Watford 2 West Ham 0: David Moyes beaten and booed in baptism of fire

Jason Burt
Will Hughes fires Watford into an early lead - Getty Images Europe

A manager who would like to leave against one desperate to stay and, with inevitable irony, it was want-away Marco Silva who claimed the victory for Watford as they condemned David Moyes to a desperate, hostile defeat in his first game in charge of West Ham United.

This was Moyes’s 500th Premier League match as a manager and there was nothing to celebrate as the visiting fans turned on the club’s hierarchy and players with bitter chants of “Sack the board”, “You destroyed our club” and “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” as West Ham remain stuck in the relegation zone. And they do not look too good to go down on this evidence, while Friday’s home game against Leicester could turn ugly.

They lost Marko Arnautovic to a suspected broken thumb while there were some shockingly poor performances, not least from striker Andy Carroll, who was substituted, with the West Ham fans turning on him as well. Carroll could, in fact, have been sent off after just 28 seconds for catching Watford debutant Marvin Zeegelaar with his elbow.

Moyes, who is on an initial short-term contract to the season’s end, did not sugar-coat it afterwards and while there was an appeal for unity, there was also a blunt assessment of the underperforming players. “I think there are some players with big reputations who have disappointed and they need to show if that’s their reputation then why have they got it,” he said. 

Moyes acknowledged the fans’ discontent and the “heat” being felt by Carroll. “I don’t know the history and all the other reasons for it,” he said of the chants towards the board. “I am thankful they [the fans] were supportive of me. But I have to say also that we need them now. We need a united club. I said to the players, it’s tough to play when the supporters are like that, but I understand their feelings. I think we did not do well enough in all the departments.”

Watford supporters, meanwhile, sang “There’s only one Marco Silva” but they know Everton are trying to land the Portuguese, despite having two attempts to get him rebuffed, and that he fancies the move. “We want you to stay,” they added but Silva would prefer to go – although Watford, up to eighth in the table as they stopped a run of three successive defeats, are adamant they will not negotiate.

Tough start: West Ham's David Moyes Credit: Reuters

It is easy to see why Silva is in ­demand. The 40-year-old has quickly moulded a dynamic, hard-working, organised team – with the brilliant prospect Richarlison again impressive, although they were also indebted to another Brazilian, goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, for a couple of outstanding saves despite their irrefutable dominance.

Moyes will cling to that, but the undeniable truth is that despite those opportunities, either side of half-time, and also Christian ­Kabasele clearing a Manuel Lanzini shot off the line – with Watford two up – West Ham were by far the poorer team as they try to re-organise following the sacking of Slaven Bilic and the appointment of Moyes (having, by the way, made their own informal inquiry about Silva).

There was no bounce for West Ham, while whatever the possibilities over Silva and his future, no one could accuse him or his team of being distracted, as he rightly pointed out. He has improved players, bought wisely and is hard-working, and so the appeal to Everton is obvious.

Experience v promise: Mark Noble and Richarlison Credit: Getty

Once Zeegelaar had gathered himself, the Dutch full-back was heavily involved in Watford’s opening goal as he broke down the right, combining with Richarlison and standing up a cross which was intended for Will Hughes. It was only half-cleared to Andre Gray who brought it down deftly enough but then miscued his shot. Still, it fell to Hughes who steered it into the net for his first goal for Watford and his first in the Premier League. In fact, it was his first shot in top-flight football. Defensively, though, it was a familiar shambles for West Ham.

Watford were dominant but then, strangely, after Joe Hart had saved from Richarlison and Kiko Femenia had driven narrowly wide, it was West Ham who should have scored. Lanzini played the ball back to Mark Noble, his angled first-time pass found Cheikhou Kouyate who, through on goal, had his shot ­superbly blocked by Gomes before the ball trickled wide.

Hammer hand: Marko Arnautovic of West Ham United is injured as Marvin Zeegelaar of Watford treads on his hand Credit: Getty

On half-time Gomes excelled himself with a brilliant double save as he scooped out Arnautovic’s bouncing header and then reacted quickly enough to push away his follow-up as the Austrian attempted to flick the ball past him. After half-time Arnautovic was involved again, cutting the ball back to Kouyate who skied it.

