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Watford 1-4 West Ham United – Reaction
Brian Jeeves reporting from Vicarage Road
Turning the clock back to May 12, 2019, and a resounding victory for West Ham United over Emirates FA Cup finalists, Watford, at Vicarage Road…
MANUEL PELLEGRINI was delighted with his West Ham United side after they thrashed Emirates FA Cup finalists, Watford, to finish their Premier League campaign with three successive victories.
Mark Noble brilliantly handed West Ham a first-half lead and it was 2-0 before the break – Manuel Lanzini nodding home after Michail Antonio’s initial strike had cannoned off the underside of the crossbar.
Gerard Deulofeu pulled one back immediately after the restart, profiting from a wayward back pass from Pablo Zabaleta. However, Jose Holebas was sent-off minutes later for hauling back Antonio – hindering the Hornets chances of making a dramatic comeback.
Indeed, it was to be the Hammers day. Marko Arnautovic made it 3-1, picking up the pieces after Felipe Anderson had thumped an upright. Then Noble added his second and West Ham’s fourth – sending Ben Foster the wrong way from the penalty spot after Antonio had been felled by Kiko Femenia.
“I’m very happy with how we have finished,” the Chilean enthused.
“It is not easy to win three games in a row, especially as we did it against Tottenham. Finished our season at home scoring three goals – and now playing away, to win scoring four is always difficult.
“I am happy for the club, the fans and I think we have now finished a good season.”
Pellegrini spoke about the positive mood around the club, adding: “I think we are improving.
“We grow one step in every sense – the names we have in our squad – the way we play, our points – but it is not just about two or three players, you need to have a squad. So I think we must try to continue improving, bring in those names.”
The former Manchester City chief hoped that the injuries which had hindered his side during the season would not be so much of an issue next season.
“Yes, of course, It is very difficult when you have so many important players out for so long with injuries like Yarmolenko, Sanchez, Lanzini, Wilshere,” he said.
“After that, to recover their performances they need to play a lot of games.
“Next season, I think these injuries will not affect us as much.”
So I think we must try to continue improving, bring in those names.
Meanwhile, Watford boss, Javi Gracia, confirmed the club would question the red card shown to Jose Holebas:
We will appeal the red card,” he.explained.
“It made it impossible for us and for a player to miss the FA Cup final based on that contact is not right.
“I want to recognise the work my players have done over the whole season as we have achieved the best season ever in the Premier League, and now we have the chance to play the FA Cup final.”