Chelsea Supporters Club Vancouver

Sign up with us or renew your membership for 2017/18.

Find out how to get an affiliated supporters club membership, and how to obtain your International True Blues membership from Chelsea FC.


Last updateTue, 21 Nov 2017 6am

Back You are here: Home Supporters Club News Premier League News Feeds The Guardian: Premier League

Premier League | The Guardian

Latest news and features from, the world's leading liberal voice
The Guardian
  1. Tony Pulis quiz: how much do you know about football's great tracksuit manager?

    Grab your thinking cap. It’s time for a few teasers on Tony Pulis

    • Sports quiz of the week: World Cup losers, Ashes winners and a promise

    Tony Pulis spent eight of his first nine season as a senior player at Bristol Rovers. Which club did he represent in the other season (the 1981–82 campaign)?

    Happy Valley in Hong Kong

    Grampus Eight in Japan

    Guangzhou Evergrande in China

    New York Cosmos in USA

    Complete this Pulis quote: “I’ve got nothing against foreign managers, they are very nice people. Apart from…”

    Rafa Benítez

    Arsène Wenger

    Pep Guardiola

    Roberto Mancini

    At what age did Pulis attain his FA coaching badge?





    Who did Pulis replace when he first became a manager at Bournemouth in 1992?

    Graeme Souness

    Ron Atkinson

    Harry Redknapp

    Joe Kinnear

    Which of these south coast clubs has Pulis not managed?



    Plymouth Argyle

    Brighton and Hove Albion

    Which club was Pulis in charge of when he won the Premier League Manager of the Year award in 2014?

    Stoke City

    West Brom

    Crystal Palace


    How many times has Pulis been relegated in 25 years as a manager?





    In which city did Pulis carry the Olympic torch before the 2012 Games?





    Pulis took Stoke to their first ever FA Cup final in 2011. Which team beat them at Wembley?



    Manchester City


    Which player did Pulis accuse of cheating earlier this season?

    Dele Alli

    Saido Berahino

    Ashley Young

    Alexis Sánchez

    Who has been the most expensive signing of Pulis's managerial career?

    Nacer Chadli

    Jake Livermore

    Marko Arnautovic

    Christian Benteke

    Continue reading...
  2. Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Stoke City: Premier League – as it happened

    Stoke twice took the lead but Brighton battled back to earn a point at the end of an entertaining encounter

    And here’s a match report. It’s been a blast. Bye!

    Related: Brighton José Iziquierdo grabs share of the points from Stoke City

    Ryan Shawcross and Glenn Murray talk, about that first-half penalty incident and life in general. First, Shawcross.

    I think it probably was a penalty if you look back at it. I think the attacking players on each side decided it. They’ve got a lot and we’ve got a lot. We’re disappointed [not to win]. Their goals were a bit sloppy. A point away from home for us is brilliant, so we’ll take that and move on.

    It’s just one of those things. Hopefully throughout the course of the season it’ll even itself out. [The game] felt very open, it was an enjoyable game to play in, we’re just disappointed we didn’t clinch it. We’re happy with the point. We seem to be better away from home at the minute, which is something we need to sort out.

    An entertaining game ends with the points justly shared. Brighton did exceptionally well to come back twice against a rugged Stoke side, but though they were entertaining and enterprising their play was too often imprecise. Stoke had better quality, but lesser attacking intent. They scored from a (lovely) long ball and a corner, and most of their brighter moments from open play in the second half came from Brighton – under some pressure – gifting them possession in dangerous areas.

    90+4 mins: Nope.

    90+3 mins: Half a minute to play, and Stoke have a throw-in deep into Brighton territory. Is there time for one more chance?

    90+2 mins: Not by shanking shooting chances high and wide from the edge of the area, as Schelotto just did, they won’t.

    90+1 mins: The home side win a corner. The crowd roars. Will they find a winner?

    90+1 mins: There will be three minutes of stoppage time. Brighton go into it with the wind in their sails and the crowd willing them onward.

    88 mins: March tries to go past Diouf, who blocks his path and then dives to the ground. There was contact from behind, but Diouf’s dive made him look a bit silly. Anyway, the referee buys it, and the crowd is absolutely furious about it.

    86 mins: Schelotto nicely tricks his way into the area, and then annoyingly spears a poor ball across the area.