West Ham, somehow, could have been level or even ahead but Watford had seen enough and took total control as Abdoulaye Doucoure drifted a first-time shot just past the post. Hart then rivalled Gomes with a fine save as he turned away a close-range header from Adrian Mariappa. A goal was coming and Hughes sprung it as he collected a headed clearance from Winston Reid and quickly sent the ball out to Richarlison, who sprinted into the penalty area, shifting to his left – and being allowed to do so by Reid – before driving a low shot that Hart could not keep out. Again, it was down to the goalkeeper’s weaker left-hand side.

Unhappy Hammers: West Ham fans Credit: PA

For the West Ham owners – David Sullivan and David Gold – and vice-chairman Karren Brady, the chants got even worse as they were individually targeted.

It was game over. But this one is set to run and run for both clubs

5:57PM

Full-time

And that's that, a comfortable and well-deserved win for the hosts. Watford move up a place to eighth place in the table, while West Ham remain in 18th, a point off safety. Moyesy has much to ponder. 

5:56PM

90+ 6 min

Richarlison is close to his second and Watford's third, but his curling shot from inside the box is just wide. Silva then eats up a few seconds by replacing Gray with Carrillo. 

5:53PM

90+4 min

Will Hughes gets the Sky Sports MOM award. Toss up between him and Richarlison for me.  

5:52PM

90+ 3 min

Watford opt for "You're f****** s***' to goad their opponents. Keeping things nice and simple, much as their team have for most of this game. 

5:50PM

90 min

Eight minutes of added on time after that injury to Arnautovic.  

Richarlison

5:48PM

90 min

Watford seeing out the game well, and keeping their shape nicely to stem any possible West Ham fightback. 

5:46PM

86 min

The injured Femenya, who has been excellent up and down the Watford right, has been replaced by Holebas. 

5:44PM

84 min

Amazed the Watford fans haven't sung "you're getting sacked in the morning" to Moyes yet. Meanwhile Noble gets a booking for shoving Richarlison to the ground. 

Hughes then comes off to a standing ovation to be replaced by Pereyra. A goal and an assist for the hugely impressive Hughes today. 

5:41PM

81 min

Watford lost their last game 3-2 having been 2-0 up at Everton, but the chances of a similar collapse here are looking more and more remote. West Ham not offering a great deal. 

5:38PM

79 min

"You destroyed our f****** club"...the West Ham fans are pretty upset with the club's board, and are making their feelings known. 

Watford meanwhile spring forward again, and it takes a smart Cresswell clearance to cut out Richarlison's low cross. 

5:35PM

74 min

So nearly a precious goal for West Ham, but Lanzini's goal-bound strike from around the penalty spot is blocked brilliantly by Kabasele on the line. The ball popped up onto Kabasele's hand after he made the block, but a penlaty would have been ridiculously harsh. 

5:33PM

73 min

Arnautovic says he feels ok to carry on, but Moyes opts to replace him with Masuaku. 

5:29PM

70 min

Arnautovic looks to be in absolute agony after landing awkwardly on his elbow. He's receiving treatment. 

Richarlison breaks clear for Watford 

5:27PM

67 min

Speaking of things that have been coming, Carroll is replaced by Sakho. Arnautovic fires a shot well over soon after, before Doucoure draws a save from Hart with a low, fizzing shot from range. 

5:24PM

GOAL! Watford 2 West Ham 0 (Richarlison 64')

Watford deservedly double their lead, and that could be the end for West Ham today. 

Rarely has the expression "it's been coming" been so apt. Watford have been absolutely battering West Ham the last few minutes, and finally the pressure pays. Hughes canters forward from halfway - after a slight suspicion of handball to control the ball - and feeds Richarlison, who eases his way past Reid and shoots left-footed beyond Hart. Great work from Richarlison but Hart will be disappointed not to have done more than palm the ball on its way towards goal. 

What have you got West Ham? 

5:23PM

63 min

West Ham can't get out of their own half all of a sudden. It's been all Watford in the last five minutes. 

