Sports

West Ham United maintain Champions League push with win against relegation-threatened Watford


West Ham have strengthened their Champions League credentials after beating Watford 1-0 at the London Stadium.

In one of the most unpleasant subplots of the season, the game was overshadowed by emergence of footage showing Kurt Zouma kicking and beating his pet cat.

Despite the enormous public backlash, with West Ham stating that they “unreservedly condemned” his behaviour on Monday, David Moyes made the surprising decision to start him regardless, calling the incident “a separate matter”.

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While the hosts were well on top in the first half, with Said Benrahma hitting the woodwork just before the break, Watford hung in there and looked to hit back on the counter-attack. With the Hammers hogging the ball and creating almost all of the chances, however, the game was only ever headed one way.

They finally went ahead with 68 minutes on the clock, Jarrod Bowen having a pop from distance only for the ball to take a wicked deflection off Brazilian defender Samir and trickle past Ben Foster in the Watford goal.

Bowen almost scored again late on, cutting inside from the right and forcing Foster to tip the ball onto the far post.

One goal was all West Ham needed in the end, though, with Watford dropping to 19th on account of Newcastle’s 3-1 win against Everton.

With Manchester United only able to muster a 1-1 draw against Burnley at Turf Moor, Moyes’ side have bounced back up to fourth.

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