    84 mins: More substitutions, both for Brighton: Izzy Brown replaces Pascal Gross, and Schelotto replaces Knockaert.

    83 mins: Brighton break, and Knockaert’s lovely flick finds Murray. Zouma gets in the way and then steals the ball away, but it was still a lovely flick.

    82 mins: Diouf ridiculously overdramatises a collision with Dunk that barely existed at all, and the referee buys it. Nothing comes of the free kick, though.

    81 mins: The constant rain of crosses ends when Zouma has a long-range shot that zips across the turf into the arms of Ryan.

    80 mins: Crouch’s arrival seems to have changed the game in Stoke’s favour. Suddenly they’re peppering Brighton’s penalty area with crosses, and the home side seem very worried about it.

    79 mins: Stoke win a corner and Fletcher picks out Crouch, but his header is from too far out, and also not on target.

    77 mins: Here’s the all-time top five players with the most Premier League substitute appearances, according to Sky. It seems Crouch has not just joined Ameobi at the top of the list, but overtaken him altogether.

    .@stokecity’s @petercrouch sets a new @premierleague record of 143 substitute appearances #MNF

    143 - Peter Crouch
    142 - Shola Ameobi
    136 - Jermain Defoe
    129 - Carlton Cole
    123 - Joe Cole

    74 mins: Some substitutions: March replaces Izquierdo for Brighton, and Crouch replaces Shaqiri, making history in the process.

    73 mins: Gross, on the left wing, takes on Zouma. He goes down the line and turns back; Zouma eventually catches up. He goes up the line and turns back again; Zouma eventually catches up. He goes down the line and turns back again, gets the ball muddled between his feet, and gives away a throw-in. Still, it was fun.

    71 mins: There seem to be a lot of passes being misplaced. Even Shaqiri’s been doing it. As a result, the last few minutes have been played entirely in a narrow belt around the half-way line.

    68 mins: Shaqiri hits a left-foot shot from 20 yards that just fades away from goal in the last few metres and skims past the far post.

    67 mins: A world of opportunity and potential has opened up, post-equaliser. Life is, once again, good. Brighton raid down the right, but Bruno’s cross is headed clear. Stoke run down the other end, where Choupo-Moting’s cross is also headed clear.

    63 mins: Sky report that even as Izquierdo knocked in his goal the fourth official was putting his number into his board, as Brighton prepared to take him off.

    62 mins: Izquierdo is fun but frustrating. He often seems to make the wrong decision, or be just a little too imprecise with his passing. But he’s also fast and nimble enough to really expose Zouma. “Izquierdo is an exciting player,” writes Kelvin. “Loved watching him play at Brugge. He had a silly habit of running to the bench to don his sunglasses whenever he scored, even when it was raining.”

    The ball is crossed from the right to Murray, beyond the far post. His control is good, and after hinting at a cross he instead passes short to Izquierdo, befuddling the defence. His attempted pass across goal hits Wimmer, bounces back to him, and is calmly knocked into the net!

    58 mins: Brighton very nearly play themselves into trouble again on the edge of their area. They’re making a habit of it, and it’s not a good one.

    58 mins: Brighton win a corner, but as the ball comes in Fletcher goes over, and Stoke have a free kick.

    56 mins: Zouma and Murray jump together, and Murray’s arm presses against Zouma’s head. The Stoke defender goes to ground, stays there a while, and is then treated by physios for a bit, before walking slowly to the touchline and immediately turning to run book onto the pitch, absolutely fine.

    54 mins: I don’t understand why the referee doesn’t just book a goalkeeper who is obviously timewasting. Accepted protocol seems to be that you let it pass a couple of times, then wave a beckoning arm, then give a warning, and only then take his name. It all just allows a great deal more timewasting than is ideal. Anyway, Grant still hasn’t been booked, but it’s only a matter of time. And protocol.

    53 mins: Brighton win two corners in swift succession, both of which are hit too long, clear the entire penalty area and end up with Izquierdo on the opposite flank.

    50 mins: Save! Propper gives the ball away just outside his own penalty area and Stoke immediately have three players bursting into it. A quick exchange of passes between Allen and Sobhi opens a chance for the latter, but Ryan positions himself well and makes the stop!

    49 mins: Murray is found at the edge of the D, controls, spins and shoots – but he’s offside.

    48 mins: So far this half Brighton have probed down their right and down their left, but both attacks have ended with really poor passes played under no pressure.

