Sunday 15 September 2019

Deeney stirs pot with knockout blow

West Ham 0 Watford 2

Watford's Troy Deeney. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Watford's Troy Deeney. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Andy Sims

Javi Gracia saluted Troy Deeney after the striker floored West Ham and a corner flag. The Hornets skipper slammed home a first-half penalty and Gerard Deulofeu added a late second to scupper West Ham's bid to win five matches on the spin.

Deeney, relishing his role as pantomime villain at the London Stadium, celebrated his successful spot-kick by punching the corner flag out of the ground and goading the home supporters.

Two seasons ago he accused the Hammers of "trying to mug us off" with their showboating after he inspired Watford to come from two goals down and win 4-2.

Fortunately only one home supporter reacted to his 'exuberant' celebration, and the paper cup that was thrown towards the striker fell a long way short.

"What I saw was that after the goal he was running to the corner," Gracia said. "I don't know what he said. I can't tell you if it's a good or bad celebration, I often see players running into the corner.

"I like the way he plays, his commitment, all the things he does day by day. Like all the players he maybe makes mistakes but he is our captain and an important player for us."

Deeney's big moment arrived on the half-hour, when Robert Pereyra wriggled free in the area only to be caught by a clumsy, late challenge from Fabian Balbuena. Lukasz Fabianski had saved Deeney's previous three penalties but he had no chance with the fourth, the forward blasting into the top corner.

West Ham had chances to equalise but Michail Antonio twice hit the woodwork before Deulofeu finished them off three minutes from time.

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