Injury to impressive Mauro Zarate puts cloud over Watford's performance

A curious game in which Watford failed to capitalise on an excellent start. West Ham United controlled possession for large parts of the game without creating many clear-cut chances, despite Michail Antonio threatening throughout. Ultimately the hosts will be happy with a draw.


Watford began brightly and could have been two goals up had M'Baye Niang's fierce drive been just a few inches lower and Mauro Zarate was effective until a bad injury saw him replaced. The Hornets had to battle hard against an increasingly dominant West Ham side and they did well to secure a point.


Despite taking the lead in the opening minutes, Watford's attacking threat quickly rescinded. After an impressive first quarter of an hour, the Hornets were unable to muster any sort of momentum and the visitors had almost exclusive use of the ball. Injuries to Zarate and Daryl Janmaat will be of concern.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Walter Mazzarri was criticised for what was perceived to be an overly defensive performance after going ahead early -- a surprising approach as Watford have only kept one clean sheet in their last 16 games. Perhaps missed a trick by failing to introduce Isaac Success as a replacement for the dangerous Zarate.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Heurelho Gomes, 7 -- Unable to do anything about the West Ham equaliser, but pulled off an outstanding save just after the hour mark -- diving full stretch to tip away a goal-bound header from Jose Fonte.

DF Jose Holebas, 6 - Defensively sound, but failed to capitalise when in a decent position in the opposition half. Wasted a glorious chance to deliver when clear down the left, both Troy Deeney and M'baye Niang were left waiting for a cross that never came. Did well to head away a dangerous late delivery.

DF Younes Kaboul, 7 -- Kaboul was one of the Hornets' most influential performers on a day when the overall performance came up short. Carried out his defensive duties well and was an occasional handful going forward, too.

DF Miguel Britos, 6 -- Struggled throughout with the pace and power of Michail Antonio and was lucky that a second half clearance was sliced to relative safety. Stuck to his task, however, and deserves credit for limiting West Ham to mainly speculative efforts. Had a late chance to win it with a close range header.

DF Daryl Janmaat, 5 - Never looked comfortable, with Watford's right side looking exposed on a number of occasions. A first-half booking didn't help his cause and was substituted after sustaining what looked like a groin injury.

MF Valon Behrami, 7 -- Despite being a fitness doubt ahead of the game, Behrami turned in another important display hassling and harrying throughout. The Swiss International got through a lot of work and should be praised for his constant communication with teammates.

MF Etienne Capoue, 5 -- Unable to get into the game and his performance was typified by a number of second-half fouls in quick succession. Another game that passed the Frenchman by.

MF Tom Cleverley, 7 -- The midfielder was unable to get forward as much as in recent games but battled hard and did well to play in Holebas on a number of occasions. Quick feet and smart passing helped create some space in a crowded midfield.

FW Mauro Zarate, 7 -- An impressive performance that was curtailed by a bad looking injury. Won the early penalty and was by far and away Watford's biggest attacking threat -- the Hornets faded as an attacking force after his injury.

FW M'baye Niang 6 -- Went close with a fierce drive early on, but faded quickly. Endured a tough afternoon and was on the end of a few questionable challenges, but this was one to forget for the AC Milan loanee.

FW Troy Deeney, 7 -- Took the penalty expertly, giving Darren Randolph no chance. The strike made it four goals in five for Deeney who is once again doing what Watford require of him. Tireless and strong in a relatively limp attacking display.


MF Abdoulaye Doucoure, 4 -- Replaced Zarate just before half-time and struggled to have any influence on the game. Seemed unsure as to his role and was reduced to a bystander for the most part.

DF Craig Cathcart, 6 -- Came on as a 53rd minute substitute for Daryl Janmaat and instantly shored up Watford's right-hand side. A quietly assured and competent display.

FW Isaac Success, NR -- Was unable to have the desired effect after coming on with just eight minutes remaining. Success was often guilty of trying to beat one man too many, including an ill-judged and unsuccessful dribble in his own half which could have proved costly.