5:21PM

60 min

From the resulting corner, Hart makes an absolutely sensational fingertip save to keep out Mariappa's point-blank header. 

West Ham are teetering on the brink all of a sudden. Watford desperately pushing for the killer second. 

5:19PM

59 min

Gray looks like he's about to make it 2-0 as he charges into the West Ham box, but Reid gets a block in to deflect the shot wide.  

5:15PM

56 min

More good pressure from Watford. This time it's Hughes who lets fly from range. A deflection softens the shot though, and it's an easy take for Hart. 

5:14PM

54 min

Watford so nearly double their lead, but Doucoure's curling effort from 25 yards out whistles just wide. Hart was completely rooted. 

Abdoulaye Doucoure in action for Watford

5:12PM

52 min

Another huge opportunity spurned by Kouyate. Arnautovic skips away from Britos down the right and pulls the ball back perfectly for Kouyate, who leans back and sends the chance well over. Really poor miss that. 

5:11PM

51 min

Femenia does superbly down the Watford right again, but his fizzed low centre is thumped wide by Gray. Cresswell is getting turned inside out by Femenia time and time again. He's not getting much protection from Lanzini to be fair. 

5:08PM

48 min

Oh dear, Carroll has just played an attempted pass to Cresswell straight out of his play. Not Carroll's day so far. 

5:04PM

46 min

No changes for either side at the break, and we're back under way. 

5:02PM

West Ham coming back into it towards the end of the half

4:54PM

First-half summary

An enjoyable first half saw Watford took an early lead and look like adding a second, before West Ham's late rally. After that five-minute passage at the end of the half, Moyes will be frustrated to be behind at the break, though Silva will feel his team are well worth their lead for the way they started. 

The Watford wing-backs Femenia and debutant Zeegelaar have been particularly impressive, while Richarlison and Hughes have posed a threat further forward. For West Ham, Carroll has been a typically conspicuous performance, though that has mostly been down to his constant fouling and occasional Kamikaze back-passes.

With plenty of meaty challenges flying around, it would be no surprise to see a red card for either team, and we should be in for a competitive second half. 

Watford's Adrian Mariappa in action with West Ham United's Andy Carroll Credit: REUTERS

4:50PM

45+4 min

Richarlison, who has been in a thorn in West Ham's side all half, cuts inside from the left and fires in a shot that is deflected just wide. 

And that is the half-time whistle. Watford leading 1-0. 

4:49PM

45+3 min

How on earth has that stayed out? It's a triple save from Gomes to deny Arnautovic not once, not twice, but thrice. First the keeper palms away Arnautovic's header, then he springs up to block the rebound from close range, before holding on to a final attempt from an acute angle. West Ham have come alive in the last few minutes. 

4:46PM

45 min

Carroll is right in the thick of things again, and he's being told to calm down by referee Marriner after another mistimed tackle. Surely this can only end with Carroll being sent off or substituted for his own protection?

Four minutes of added on time after the earlier injury to Zeegelaar. 

4:44PM

44 min

Watford flood forward on the break, but Hughes flicks Femenia's cross well over. Femenia did superbly to get past Cresswell and work the space for the cross. 

4:43PM

43 min

Huge chance for West Ham, by far their best of the fame so far. Cattoll, Lanzini and then Noble combine beautifully around the edge of the box to send Kouyate away. Gomes flies out of his goal though to deny the West Ham man. He really should have scored what was a pretty straightforward one on one. 

4:41PM

41 min

Obiang is the latest player to go into the book. This one is for a mistimed tackle on Hughes, as the Watford man turned away neatly again. Would not be at all surprised to see a red card today. 

4:39PM

40 min

It's slightly sad to see how off the pace the once-great Zabaleta looks these days. He's really struggling against Richarlison today, and he gives away a free-kick with a hopelessly late challenge on the Brazilian. 

4:37PM

37 min

Britos lamps a very ambitious 35-yard strike well over the bar. A truly terrible effort. 