    46 mins: Peeeeep! Brighton get the second half started.

    The players are back out. More action imminent.

    Further examination of replays shows that Shawcross’s challenge on Murray was definitely and without doubt a penalty. Or at least it should have been.

    A jolly old half, that one. Goals, controversy, incident, drama, it had the lot. But that second Stoke goal was a blow for all neutrals. There is something spirit-sapping about watching this team destroy a game, which seems to be how they deal with away leads. Maybe I’m doing them a disservice, though. Perhaps they’ll put on a display of fantasy attacking in the second half. They certainly have the potential to do more than simply close this out.

    45+4 mins: The referee blows his whistle and the crowd erupts in boos, aimed at the referee who denied them a likely penalty and the devilish football gods who so swiftly destroyed their post-equalising joy.

    It’s an excellent corner towards Choupo-Moting, which hits Bruno in the back of the head and goes straight to Zouma, who nods in from close range.

    45+1 mins: Into stoppage time, of which there will be three minutes. It starts with a Stoke corner.

    That’s fantastic work by Propper! He’s given the ball in the middle of Stoke’s half, with opponents all around him, and somehow he escapes from all of them, runs to the right, crosses low and Gross’s low shot goes through the goalkeeper’s legs!

    42 mins: Murray steams in on Wimmer, wildly late, and is booked. He needs to find a better way of dealing with his frustration: that was a yellow and a half, and if the referee had been feeling really vindictive he might have been sent off.

    40 mins: There wasn’t much contact on Murray, but there was no contact on the ball. Shawcross is extraordinarily lucky to get away with that.

    39' Shawcross incredibly lucky! Lee Mason gives a free-kick, but in all honesty it looked a penalty (0-1) #SCFC

    39 mins: Murray and Shawcross run side by side in the penalty area. Shawcross slides in, misses the ball, waves a leg in front of Murray and the Brighton striker goes over it. The referee gives a free kick to Stoke.

    38 mins: Stoke have the ball and pass it around for a while, without getting more than 15 yards into Brighton’s half, or really wanting to.

    37 mins: Though Zouma just took a throw-in reasonably quickly.

    36 mins: I watched Stoke beat Watford a couple of weeks ago, and I’m basically watching it again now. A first-half goal, and now 11 men behind the ball and maximum timewasting at every stoppage.

    34 mins: Gross is picked out on the edge of the area, but he falls as he gets into it, and when the ball falls to Knockaert he is offside. Grant takes an age over the free kick.

    34 mins: Diouf is picked out on the right wing, but his low cross hits a defender. “Did you see what Duffy was doing on that goal?” asks JR. “He was waving his arm in the air like he just didn’t care (that Choupo-Moting was about to score a goal). Perhaps instead of appealing for offside Duffy should have continued playing. Just a thought. A bit radical, I know.”

    31 mins: Grant takes an age over a goal kick, enraging the home fans. Stoke are an infuriating team, and never more so than when you’re losing to them.

    A long ball forward from the half-way line is brilliantly controlled by Choupo-Moting, running into the area. It would have taken him wide to the right of goal, though, except it hits Dunk on the thigh and lands perfectly at the Stoke striker’s feet, and he sidefoots in from 10 yards!

    25 mins: Izquierdo is a lot of fun. Very imprecise fun, but tremendous value. This time he bursts infield before taking a shot from 25 yards the goes out for a throw-in.

    23 mins: Knockaert is taken out on the right wing by Shawcross, and Gross’s excellent free-kick is turned goalwards by Propper. Grant saves.

    21 mins: The effervescent Izquierdo bursts forward again and then passes inside to Murray, who tries to work room for a shot but is dispossessed instead.

    21 mins: Sobhi gets the ball outside the area, goes past Bruno easily, tries to go past him again, and this time the Brighton man gets an important toe on the ball.

    19 mins: Choupo-Moting wriggles about on the right before scooping in a cross which Shawcross heads towards goal, but the ball loops gently into Ryan’s arms.

    18 mins: Izquierdo has another shot. He runs clear on the left behind Zouma, who was very slow to sense danger, and into the area, cuts onto his right foot and then curls past Grant but a yard wide of the far post!

    17 mins: Isquierdo gets into the box, cuts inside, then starts cutting backwards for some reason, and when he finally reaches a shooting position much worse than the one he had a while ago, he shoots wide.

