West Ham 2-0 Watford: Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic strike to boost Hammers’ survival hopes

Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic struck to boost West Ham’s survival hopes and bring Watford crashing back down to earth.

Hernandez’s third goal in four league games and Arnautovic’s clincher on his comeback earned David Moyes’s side all three points at the London Stadium.

This victory helped underline West Ham’s improvement since boss Moyes’ appointment in November.

West Ham lost 2-0 at Watford in Moyes first game in charge, a defeat that left them in the bottom three and 18on nine points, nine behind Watford who were then in eighth position.

But West Ham are now 12 level on 30 points with Watford and only a place behind on goal difference.

Hernandez puts Wets Ham into the lead
(Image: Getty Images Europe)
Hernandez celebrates the opening goal
(Image: Getty Images Europe)

Watford hammered Chelsea 4-1 on Monday but never got close to hitting the same heights against West Ham.

Hernandez thought he had put West Ham in front when he headed in Arnautovic’s 31st minute free-kick, only to see the goal chalked off following the tightest of offside calls.

But there was nothing wrong with his 38 minute header from Michail Antonio’s cross which he buried to put West Ham 1-0 up.

And Arnautovic, making his return after missing West Ham’s last three games with a hamstring injury, sealed their victory with a deserved 78 minute strike.

Arnautovic fires the Hammers’ second goal of the game
(Image: PA)
Arnautovic celebrates his goal with Noble
(Image: REUTERS)

Watford keeper Orestis Karnezis spilled Aaron Cresswell’s cross, the ball ricoheted to Arnautovic who steadied himself before firing in West Ham’s second.

West Ham: Adrian, Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell Kouyate, Noble, Antonio, Joao Mario, Arnautovic, Hernandez. Subs: Fonte, Hugill, Byram, Hart, Evra, Cullen, Rice.

Watford: Karnezis, Holebas, Prodl, Mariappa, Janmaat, Doucoure Zeegelaar, Capoue, Deulofeu, Deeney, Richarlison. Subs: Ndong Gray, Lukebakio, Carrillo, Bachmann, Pereyra, Mukena.

Follow all the drama as it unfolded at the London Stadium below.

It’s another away performance to forget for Watford though, as Javier Gracia endures his first defeat since taking charge. His side dominated possession of the ball for the majority of the game but never really put West Ham’s defence under too much pressure, making it easy for the hosts.

The Hammers now rise level on points with Watford, both sides having 30, and they sit five points above the relegation zone. It’s not quite enough for Moyes’ side just yet but it does give them a massive boost ahead of their run-in, as they aim for the magic 40-point mark.

FULL TIME! A crucial three points for West Ham in the battle to retain their Premier League status and it’s a fine defensive performance from David Moyes’ side. Goals from Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic have been decisive, though the performance at the other end of the field to frustrate Watford was superb.

90+2 minsminute by minute

This will be a significant three points for West Ham, as it should be enough to keep them above the fight at the bottom. It’s still very, very tight but the margin they’ll boast puts them in a decent position.

90 minsminute by minute

Very late booking for Prodl for a clumsy challenge.

90 minsminute by minute

THREE minutes of added time!

90 minsSTATS

Overall Possession Ratio

Possession

89 minsminute by minute

Adrian hasn’t kept a clean sheet for West Ham in his last eight appearances but he’s minutes away from ending that streak here.

88 minsminute by minute

Final change for West Ham, and indeed the game, as January signing Hugill replaces Hernandez.

85 minsminute by minute

West Ham’s defensive performance today is certainly encouraging, as they’ve frustrated Watford despite seeing a much smaller share of the ball in the second half.

84 minsminute by minute

Standing ovation for Arnautovic, who’s marked his return to the side with a goal. Young defender Rice is his replacement as Moyes looks to shore-up his defence for the final few minutes.

83 minsminute by minute

You have to look at Watford’s front three again here, they’ve struggled to get involved properly and the Hornets have spent the majority of the time trying to build attacks from out wide. That’s worked in West Ham’s favour, as Collins and Ogbonna have been solid in the air.

82 minsminute by minute

Final change for Watford, with Richarlison replaced by Gray. The Brazilian youngster has struggled once again today and Gray gets another chance to make an impact for the Hornets.

81 minsminute by minute

West Ham will be level on points with Watford with 30 if they hold onto this advantage, which would give their survival hopes a massive boost. It won’t quite be enough just yet but they’ll be on their way.

79 minsminute by minute

Seven goals in the last nine Premier League appearances for Arnautovic. I said earlier he’ll be crucial for the Hammers’ survival hopes and he’s proving so with a decisive goal.

78 minsminute by minute

GOOOOOOOAL! West Ham look to have sealed it! The Hammers go short from a corner, Antonio goes to ground but gets nothing. Watford fail to clear it and Cresswell fires a low ball into the area which Karnezis palms away, it ricochets into the path of Arnautovic who has probably the easiest finish of his career.

78 minsminute by minute

Cresswell gets an assist for his determination and his ball in caused all sorts of problems for Watford’s defence.

77 minsminute by minute

West Ham now making their first change of the game and it’s a defensive-minded on, bringing on Byram to replace Mario.

75 minsminute by minute

CHANCE! The latest Watford corner finds Prodl inside the six-yard box but his header is a long way over the bar.

75 minsminute by minute

Second change for Watford brings the end of Deulofeu’s afternoon, as he’s replaced by Lukebakio. He signed in January and earns his Premier League debut here.

75 minsSTATS

Overall Possession Ratio

Possession

72 minsminute by minute

Really good end-to-end clash here at the London Stadium, you can’t take your eyes of it!

71 minsminute by minute

WHAT A WASTE! Hernandez beats the offside trap and charges through with the goal on his mercy. The Mexican striker looks undecisive as he cuts back inside, allowing Adrian to pounce upon the loose ball, and moments later the Hammers striker is in again but the chance escapes him once more.

69 minsminute by minute

West Ham continue to man the barricades and tired legs are starting to show. Antonio in particular looks off the pace, which isn’t too surprising given his lack of football due to injuries recently.

(Image: Getty Images Europe)

67 minsminute by minute

Decisive challenge from Ogbonna to prevent Watford on the counter, where Deulofeu looked set to cause real problems. The Hammers remain under pressure though.

66 minsminute by minute

It’s very congested in the middle of the park, which is limiting West Ham’s attempts to change the flow of the game, but Watford do face the same issues.

64 minsminute by minute

Not surprising to see Watford have dominated possession since the break but West Ham, and Arnautovic in particular, are still a danger.

62 minsminute by minute

A potential worry for West Ham is they don’t really have the attacking players on the bench who could provide an impact, as only Hugill and Cullen are options- and they have just two Premier League appearances between them.

63 minsSTATS

Overall Possession Ratio

Possession

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