Watford opened up their season account with a shock 4-2 win over West Ham United in Saturday afternoon’s Premier League clash at London Stadium.
Despite the inclusion of club debutant Simone Zaza and the return of Dimitri Payet to the starting line-up, the home side was unable to hold on to a 2-0 first half lead as the Hornets went on to punish a lacking defensive unit.
Michail Antonio grabbed the game’s opening goals, heading home a Dimitri Payet corner before the Frenchman produced an audacious rabona cross for the number 30 to head in once again from just a yard out.
Goals from Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney tied up the game at half-time before Etienne Capoue and Jose Holebas had the visitors 4-2 in-front with 25 minutes to play, which would be enough for Watford’s first win of the season.
West Ham returned for their second Premier League match at London Stadium, looking to replicate the result achieved over Bournemouth three weeks earlier.
The home team launched themselves into the match with Antonio breaking early down the right flank, beating two players and forcing a first minute save by Heurelho Gomes in goal.
West Ham continued applying the pressure and soon had the opening goal off the back of a Payet corner, with Antonio this time able to head past Gomes.
It could have been 2-0 just moments later when Daryl Janmaat almost passed into his own goal, with Gomes managing to save on the line.
In an action-packed first 20 minutes, Watford managed to produce chances of their own with Ighalo failing to convert two shots inside the box, both set up by Roberto Pereyra.
However the stands were bouncing once again on 32 minutes when Payet ran the ball in from the right flank and produced an audacious rabona assist for a simple headed finish by Antonio, his second for the match.
Though just as it seemed the half may be West Ham’s, Ighalo made an approach towards the box and produced a shot that took a deflection, wrong-footing Adrian to make it 2-1.
And Watford weren’t finished there, with Deeney taking advantage of a mistake at the back by James Collins to masterfully chip the ball over the retreating keeper to make it 2-2 at halftime.
The away team were not ready to relent as the second-half commenced and after just eight minutes found themselves with a shock 3-2 lead.
Capoue latched on to a stray cross, chested the ball down before lashing the ball off Adrian’s near-post and into the goal.
On 63 minutes, things got even worse for the now subdued home fans.
After winning a contentious ball in West Ham’s half, Igahlo cut the ball back for Holebas who drove the ball from outside the box, with Adrian unable to deflect the ball away from goal, the score now reading 4-2.
Both teams swapped chances on goal in the final 20 minutes, with Watford unlucky to have not gone up 5-2 after Pereyra dribbled his way through the West Ham defense however failed to finish in a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper.
The match would end 4-2 with Watford picking up their first victory for the Premier League season while consigning the Hammers to a third loss in four matches.