West Ham United recovered from conceding an early penalty to secure a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road against Watford.
The Hornets received a wonderful gift to start the match, as makeshift right back Cheikhou Kouyate clumsily ran into the back of his former Hammers teammate Mauro Zarate just two minutes in. Troy Deeney converted easily past Darren Randolph to give Watford the 1-0 advantage in the nascent stages of Matchday 26.
But the Hammers got a deserved equalizer in the 73rd minute, when Michail Antonio’s running shot incredibly hit both posts, only to fall to substitute Andre Ayew for a simple tap in goal. Antonio would end up getting a silly second yellow for touching the ball with his hands, when he slipped to ground in the 86th minute.
The match had an unfortunate moment in first half stoppage, as Zarate was clutching his right knee in severe pain. The former Hammer was on the ground for over seven minutes before being stretched off. Walter Mazzarri’s side would see another injury befall his squad in the second half, when former Newcastle rightback Daryl Janmaat had to come off for Craig Cathcart in the 52nd minute.
West Ham’s next game is the most ominous one they could have, as they welcome the virtual champions-elect Chelsea to the London Stadium for the inaugural time on Monday, March 6. And without Antonio now against the Blues, that daunting match becomes even more of a challenge to get a positive result.