier had a goal ruled out for offside, took advantage of Marvin Zeegelaar's slip to power home Michail Antonio's cross.

Moyes wants Hammers to target top-10 finish

Austria forward Arnautovic, back in the side after three games out with a hamstring injury, marked his return with a tap-in to double the lead at London Stadium.

Watford, who remain 11th, went close through Adrian Mariappa's header and Gerard Deulofeu's free-kick but Adrian was equal to both efforts.

"We were very soft in the first half and didn't create many clear chances during the game," said Hornets boss Javier Gracia.

Welcome win for Moyes

The build-up to this game was overshadowed by speculation over the futureexternal-link of Hammers boss David Moyes, who only took charge in November.

Four games without a win, including an FA Cup exit at League One Wigan, had split fans but co-owner David Sullivan said before kick-off that he hoped the Scot would stay as the club's manager for "many years".

Whether he does remains to be seen but this result will have appeased some of those who were beginning to doubt Moyes, who had new signing Patrice Evra on the substitutes bench.

His fifth win in 16 league games in charge was the result of a hard-working performance, inspired by a wonderful display by Arnautovic.

In addition to their two goals, West Ham were denied a penalty when Mariappa clattered Arnautovic, while Hornets keeper Orestis Karnezis also denied the former Stoke City player with a fine save before the big number seven eventually scored.

"We have threats in attacking areas - Hernandez, Antonio and Arnautovic - which ultimately hurt them in the end," added Moyes.

Gracia's first Premier League defeat

Watford had arrived at London Stadium on the back of a morale-boosting 4-1 win over champions Chelsea.

Yet their form away from Vicarage Road remains a concern.

It is three months since the Hornets last won on the road, while the team that put three past 10-man Chelsea in the space of six minutes last Monday have not managed an away goal since 2 January.

What will hurt manager Gracia more is that this defeat was self-inflicted.

Garcia bemoans 'soft' Watford performance

Zeegelaar's unfortunate slip allowed Hernandez to open the scoring before a series of defensive failures led to Arnautovic doubling the lead from close range.

"The problem today wasn't a striker who will score," added Gracia. "We have Troy Deeney, we have other players. Today we didn't create clear chances."

Gracia and his players will be relieved that their next two games are at home.

Man of the match - 'He scares defenders'

Marko Arnautovic (left) celebrates scoring for West Ham against Watford
Marko Arnautovic (left) produced a performance full of quality and endeavour, and thoroughly deserved his goal. He has had a hand in 10 goals in his past nine Premier League games for West Ham (seven goals, three assists)

Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy:

I felt when Arnautovic played in wide areas at Stoke he spent too much energy tracking back. David Moyes has recognised to play him up front. What he gives them is a presence, thev've lacked that. He can see a pass, dribble and score a goal. He's had time out but looked sharp.

He scares defenders and they look a different team when he's playing.

Home and away - the stats

  • West Ham have gone five games without defeat at the London Stadium in all competitions for the first time.
  • Watford are winless in their past seven Premier League away games, failing to score on five occasions in that run.
  • Javier Hernandez has scored in three of his past four Premier League games for West Ham (three goals), as many as he had scored in his opening 17 this season (four goals).
  • The Hammers kept their first clean sheet since December (3-0 at Stoke), ending a run of eight games in which they had conceded.

What's next?

Both West Ham and Watford have two weeks to prepare for their next league games as they have both been knocked out of the FA Cup. Both face Merseyside opposition next in the Premier League.

The Hammers travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on 24 February (15:00 GMT), while Watford entertain Everton on the same day (17:30 GMT).


West Ham

Formation 3-4-3

  • 13Adrián
  • 19Collins
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 5ZabaletaBooked at 44mins
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 16Noble
  • 30Antonio
  • 18João MárioSubstituted forByramat 77'minutes
  • 17HernándezSubstituted forHugillat 88'minutes
  • 7ArnautovicSubstituted forRiceat 84'minutes


  • 4José Fonte
  • 12Hugill
  • 22Byram
  • 25Hart
  • 27Evra
  • 33Cullen
  • 41Rice


Formation 3-4-3

  • 30Karnezis
  • 6Mariappa
  • 5PrödlBooked at 90mins
  • 25Holebas
  • 2Janmaat
  • 16Doucouré
  • 29Capoue
  • 22ZeegelaarSubstituted forPereyraat 56'minutes
  • 7DeulofeuSubstituted forLukebakioat 75'minutes
  • 9Deeney
  • 11RicharlisonSubstituted forGrayat 82'minutes


  • 12Ndong
  • 18Gray
  • 20Lukebakio
  • 28Carrillo
  • 35Bachmann
  • 37Pereyra
  • 48Mukena
Graham Scott

Match Stats

Home TeamWest HamAway TeamWatford
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, West Ham United 2, Watford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, West Ham United 2, Watford 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, West Ham United. Pablo Zabaleta tries a through ball, but Sam Byram is caught offside.

  4. Booking

    Sebastian Prödl (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Sebastian Prödl (Watford).

  6. Post update

    Jordan Hugill (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adrian Mariappa (Watford) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by José Holebas with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Adrian Mariappa (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Hugill (West Ham United).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Jordan Hugill replaces Chicharito.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Sam Byram.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adrian Mariappa (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dodi Lukebakio with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Declan Rice.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Declan Rice replaces Marko Arnautovic.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Andre Gray replaces Richarlison.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dodi Lukebakio (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Abdoulaye Doucouré.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Richarlison (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dodi Lukebakio.

  18. Post update

    Adrian Mariappa (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United).

  20. Goal!

    Goal! West Ham United 2, Watford 0. Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell following a corner.


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