Football: West Ham stunned by superb Watford comeback

Watford's Jose Holebas celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Troy Deeney and Valon Behrami.
Watford's Jose Holebas celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Troy Deeney and Valon Behrami.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Jose Holebas sealed a superb comeback by Watford on Saturday (Sept 10) as they came from 2-0 down to beat West Ham 4-2 and secure their first win of the Premier League campaign.

The Hammers - who may wish they hadn't left Upton Park for London Stadium as prior to this they had won 11 of their last 13 home league games against Watford - had looked in control after Michail Antonio scored with two headers.

However, Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney began the fightback and then Etienne Capoue gave them the lead in the second-half before Holebas added a fourth to give the Hornets only their third win in their last 16 league matches.

West Ham had been cruising with French playmaking star Dmitri Payet making his first start of the campaign and immediately easing into the role of creative fulcrum.

The 29-year-old provided both the crosses for Antonio, who gained selection in Sam Allardyce's England squad for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, and he made no mistake with his head on both occasions.

The second one - Antonio's 10th headed goal since the start of last season - showed Payet at his most inventive, firing in the cross with a magnificent piece of individual skill.

However, Watford showed great character in storming back and rocked their hosts by levelling by half-time.

Ighalo gave them hope when four minutes from half-time the Nigerian scored with a great individual effort, cutting in from the left and his shot took a deflection off James Collins to beat Adrian.

The Hornets ensured they went in all square for the half-time break with Collins at fault as his back header went past Adriano and Deeney was on hand to fire the ball into the net.

The Hammers appeared shell-shocked by the reversal of fortunes as Watford then soared into a two goal lead of their own after emerging for the second-half.

First the in-form Capoue gave them the lead with a fine effort, chesting down Roberto Pereyra's cross and powering it past Adrian in the 53rd minute.

Ten minutes later and Watford had gone further ahead, Holebas rounding off a move he started - dispossessing a now very quiet Payet - although Adrian could have done better in trying to deny him.