4:36PM

36 min

Arnautovic, sporting an uncharacteristically sensible haircut, goes into the book for a reckless challenge on Cleverley. The studs were showing, but it was only a one-footed challenge (an expression you rarely hear), so no real case for a red. 

4:33PM

34 min

Very close to a Watford second. First of all Richarlison has a decent effort saved by Hart from the edge of the box, before Femenia smashes the rebound just wide. West Ham on the ropes, Watford well on top. 

"When did football management become so difficult?"

4:31PM

31 min

From the resulting free-kick, Britos makes a crucial headed clearance from Cresswell's whipped-in delivery. Up the other end, Hughes plays a lovely flicked pass to Gray, but the striker's cross is easily collected by Hart. Hughes and Gray linking up nicely here. 

4:29PM

29 min

Britos booked for scything down Kouyate down the West Ham right. 

4:29PM

28 min

Off the ball challenge from Carroll, who shoves over Richarlison after the Brazilian had dispossessed him. It's just a yellow card, which is probably the right call. But what on earth was Carroll thinking? He's only just back from suspension as well, and could easily have been booked earlier for that elbow on Zeegelaar. 

4:25PM

25 min

There's a coming together in midfield between Noble and Cleverley. I feel like those two would have been a central midfield pairing in a 2008 'Predicted England XI for the 2018 World Cup'. 

Will Hughes celebrates putting Watford 1-0 up

4:22PM

23 min

Hughes shows some nifty footwork to work a yard of space and then plays a lovely through ball to Richarlison. The Brazilian is clipped by Zabaleta just inside the box, but Marriner waves away the penalty appeals. 

4:20PM

20 min

West Ham enjoying plenty of possession in the last few minutes, but they're doing little more than pumping diagonals up towards Andy Carroll that are being well dealt with by the Watford defence. 

4:17PM

17 min

Zeegelaar, as he did for the goal, getting forward well. The Dutchman has recovered well from that painful Carroll challenge early on, and is making a positive impression on day-boo. 

4:15PM

15 min

Watford fans and players are frustrated as Gray is poleaxed by Reid as he heads towards goal. Referee Andre Marriner says no foul. It was a borderline call. 

Miguel Britos

4:13PM

13 min

Almost an instant response from West ham, but Carroll's header from Zabaleta's cross lacks power and doesn't trouble Gomes. 

4:11PM

GOAL! Watford 1 West Ham 0 (Hughes 11')

Watford score with their first attack, and it's a first Watford goal for Will Hughes. Zeegelaar whips in a cross from the left that Gray controls brilliantly, and though his attempted shot is badly scuffed, the ball lands perfectly for Hughes to sweep home with his left foot from about 10 yards out. 

Nightmare start for Moyes, and West Ham have lost all six of the Premier League games in which they've fallen behind this season. 

4:09PM

10 mins

"Sack the board" sing the West Ham fans. That'll be tough to hear for the so-called "Dildo brothers". 

4:08PM

8 min

Comical start to the game from Carroll - he's now dug an elbow into Kabasele's ribs. The Watford defender is winded by the challenge looks fine to carry on. That one was a more honest challenge from Carroll to be fair. 

4:05PM

6 min

Carroll really needs to stop playing back-passes to his goalkeeper. He tried a costly one against Tottenham earlier in the season, and he plays a ropey one here that Joe Hart does well to deal with. 

Zeegelaar thankfully is back on. 

4:03PM

3 min

Zeegelaar is off the pitch now receiving treatment having been laid low for a couple of minutes. Watford playing with 10 men temporarily. 

4:02PM

1 min

Six seconds into Zeegelaar's Premier League debut and he's on the floor with blood pouring from his head after being on the receiving end of a trademark Carroll elbow. No punishment for the West Ham striker. That could have been a yellow or even a red. 

Welcome to the Premier League Zeegelaar. 

4:00PM

Kick-off

Watford are set up in a 3-4-3 formation, with the Dutch summer signing Zeegelaar making his debut at left wing-back. West Ham are set up in a 4-3-3. 

A reminder of the teams for this one:

Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Zeegelaar; Hughes, Richarlison; Gray.

