West Ham all-but secured their safety in the Premier League with a frenzied 3-1 win to a desperate Watford at London Stadium. In reality, just four minutes after Michail Antonio ‘s sixth-minute opener before a Declan Rice screamer seemingly putting the game to bed inside 40 minutes, the game was over half-time, with Tomas Soucek scoring.
A fired up and dramatically improved Watford emerged after the break, with Troy Deeney tossing out a lifeline to the away side just four minutes into the second half. West Ham, however, held fast to win.
The home side took the lead with the first meaningful attack of the game as the Pablo Fornals’ pass redirected from an unlucky Christian Kabasele and straight into the hands of in-form Antonio, who slid a left-footed strike under Ben Foster for his fifth goal in two weeks.
Only four minutes later, West Ham doubled their advantage, with Soucek scoring his third goal since Jarrod Bowen’s restart-sending a soaring header into the top corner after a magnificent left-footed cross.
A Rice thunderbolt seemed to bring the game beyond doubt before half-time. Noble gathered the ball after a cleared corner and passed it to the midfielder who curved a lovely shot past a stranded Foster.
Watford had to react quickly in the second half and that ‘s exactly what they were doing.
After Kabasele’s header dribbled agonizingly wide, Abdoulaye Doucoure ‘s effort came back straight from the post to direct the rebound home with Deeney there.
Watford kept pushing but the home side recovered their calm after a nervous start to the half hold onto the all-important victory.
A critical three-point sees West Ham climb over Brighton into 15th position, just six points above the drop with just two games to play. And with a much superior goal differential to 18th-placed Bournemouth, they are certainly secure.
Watford’s defeat, meanwhile, leaves them in the thick of a relegation battle, just three points above the relegation zone. Their last two games are not getting any simpler as they will welcome Manchester City before a final day trip to the Emirates.