    16 mins: It’s been a bright opening. Brighton are attacking with pace and intent, largely down the left. Stoke are countering Stokeishly, and winning many corners. Promising.

    13 mins: Propper miscontrols 10 yards outside his own penalty area and then falls over, and Shaqiri nips in, steals the ball and surges into the box, but his shot is well blocked by Dunk.

    12 mins: Save! From the resulting corner Shawcross heads at goal from beyond the far post, and Ryan tips it over!

    12 mins: Pieters escapes down the left, and though his cross is cleared Knockaert gets a rollicking for allowing the Stoke player so much space.

    9 mins: Bong’s cross is headed clear, and Stephens chests down and shoots from 40 yards. It’s quite a handsome shot, even if it flies well wide.

    6 mins: Diouf has a shot from the edge of the area, but he falls over while he’s having it, and it deflects wide for a corner. It’s a lovely ball in by Shaqiri, and Stephens can’t clear it, but when the ball is eventually sent back in Ryan comes out to catch.

    5 mins: Shawcross and Murray have a little set-to, as Mark Hughes’s favourite tactic of intimidation and provocation begins.

    4 mins: Chance for Brighton! Izquierdo has the ball on the left again and this time the cross is low, and it runs to the in-form Murray, who swings his left foot and misses it completely!

    2 mins: Izquierdo gets near the byline on the left, but his cross is high, loopy and long.

    1 min: And we’re off! Stoke get the game started, and promptly tonk the ball into touch on the right wing.

    Coins tossed, hands shaken, football imminent.

    “Third on the list is Javier Hernandez isn’t it?” guesses Peter Crosby. “Thank you – thank you very much.” It is not Javier Hernandez.

    The players are emerging from the tunnel!

    “I’m going to say James Miner,” writes Charles Antaki. “Not because I think it actually is him, but because it’s the only kind of award that a stalwart, but slightly obscure, Premier League player who’s been there since its inception (or perhaps a century before) is going to get.” Nice thought process, but you should really have spent less time thinking and more time reading the question.

    There’s answering a simple quiz question, and then there’s just showing off:

    @Simon_Burnton Bit late to see quiz but Defoe is third followed by a couple of Coles - one of which (Carlton) has spent longest time on pitch as an #EPL sub
    Giggs also makes top 10

    The managers have been talking. First, Chris Hughton:

    It seems like a long time [since their last game], and certainly on the back of a really good away performance, but if we thought that was going to be tough this will be even tougher. We need to start as well as we can and keep the good things going. They’re a very manly side, with good quality. They are a threat all over the pitch. I still feel, even after a couple of really good away performances, that our season will be based on the points we’re able to get at home.

    I’ve said all along that we had difficult fixtures in the opening period. We knew that was going to test us. But we’re OK. In terms of like-for-like results, I’ve said many times, we’re ahead of where we were last season. We’re building steadily. We’re doing OK. I think we can look back on certain performances where we haven’t done as well as we hoped but in other ones we’ve done fine. Tonight, up front they’ve got an obvious threat, two lads playing well with confidence, scoring goals. We’ll have to deal with those two. They’ve got good threats, they’re organised as every Chris Hughton team is.

    No changes for Brighton and just one for Stoke, with finger-knacked goalkeeper Jack Butland out, and Lee Grant coming in.

    Ladies and gentlemen, a winner:

    @Simon_Burnton It's not Shola, is it? Eternal glory?

    The team sheets are in, and these are the names upon them:

    Brighton: Ryan, Saltor, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo, Gross, Murray. Subs: Hemed, Goldson, March, Schelotto, Krul, Suttner, Brown.
    Stoke: Grant, Zouma, Shawcross, Wimmer, Diouf, Fletcher, Allen, Pieters, Shaqiri, Sobhi, Choupo-Moting. Subs: Berahino, Jese, Afellay, Martins Indi, Adam, Crouch, Haugaard.
    Referee: Lee Mason.

    Here's how #BHAFC line up for this evening's @premierleague game against @stokecity at the Amex. #BHASTK ⚽️⚪️

    #SCFC Starting XI v @OfficialBHAFC: Grant; Zouma, Shawcross, Wimmer; Diouf, Fletcher, Allen, Pieters; Shaqiri, Ramadan; Choupo-Moting.