Subs: Karnezis (GK), Prödl, Holebas, Capoue, Pereyra, Carrillo, Okaka.

West Ham: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate, Obiang; Arnautovic, Lanzini, Carroll. 

Subs: Adrian, Masuaku, Rice, Fernandes, Quina, Sakho, Martinez. 

3:57PM

The teams are out

Kick-off is just a few minutes away. 

Moyes tells Sky Sports ahead of the match: “We’re ready to go. We’ve had a few training sessions this week and last week. Have we done everything we could? No. Have we had enough time with the players? No.

“We’re a bit limited in what we can do. I’ve been saying ‘Let’s make sure we do the job right’ but [the players] need to take responsibility themselves. Most important is we want to be a team that doesn’t lose.”

West Ham

3:52PM

Pards is in the building

Alan Pardew, sporting a slightly creepy beard, says in the Sky Sports studio that he would have taken the West Ham job if he'd have been offered it. He then grabs fellow pundit Odion Ighalo's arm quite aggressively, and holds onto it for just long enough to make things uncomfortable. No 'your mum' gags though thankfully. 

Pards

3:37PM

Moyes speaks

The new West Ham manager says before the game:

"Honestly the big thing is that the players have been good. They have responded." 

Moyesy of course promised to make his players work until they cry at his West Ham unveiling a couple of weeks ago. 

Moyes

3:28PM

What does it all mean?

So that's two changes for Watford, as Zeegelaar comes in for his debut, while Mariappa also starts. Holebas and Carrillo drop to the bench, and Deeney remains suspended after his beef with Joe Allen. 

For West Ham, Moyes makes three changes to the West Ham team that were beaten 4-1 by Liverpool last time out. Edimilson Fernandes (dropped), Andre Ayew (ill) and Javier Hernandez (injured on international duty) drop out, with Arnautovic, Carroll and Zabaleta coming into the team. 

It looks as though West Ham are lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with plenty of scope for Arnautovic to fizz crosses at Carroll's head. 

Andy Carroll starts up front for West Ham

3:13PM

Team news

The teams are in, and they are as follows:

Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Zeegelaar; Hughes, Richarlison; Gray.

Subs: Karnezis (GK), Prödl, Holebas, Capoue, Pereyra, Carrillo, Okaka.

West Ham: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate, Obiang; Arnautovic, Lanzini, Carroll. 

Subs: Adrian, Masuaku, Rice, Fernandes, Quina, Sakho, Martinez. 

2:30PM

Preamble

Hello all,

Welcome to our live coverage of today's Premier League match between Watford and West Ham. Typically, with it being a Premier League game, the focus is almost entirely on the managers. 

In the claret and blue corner we have David Moyes, whose name I struggle to write out without instinctively adding the word "beleaguered" in front of it. Today is of course Moyes' first game in charge of West Ham after being given the job until the end of the season during the international break. 

The appointment was met with exasperation by most West Ham supporters, who don't think the pessimistic Moe Szyslak lookalike is the man to bring back the glory days of mid-table finishes and the fabled "West Ham way". 

Moyes' mission to restore the feelgood factor to the London Stadium starts today with a tricky looking trip to 9th-placed Watford. West Ham begin in 18th place and a point off safety. A win takes them to 15th or 16th and suddenly things are looking hopeful again. A defeat and we will likely see Moyes predicting a long, bleak winter for the team. In fact it being Moyes, he will likely reset West Ham's target to bettering Derby's record low Premier League points tally from a decade ago. 

David Moyes takes charge of West Ham for the first time on Sunday Credit: Getty Images

Over in the yellow corner, it's the suave Marco Silva, who looks like he should be cashing cheques on Wall Street in the 1980s. Despite Phil Thompson and Paul Merson's howls about Silva's appointment at Hull City last season, the Portuguese has made a very positive impression since arriving in England and is now wanted by Everton. 

Watford have turned down two approaches from Everton in the last couple of weeks, but it's a story we probably haven't heard the end of. In the immediate term, Silva will be focused on ending his side's run of three defeats in a row. 

My prediction for what it's worth is a 2-1 Watford win. 

Team news to follow at 3pm...