July 17, 2020 / 8:58 PM / 24 days ago

Soccer-West ham claim vital win over Watford, safety almost assured

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - West Ham United all but guaranteed their Premier League safety with a 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Watford at the London Stadium on Friday with all their goals coming before halftime.

What was expected to be a nervy contest between the sides perched immediately above the drop zone became something of a breeze for the Hammers who were 3-0 up after 36 minutes thanks to goals by Michail Antonio, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice.

Watford replied early in the second half through Troy Deeney and there were some home nerves but West Ham stood firm to register back-to-back victories for the first time since August.

The Hammers, who have two games remaining, moved above Brighton & Hove Albion into 15th spot with 37 points, six more than Bournemouth and Aston Villa who are in the relegation zone.

While they could still be caught, David Moyes’s West Ham team have a far better goal difference.

Watford, on the other hand, are only three points clear of the drop zone and, with their last two games against Manchester City and Arsenal, face a nail-biting end to the season. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris)

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