    SUBS: Haugaard; Berahino, Jese, Afellay, Martins Indi, Adam, Crouch.

    Hello world!

    Welcome to Magnificent Monday! Today’s match pits Chris Hughton against Mark Hughes, perhaps the Premier League’s most similarly-surnamed managerial contest since (excluding previous Hughes/Hughton encounters) Bobby Robson and Bryan Robson last faced off back in October 2000. And their surnames aren’t so much similar as identical, so don’t really count (do let me know if I’ve forgotten any potential alternatives, though).

    Simon will be here shortly. In the meantime you can get the lowdown on Saido Berahino’s struggles at Stoke …

    Related: Saido Berahino: the former golden boy who has gone 632 days without scoring | Barry Glendenning

    Continue reading...
  3. Brighton’s José Izquierdo grabs share of the points from Stoke City

    Brighton & Hove Albion twice came from behind to earn a draw at home to Stoke City and extend their unbeaten run to five matches with the home manager, Chris Hughton, grateful his team overcame the referee’s failure to award them a clear first-half penalty.

    Pascal Gross and then José Izquierdo replied to goals by Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kurt Zouma to leave both sides with a point on the south coast, on a night when Peter Crouch made history of an altogether different kind.

    Related: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Stoke City: Premier League – as it happened

    Related: Saido Berahino: the former golden boy who has gone 632 days without scoring | Barry Glendenning

    Continue reading...
  4. Pulis gone, Arsenal's bragging rights and Buffon's broken heart – Football Weekly

    Max Rushden and co predict managerial merry go round movement, review the latest action and find out if Roman Burki has hit the headlines in Germany

    Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

    Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen and Mark Langdon on his debut have plenty to get their teeth into on the day that Tony Pulis was sacked by West Brom, who were hammered 4-0 by Chelsea at the weekend.

    Continue reading...
  5. Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action
    Hugo Lloris’s top-four focus for Spurs is telling, Callum Wilson is making up for lost time and can Paul Pogba yet be compared with Steven Gerrard?

    After challenging for the title for the past couple of seasons, it was significant to hear Hugo Lloris contemplate looking over Tottenham Hotspur’s shoulder more than in front of them at the end of a derby defeat. “Oh, before we think about [the leaders] Man City it’s important to stay in the top four. This is the main target for our team,” he said. “We heard from outside that Tottenham play for the title, blah, blah, blah. The most important thing is to stay consistent in the league.” The difficulty imposing themselves on the most challenging away fixtures remains a sticking point. Having lost at Old Trafford and Arsenal in recent weeks, next month they visit the Premier League’s pace setters at the Etihad Stadium. Spurs found it hard to penetrate Arsenal’s defence, and when Mauricio Pochettino subbed off Harry Kane and Dele Alli neither could feel they had been at their most influential. “The spirit was good, we were in the fight and able to develop our game with the ball in the floor. But in the final third we need more aggression and movement,” Lloris said. “Now we need to carry on. It’s true that we wanted to do more against Manchester United and Arsenal. Unfortunately we couldn’t do that so now it’s important to have a run of victories because we need to keep our place at the top.” Amy Lawrence

    Related: Arsenal defeat highlights Tottenham frailties against Premier League’s big six | Jonathan Wilson

    Related: Saido Berahino: the former golden boy who has gone 632 days without scoring | Barry Glendenning

    Continue reading...
  6. David Moyes pleads for unity at West Ham as fans turn on club hierarchy
    • Chants of ‘sack the board’ heard as Moyes’ loses first game in charge to Watford
    • Manager hits out at ‘players with big reputations’

    David Moyes has appealed for unity among West Ham United supporters after watching his new team slump to a 2-0 defeat at Watford in his first match, leaving them marooned in the relegation zone.

    A number of fans made their feelings known throughout the game, with Will Hughes’s opening goal in the 11th minute greeted with a chorus of “sack the board” as West Ham made a nightmare start under the Scot in his first appointment since leaving Sunderland early last summer. Andy Carroll was also singled out for criticism by a large section of away supporters when he was withdrawn in the second half soon after Richarlison had doubled Watford’s lead and Moyes, who replaced Slaven Bilic as manager during the international break, admitted they will have to get behind the team if West Ham are to rescue themselves from their second-worst start to a Premier League season. “I don’t know the history and all the reasons for it but I have to say we need them now,” the manager said.

