London (AFP) – David Moyes urged West Ham to finish the job after they effectively sealed their Premier League survival with a first half goal-blitz in Friday’s 3-1 win over relegation rivals Watford.
Moyes’ side ran riot before the break at the London Stadium thanks to goals from Michail Antonio, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice.
Troy Deeney got one back for Watford after the interval, but the visitors couldn’t muster an unlikely escape act.
West Ham climbed to 15th place and sit six points clear of the relegation zone with just two games left.
Holding a vastly superior goal difference to third bottom Bournemouth and second bottom Aston Villa, the Hammers should be safe from the drop.
After their second successive win, West Ham need one more point to guarantee their survival.
If other results make them do it themselves, Moyes is confident his players will be up to the task against Manchester United and Aston Villa.
“We are in a good position. Teams still have that chance and we have to do the job,” Moyes said.
“Even scoring the goals has helped, I wanted us to keep our goal difference as good as it could be.
“We have 37 points with a couple of games to go. If we get 40 points we’ll have done it off our own back.”
Fourth bottom Watford are just three points above the relegation zone and face a nerve-wracking finish to the season.
Nigel Pearson’s men, beaten for the first time in three matches, will face Manchester City and Arsenal in their final two games.
Bournemouth, whose goal difference is only two worse than Watford’s, would go above the Hornets if they beat Southampton by a three-goal margin on Sunday.
“There’s no getting away from the fact this result is bitterly disappointing. I’d expect better from our players,” Pearson said.
“I’ll look at it again and players will get honest feedback. They will go home tonight and think ‘wow we’ve let that one drift past us’.
“It wasn’t good enough. We know that we have the toughest run-in but we have to cope with it.”
– In-form Antonio –
Antonio had scored four times in West Ham’s rout of Norwich last weekend and the forward was too hot for Watford to handle as well.
West Ham took the lead in the sixth minute when Pablo Fornals played in Antonio and he fired past Ben Foster for his seventh goal since the coronavirus hiatus.
Less than five minutes later, Watford’s task was made harder when Soucek headed home from Jarrod Bowen’s cross.
England midfielder Rice produced a superb 30-yard strike to put West Ham three up in the 36th minute.
Watford striker Deeney reduced the deficit in the 49th minute, tapping in after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shot rebounded off a post.
But Deeney was forced off with an injury and Watford couldn’t fight back without their captain.
Hammers substitute Sebastian Haller went close in the closing stages with an acrobatic 25-yard volley that Foster tipped away.
Watford’s last chance was squandered by Danny Welbeck, who fired hurriedly over after being taken by surprise when team-mate Andre Gray missed his header.