Ighalo at the double as Watford sweep West Ham aside.

01/11/2015 09:25

Odion Ighalo netted a brace at Vicarage Road on Saturday, as Watford deservedly recorded a 2-0 victory over Slaven Bilić's West Ham.

Quique Sanchez Flores' men were dominant for large parts and the margin of victory could have been bigger if it weren't for Adrian in the West Ham goal.

Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo terrorised the Hammers defence all afternoon in a Halloween spectacular at Vicarage Road, in what was certainly Watford's best home performance of the season.

Quique Sanchez Flores named an unchanged Watford side ahead of the game.

Heurelho Gomes started in goal for the Hornets and Allan Nyom, Miguel Britos, Craig Cathcart and Nathan Aké lined up in defence.

Étienne Capoue and Ben Watson kept their spots in the heart of midfield, whilst Almen Abdi and Ikechi Anya were deployed out wide.

Troy Deeney captained the side and supported Odion Ighalo in attack.

West Ham manager, Slaven Bilić, made two changes to his side. Andy Carroll replaced Diafra Sakho in attack for the Hammers, whilst Victor Moses came in for Mauro Zárate.

It was a lively and open affair in the opening few minutes and the first shot of the match went to West Ham. Dimitri Payet skilfully turned away from Ben Watson, before firing a low effort which was comfortably saved by Heurelho Gomes.

The Hornets slowly grew into the game and had their first shot on target a couple of minutes later. A good spell of pressure led to a Watford corner and Watson's corner was flicked on by Deeney at the near post. Watford's captain's flick-on fell to Ighalo, whose effort was comfortably saved by Adrian.

The Golden Boys went closer in the 11th minute. A Ben Watson corner fell invitingly for Nathan Aké, and his bullet header drew a good save from Adrian. Troy Deeney's follow up was scrambled away off the line by the Hammers defence, despite Watford's claims for a penalty for handball.  

Victor Moses was released down the right flank, but he scuffed an effort well wide of Gomes' post, before the Hornets raced straight down the other end. James Collins fell victim to another Ighalo chop, and the Nigerian's effort was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Deeney sliced an effort wide of the target.

The Hornets continued to create chances and had West Ham on the back foot. Deeney released Anya down the left, and Adrian had to charge out to thwart the Scotland international from poking the ball beyond him.  

Watford continued on the front foot. Ighalo forced a reflex save from Adrian in the Hammers goal, after the ball found its way into the Nigerian's path. .

The Hornets pressure finally paid off in the 38th minute and it was Ighalo who put the Hornets in front. Carroll dithered on the ball in the penalty area following a Watford free-kick and Ake seized possession, before squaring for Ighalo, who poked the ball home, under pressure from Cresswell.

Slaven Bilić was clearly displeased by his sides performance, as he made two substitutions at half time. Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia came on for Lanzini and Moses.

But the changes didn't help matters, as Watford went 2-0 up shortly after half-time. Ikechi Anya was released down the left and his cross was deflected into the path of Ighalo, who swivelled and calmly slotted the ball into the top corner to send Vicarage Road wild.

It was nearly 3-0 in the 50th minute, in what was a frenetic start to the second half and Ighalo nearly sealed his hat-trick. The West Ham defence simply could not contain the Nigerian, as he strode into the box and forced a good save from Adrian.

Watford were in the ascendency and they could have again increased their advantage in the 52nd minute. Capoue skilfully turned away from Jenkinson, before squaring to Deeney, who took a touch and fired over the bar.

Quique Sanchez Flores' men continued to create chances. Deeney laid the ball off to Abdi, whose side-footed effort went inches over the bar.

West Ham started to grow back into the game on the hour mark and Payet's ball found Carroll, whose attempted volley went wide of Gomes' goal.

Quique Sanchez Flores made his first substitution in the 67th minute. The impressive Ikechi Anya made way for Juan-Carlos-Paredes.

But, the Hammers nearly got themselves back into the game with twenty minutes to play. A mistake from Cathcart allowed Valenica to break through one-on-one, but the Ecuadorian international could only hit the post, with Gomes just to beat and the goal at his mercy.

But, back came Watford. Capoue's deflected pass found substitute Paredes on the edge of the box and he fizzed a low effort wide of the post.

With just under ten minutes to play, West Ham were reduced to ten men by referee Keith Stroud, after James Collins received his marching orders for a tackle on Ighalo. The Nigerian was clearly in some discomfort following the collision and the Hornets goal-scorer was replaced by Adlene Guedioura to a standing ovation from the Vicarage Road faithful.

The Hornets were excellent all game and comfortably saw out the final few minutes without any problems, to deservedly record their second home win of the season.

Team Line-ups and ratings

Watford - Gomes (GK) 7; Nyom 7, Catchart 7, Britos 8, Aké 8; Capoue 9, Watson 9; Abdi 7 (Behrami 74), Deeney 8, Anya 7 (Paredes 67); Ighalo 9 (Guedioura 83).

Subs (Not Used) - Arlauskis, Prodl, Ibarbo, Diamanti.

My man of the match - Ben Watson - Very hard to choose as there were a number of stand-out performers. Ben Watson just edged it for me. He was everywhere. Didn't stop running all game and went about his defensive duties well, whilst also setting the wheels in motion for another Watford attack. Set pieces were also excellent. Behrami's got a fight on his hands to reclaim his spot in the side.

Goals - Ighalo (39, 48)

Bookings - Nyom, Aké, Capoue

West Ham United - Adrian (GK), Jenkinson, Tomkins, Collins, Cresswell, Noble © (Jelavic 75), Kouyate, Moses (Zarate H/T), Lanzini (Valencia H/T), Payet, Carroll.

Subs (Not used) - Randolph (GK), Ogbonna, O'Brien, Antonio.

Bookings - None

Red Cards - Collins (84)

Possession - 50% Watford - 50% West Ham.

Attendance - 20,598 (2,280 West Ham supporters)

Referee - Keith Stroud