    Related: Watford brush West Ham aside to show David Moyes scale of the task he faces

    Continue reading...
  7. Shkodran Mustafi insists Arsenal have the self-belief to prove doubters wrong
    Defender calls on his team-mates to build on Tottenham victory as Arsène Wenger hails German’s role in north London derby triumph

    Lee Dixon tells an eye-opening story in the film 89 about being pinned up against the wall of the dressing room by his own team‑mates before his first north London derby. He was warned, in no uncertain terms, that if he did not perform in this game of all games he would be in trouble. It is hard to imagine that in the modern game such threats would be part of a pre-match routine, but the words said within the Arsenal camp last week to gee them up for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur certainly had a motivating effect.

    In the intensity of their play, in their body language, this was a different kind of Arsenal to the one that has a tendency to freeze up and feel the fear creeping in during high-pressure games. They seemed to relish the situation. Héctor Bellerín let out some kind of primal roar as he headed down the tunnel at half-time in recognition of a two-goal lead his team would not relinquish. Mesut Özil at one point hoiked an agricultural clearance 40 yards straight up into the air – as un-Özil-esque a technique as you could ever imagine – to clamourous acclaim. Alexis Sánchez rediscovered his appetite for careering around the pitch chasing every cause going.

    Related: Arsenal defeat highlights Tottenham frailties against Premier League’s big six | Jonathan Wilson

    Related: Arsenal front three give supporters a glimpse of better times ahead | Barney Roney

    Continue reading...
  8. The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

    Your weekend roundup of the best photography from England’s top flight

    Follow us on Instagram for more great sports photography

    Continue reading...
  9. Watford brush West Ham aside to show David Moyes scale of the task he faces

    If David Moyes had any illusions that keeping West Ham in the Premier League will not be among the biggest challenges of his career, then the manner of this defeat must surely act as a major wake-up call.

    Aside from a 10-minute spell either side of half-time in his 500th Premier League match as a manager Moyes saw his new side totally outplayed by a Watford team brimming with confidence and instilled with a clear game plan by their manager, Marco Silva.

    Related: David Moyes pleads for unity at West Ham as fans turn on club hierarchy

    Related: Watford v West Ham United: Premier League – as it happened

    Continue reading...
  10. Watford v West Ham United: Premier League – as it happened

    David Moyes’s tenure at West Ham began with defeat by an impressive Watford side as Will Hughes scored his first top-flight goal and Richarlison added a second

    Related: Watford’s win shows David Moyes scale of task he faces at West Ham

    Watford were much the better side with the goalscorers Will Hughes and Richarlison both so impressive, the wing-backs Marvin Zeegelaar and Kiko Femenia excellent and Heurelho Gomes producing some exceptional saves. West Ham created some good chances but David Moyes will have learnt plenty about what a tough job he has ahead. They remain in the bottom three, while Watford have ended their run of three straight defeats and climb one place to eighth. On that evidence, Everton might be persuaded to up their latest bid for Marco Silva.

    That’s all from me, thanks for reading.

    Andre Marriner blows the final whistle and David Moyes’s West Ham reign begins in defeat.

    90+6 min Andre Carrillo replaces Andre Gray for the final minute or so.

    90+5 min Pass, pass, pass. West Ham can’t get a touch. Watford work it into Richarlison’s feet in the box, who shuffles on to his right before squirming a shot just past the far post.

    90+3 min Not the best delivery and Watford clear their lines. Will Hughes is handed man of the match by Alan Smith on Sky, and while he has been excellent I feel Heurelho Gomes can’t have had many better games than this one.

    90+2 min Masuaku fires pass of the match across the pitch on to Lanzini’s chest. Zeegelaar fouls the Argentine and he will take the free-kick himself.

    90 min Eight minutes will be added on following that Marko Arnautovic injury. Time for West Ham to hit back, but Watford seem the more likely to score right now.

    88 min Watford’s ability to keep hold of the ball when they need to is really impressive.

    87 min A shout for handball in the penalty box against a lunging Winston Reid, who waves away the crowd’s appeals. The referee ignores them too.

    85 min Femenia is off and Watford are temporarily down to 10 men, but Jose Holebas is quickly brought on to replace the wing-back.

    84 min Meanwhile the excellent Kiko Femenia is down with some kind of problem. He lies back holding his forehead while a physio assesses his knee and this might force another change.

