Watford’s terrific transformation
After Mazzarri’s Hornets were dominated in the opening exchanges, a two-goal cushion was the least that merited the Hammers’ efforts, with the returning Dimitri Payet floating over a stunning rabona cross which was duly headed home by Michail Antonio. It was West Ham’s second of the afternoon just after the half hour mark, and with the hapless Daryl Janmaat then passing the ball under no pressure against his own post, it seemed like it could turn into a long afternoon for the Hertfordshire outfit.
Goals however change games, and after Odion Ighalo got a huge slice of luck when his strike deflected in off James Collins, Watford seemed to have had new life breathed into them and Troy Deeney took full advantage after capitalising on a breakdown in communication between Collins and West Ham goalkeeper Ádrian to curl the ball home and send the visiting contingent of Watford supporters into jubilation just before the break.
The cliché also goes that it is a game of two halves, and following their first half momentum, Watford’s intensity just proved too much for Bilic’s Hammers, who crumbled following Etienne Capoue’s back post volley which put the visitors ahead. It is a fine run of form for the midfielder, who has hit three goals in four games this season after netting only once in his previous 57 Premier League appearances.
Capoue’s strike was laid on by new signing Roberto Pereyra, the midfielder from Juventus who turned the screw on West Ham in the second half and ran proceedings in the midfield. Holebas’ goal then put the Hornets out of sight, when his snapshot from the edge of the area somehow found its way past Ádrian. His strike made it the first occasion where the Hornets managed four goals away from home in a Premier League game.
Watford then remained on top throughout the game, with only Ádrian foiling Roberto Pereyra and Isaac Success in adding further goals for Mazzarri’s victorious side, the first time the Hornets have ever won a Premier League game having come from two goals behind.
A recovery from nowhere it may have seemed, but it showed once again that spirit and fight still lingers in the Watford ranks, and that vigour will be critical in their season as they aim to push on and make their way up the table. The comeback will also be of huge encouragement to Walter Mazzarri, who of course picked up his first win in charge of Watford, the perfect tonic going into next week’s match against Manchester United.