West Ham 2-4 Watford
A shell shocked Slavin Bilic was struggling to take in how his team had gone from two up and coasting to lose this game four two.
The West Ham manager said that it was hard to explain the defensive display. “We had a good 40 minutes, controlling the game and two up. But you can’t concede those type of goals –especially the second one,” said Bilic, who conceded that if his team defended like they did in this game they won’t win many this season.
Things had started so brightly for the home team, with talisman Dimitri Payet back in a team that looked much more like the side that was pressing for a top four place for so much of last season.
There was only five minutes on the clock when Payet knocked over a corner which Michail Antonio rose to direct his header into the right hand corner of the net.
The inform striker then made it four in four games in the 33rd minute when Payet again picked him out coming in at the far post to head home.
The warning signs though were already there, Odion Ighalo having squandered two gilt edge chances- the first going wide the second bringing a point blank save out of home stopper Adrian.
The tide began to turn in the 41st minute, when, Ighalo finished a slick move down the left involving Jose Holebas and and Etienne Capoue.
The equalising goal came courtesy of a mix up between Adrian and defender James Collins who nodded the ball past the keeper as he came out to collect. Troy Deeney picked up the bal and expertly chipped over the retreating keeper into the net.
Home fans expected a rally in the second half but it never came, instead Capoue gave the Hornets the lead as he rifled home on the left of the area.
Holebas then finished off another move down the left involving Behrami and Ighalo.
Bilic rang the changes bringing on strikets Jonathan Calleri and Ashley Fletcher but to no effect.
The West Ham manager must be worried about the way his side capitulated and failed to find their way back into a game they had so dominated.
Watford boss Walter Massari became latest manager to leave the new London stadium with a beaming smile on his face. “I’m very happy to have a win,” said Massari.
*published morning star - 12/9/2016