    83 min Watford change: Will Hughes has been excellent, scoring the first and setting up the second, and he is replaced by Roberto Pereyra to applause from Vicarage Road.

    82 min West Ham are controlling possession but when they lose it they seem at risk of being caught on the counter. This time Mark Noble denies Watford the chance to break by blocking off Richarlison.

    80 min West Ham have played well in the past couple of minutes without creating another clear chance.

    78 min Watford come forwards again, Zeegelaar delivering a low cross which is put behind by Cresswell.

    76 min West Ham have been entirely outplayed here yet oddly they might have scored three goals on another day. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m interested to find out their xG.

    74 min Lanzini fires a shot past Gomes but it’s brilliantly blocked on the line by the well-positioned Kabasele. Close but no luck, once again.

    73 min Arnautovic is finally off. Apparently he told Moyes: “Don’t change me,” but he has been changed as Arthur Masuaku comes on.

    71 min The replay is inconclusive but possibly Zeegelaar accidentally trod on the Austrian’s hand. Arnautovic is still down being treated.

    69 min Arnautovic is down, writhing on the floor in distress holding his wrist. It didn’t seem like a particularly heavy challenge so it might be that he landed awkwardly, but there seems some concern and the game is stopped.

    67 min Gray is adjudged to have fouled Ogbonna in a tussle in the corner.

    65 min Diafra Sakho replaces Andy Carroll, Moyes’ first change.

    When they do eventually get out, it doesn’t last long and suddenly Watford are on the counterattack. Hughes finds Richarlison advancing on the left and he dribbles into the box before slamming a low shot at goal. Hart gets fingertips to it but no more.

    62 min West Ham cannot get out of their defensive third. Crosses are flying in from both wing-backs and the Hammers are just trying to stay in it.

    60 min Another fantastic save, this time by Joe Hart, denies Mariappa from close range. This match has been much the opposite of this one:

    Championship goalkeeping masterclass at Sunderland v Millwall

    59 min Gray tries to bend one into the top corner but Reid gets an important toe to the ball to deflect it over.

    58 min David Moyes looks to be readying a couple of substitutes.

    56 min Femenia booms a cross way over the rabble in the box. Watford continue to control the game but are struggling to carve out a chance in the area.

    54 min Good buildup by Watford once more, who constantly seem to have a man in acres on one side or the other. Eventually Will Hughes touches it out of his feet and tries a long-range effort but it’s deflected kindly for Hart to catch.

    52 min Doucoure goes so close to all but ending this match, bending a shot from 25 yards just wide of the far post with Joe Hart rooted.

    51 min Another fantastic chance for Kouyate. Arnautovic holds off Britos to earn himself a little space on the right side of the box. He crosses low for Kouyate who should hit the target but flies his first-time shot high over the bar.

    49 min Femenia is good, isn’t he? He bursts down the right, terrifying Cresswell before slamming a low cross to Andre Gray. The striker gets boot to ball but it spins wide of the near post.

    47 min Obiang passes the ball off the pitch about 10 yards away from Arnautovic, his intended target, and it rolls past David Moyes standing perplexed on the touchline.

    Watford start the second half and begin with some steady passing at the back.

    “I know some people will disagree with me on this,” emails Kelvin, “but despite Richarlison’s undoubted talent, he seems to go to ground way too easily. Plus that rolling around thing he does does him no favours.” I would not disagree with that.

    Watching the replays of those West Ham chances at the end of the half, the first save is brilliant, as is the second, but the third one was there for Arnautovic to tap in and he sliced it, allowing Gomes half a second to reach up and palm the ball to safety. Some fantastic stops but the Austrian should have scored. On Carroll’s flying elbow early in the game, I’m still convinced it should have been a red card.

    “To Gary Naylor’s point, Tom is aptly named,” emails Michael Huppe. “He learned at United that if you pass mostly sideways and backwards it belies your lack of pace.”

    Watford lead at the break and they’ve been much the better team, yet they have Heurelho Gomes to thank for three sensational saves at the end of the half.

    45+2 min WHAT A DOUBLE SAVE! Arnautovic slams a header towards goal and a deflection seems to take it past Gomes, yet the goalkeeper throws out a hand and makes a miraculous stop. No matter as Arnautovic can tap in the rebound, but somehow Gomes smothers that one too and David Moyes is left with hands on head.

