Haller double earns West Ham 3-1 win at struggling Watford
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WATFORD, England (AP) Record West Ham signing Sebastien Haller scored twice to secure a 3-1 win over Watford, which slumped to a third straight loss in the Premier League.
Mark Noble converted from the penalty spot inside the opening minutes before Andre Gray hauled the hosts level with 17 minutes gone.
But Watford was made to pay for spurning a number of chances as Haller, an offseason arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt for 45 million pounds ($55 million), scored twice in nine second-half minutes to heap the pressure on manager Javi Gracia, whose side has now lost their last seven matches in all competitions.
West Ham has four points from its opening three games.
After missing the 5-0 loss to Manchester City and the 1-1 draw at Brighton through injury, Noble was thrown back into Manuel Pellegrini's starting lineup after injury and, on the 15th anniversary of his debut, the West Ham captain put his side ahead.
With just 59 seconds on the clock at Vicarage Road, Manuel Lanzini fell in the box following a clumsy challenge from Abdoulaye Doucoure. Referee Chris Kavanagh did not hesitate in pointing to the spot and Noble made no mistake, sending goalkeeper Ben Foster the wrong way.
It was the 25th converted penalty of his career - only Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have scored more times from the spot in the Premier League than Noble.
Watford equalized when Will Hughes' through-ball was thrashed home by Gray, deputizing for the injured Troy Deeney.
In a wide-open second half, West Ham regained the lead as Felipe Anderson popped up on the left-hand side and his perfect cut-back found Haller, who tapped in from six yards.
Foster produced a fine point-blank save from Michail Antonio's header but, from the resulting corner, Foster tipped Antonio's header on to the crossbar only for Haller to perform a bicycle kick to seal all three points.
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Updated August 24, 2019