West Ham secured a convincing 4-1 victory at Vicarage Road against Watford on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday, in what was the Hammers’ third consecutive win.
Mark Noble both opened and rounded off the scoring for West Ham in what was an excellent way end to the season for Manuel Pellegrini’s side. The Hammers’ other goals came through Manuel Lanzini who scored from a header towards the end of first half to double their lead, and Marko Arnautovic who added the third, his third in two matches, twenty minutes from the end.
Watford did threaten a second half comeback, after Pablo Zabaleta gave the ball away allowing Gerrard Deulofeu to pull a goal back a minute into the second period, but a red card to full-back Jose Holebas just two minutes later ended hopes of a fightback for the hosts, and allowed the Hammers to add some extra shine to the score line in the final twenty minutes of the match.
Forever West Ham has rounded up the three things learned about West Ham in their final day win against Watford on Sunday:
NOBLE WAS EVERYWHERE
Noble produced a fantastic individual performance, being involved at both ends of the pitch as he helped West Ham regain control of the game after a lively start from Watford. The Hammers captain got his side going, with an excellent opening goal, somewhat against the run of play, after exchanging passes with Michail Antonio before taking the ball past Christian Kabasele and slotting the ball beyond Ben Foster. Noble was then influential in preventing Watford from getting back into the game with some key interceptions in midfield throughout the second half, as the hosts looked to stage a comeback. The Englishman rounded off his performance with a goal from the penalty spot, something which he can always be relied on to convert from 12 yards, and he will be hopeful of continuing this level of performance next season, because when Noble plays like he did today he is a difficult player to handle for opposing teams.
ZABALETA NEEDS REPLACING
Zabaleta was one of few West Ham players who struggled during the Hammers’ win against Watford. The Argentine came of the injured Ryan Fredericks midway through the first half, but could not seem to get up with the pace of the match and could not make the same positive impact that his fellow right-back had been making. The £75,000-a-week [Spotrac] was woeful at times on Sunday – he contrived to allow Watford a way back into the game in the opening minute of the second period, with a sloppy back pass towards Lukasz Fabianski allowing Deulofeu to run through a pull a goal back for the hosts. He improved slightly towards the end of the game, with Watford accepting defeat near the end and wanting to push on too much due to competing in the FA Cup final before they end their season. However, Pellegrini will be concerned over the right-backs display and should look for alternatives in terms of back up to Fredericks on this evidence before the start of next season.
ANTONIO WAS VERY UNFORTUNATE
Antonio could not have been more unlucky not have been on the score sheet against Watford on Sunday, with the winger involved in most of the Hammers’ good play and his performance only lacking a goal. The Englishman’s pace and power was a constant threat to Watford’s defence and he was unlucky with a fierce effort that was tipped onto the crossbar by Foster before Lanzini headed in the rebound. Antonio did however manage to get a couple of assists to demonstrate the excellent form he showed throughout the match at Vicarage Road – it was certainly one of the best displays we have seen from him in a while. Here is hoping he can take this form into next season, but maybe with a bit more luck in front of goal.