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Watford 1-4 West Ham Utd

Filed: Monday, 13th May 2019
By: Staff Writer

West Ham ended the 2018/19 season in some fashion, smashing four past Watford to record their biggest away win of the campaign.

A brace from captain Mark Noble complemented by strikes from Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic secured a tenth-place finish for the Hammers, in what proved to be a battle for a top-half spot in the final table.

Watford, with one eye on next week's FA Cup final were distinctly second best overall despite making a promising start. But from the moment Noble opened the scoring with a brilliantly-taken effort, there was only going to be one winner.

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Noble, combining with Michail Antonio scored one of his best goals for the club to give the Hammers a 15th-minute lead having left Watford's defence for dead before placing his effort beyond Ben Foster.

It was an advantage doubled six minutes before the break when an Antonio shot rebounded off the crossbar before being headed into an empty net by an alert Lanzini, scoring his first goal since the final day of last season.

Watford capitalised on an uncharacteristic mistake by substitute Pablo Zabaleta straight from the kick off at the beginning of the second half, when Deulofeu picked up on the full back's underhit pass before rounding Lukasz Fabianski and rolling the ball into an empty net.

But the Hammers were in no mood to allow their well-earned advantage to disappear and when Marko Arnautovic added a third, from a rebound, with 19 minutes of normal time remaining, the points were as good as won.

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A tired-looking Watford, who played much of the second half with only ten men after Jose Holebas was dismissed for bringing down Antonio as he surged towards goal looked well beaten at this point.

However there was still time for Manuel Pellegrini's side to add a fourth goal, from the penalty spot; Antonio was pushed as he drove into the penalty box allowing Noble to double his tally for the day and extend United's lead further.

The three points ensured West Ham finished tenth in the Premier League table - three places higher than last season when the club spent much of the campaign fighting relegation.

Meanwhile the club's 52-point tally represented the highest return since moving to Stratford, but still ten points fewer than West Ham collected in the final season at the Boleyn Ground under Slaven Bilic.

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West Ham Utd: Fabianski, Fredericks (Zabaleta 26), Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku, Rice (Sanchez 79), Noble, Lanzini (Wilshere 67), Antonio, Anderson, Arnautovic.

Subs not used: Adrian, Ogbonna, Snodgrass, Hernandez.

Goals: Noble (15, pen 78), Lanzini (39), Arnautovic (71).

Watford: Foster, Femenia, Cathcart, Kabasele (Mariappa 78), Holebas, Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes (Masina 67), Pereyra, Deulofeu (Gray 59), Deeney.

Subs not used: Gomes, Janmaat, Chalobah, Success.

Goals: Deulofeu (46).

Booked: Capoue.

Sent off: Holebas.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh.

Attendance: 20.067.

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