West Ham salvage a point at Watford despite late red card
Andre Ayew came off the bench to score an equaliser before Michail Antonio was sent off
Watford’s Isaac Success shoots wide under pressure from West Ham United’s Darren Randolph late on. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters
Watford 1 West Ham 1
Andre Ayew climbed off the bench to rescue a point for 10-man West Ham in a 1-1 draw at Watford.
The Hammers were trailing to Troy Deeney’s third-minute penalty until Ghana forward Ayew tucked in the rebound after Michail Antonio’s shot had hit both posts.
It was no more than West Ham deserved, as they were unlucky not to have been awarded a second-half spot-kick for an almost identical incident to the one which gave Watford the lead.
However, they had to hold out for the final five minutes with 10 men after Antonio was sent off for handball.
Sadly it was also a bitter-sweet evening for Hammers old boy Mauro Zarate, who won his side’s penalty but departed on a stretcher with a serious-looking knee injury before half-time.
The Argentinian winger had an immediate impact against his former side, darting into the area to meet Deeney’s pass before being sent sprawling to the turf by Cheikhou Kouyate.
Deeney, who had to wait for what seemed like an age to bring up his 100th Watford goal earlier this season, rolled in the penalty for his fourth in five Premier League games.
West Ham — minus the injured Andy Carroll — pushed for an equaliser and Younes Kaboul did superbly to block a goalbound Robert Snodgrass shot before sticking out a foot to prevent Antonio from equalising.
Snodgrass should have levelled in first-half stoppage time when Heurelho Gomes pushed Aaron Cresswell’s cross straight to the winger, but he could not adjust his feet in time and Watford cleared.
Worryingly, Zarate had collapsed to the ground in the build-up to that chance after twisting his knee awkwardly, and he needed lengthy treatment and oxygen before he was carried off.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic was fined for throwing a television microphone in frustration after West Ham conceded a late equaliser against West Brom last time out.
Perhaps sensibly, the TV company did not leave any in his vicinity at Vicarage Road as the Croatian was furious when Kouyate was wrestled to the ground by M’Baye Niang in the area, only for referee Craig Pawson to wave play on.
But the leveller arrived in bizarre fashion in the 73rd minute after Antonio outpaced Kaboul before seeing his shot clip the near post, roll along the goal-line and back out off the far post.
Fortunately for the Hammers record signing Ayew was lurking on the six-yard line and sidefooted in his second goal for the club.
Antonio, who had been booked in the first half, blotted his copybook by deliberately handling the ball after he had been tackled to be shown a second yellow card, but the 10 men survived a late onslaught to hold on for a point.