    45 min There will be four minutes added on following the various incidents but particularly the injury to Zeegelaar in the opening minute.

    44 min That was West Ham’s best moment by far and they seem encouraged. Zabaleta sends a cross towards Carroll and Watford defend it. He tries again and this one runs through to Lanzini on the left side of the box. Things get scrappy and eventually Obiang tries a long shot, but it flies high over the Watford goal.

    42 min WHAT A SAVE! Or miss, depending on your viewpoint. West Ham suddenly put together a lovely move of crisp passing and when Kouyate is set through on goal he must score, surely, but Gomes rushes off his line and deflects the shot past the post with his body.

    40 min Pedro Obiang jams a boot into the back of Will Hughes’s ankles and hands Watford a free-kick in a useful position on the right-hand side. DiCaprio delivers but it’s defended easily enough.

    38 min Richarlison fouls Obiang. Hart launches the free-kick forwards and West Ham build up well when they claim the second ball, but a moment later Zabaleta gives away a foul and their momentum is lost.

    @lawrenceostlere There's something heroic, something inspirational about how Tom Cleverley has forged a career in football despite his lack of pace. Is there a biopic in the works, possibly starring Tom Hanks?

    36 min Watford are exceptionally composed in tight spaces, a product of Marco Silva’s coaching you suspect. They work their way smartly out of a tight spot via Doucoure and Cleverley before Miguel Britos makes a terrible decision to shoot from 35 yards. It does not go near the goal.

    34 min West Ham seem to have ridden out a period of pressure without conceding a second goal and that is about as positive as it gets for them in this first half. Another player is in the book – Marko Arnautovic, having slammed into Tom Cleverley after a heavy touch.

    32 min Close! Hart parries away a shot from Richarlison and gets up to see Femenia slam the rebound just wide of his far post. Some positive vibes on email from Redo City: “West Ham set out their stall by installing David Moyes as coach. Since leaving Everton he has been humiliated every where he has gone. His authority is nowhere as a falling manager, on a short contract. The Sullivan & Gold partnership will be the end of a great club.”

    31 min Some more interchanges between the front three of Watford create a half-chance for Andre Gray in the box but the angle is tight and Joe Hart catches his high shot.

    30 min Lanzini delivers well but Britos manages to get a smidgen of forehead on the ball at the back post to clear the threat.

    29 min Britos sprints across to the left to wipe out Kouyate. Yellow card, and a promising free-kick for West Ham.

    27 min Andy Carroll is hunted down by three Watford players, and after they pinch it from him he reacts with a deliberate barge into Richarlison. The home support want a red card but Andre Marriner rightly chooses yellow. Silly stuff by the man returning from suspension.

    25 min Watford come forwards again, this time via Hughes on the right side. They reach a dead end and pull back before advancing down the left, Zeegelaar powering inside and shrugging off two defenders before the eventual cross is blocked by Winston Reid.

    23 min Cresswell tries to find Carroll with a high ball but lumps it far too long and off for a goal-kick.

    22 min Richarlison goes down in a clash with Pablo Zabaleta just inside the box and Vicarage Road roars, but Andre Marriner is not interested. The replay shows there was a bit of contact and the full-back certainly didn’t touch the ball, but it seemed the Brazilian’s momentum had more to do with his fall than the defender’s attentions.

    20 min Hart chips a nice pass for Andy Carroll who leaps and powers a header onwards, but bizarrely no team-mate anticipated he might win it.

    @lawrenceostlere I feel jet lagged just hearing about Winston Reid’s travel over the last week. How is he playing?

    18 min David Moyes gesticulates on the bench next to Stuart Pearce, who sits quietly and nods. Up in the stands, Alan Irvine seems to be giving Moyes some insight via a headset. “There’s one!” cheers JR from Illinois following his earlier email. “Off to a great start! Just nine more to go!”

    16 min Zeegelaar sends in another cross to cause uncertainty in the West Ham defence, this time drilling a low ball across the face of goal, but no Watford player anticipates it. The Dutch wing-back has started well and has bounced back quickly from that blow by Andy Carroll’s forearm.

    14 min Some nice zip to Watford’s play since the goal, Hughes looking full of confidence as he tries to link up with Andre Gray but the return pass from the striker is slightly overhit. A moment later Gray complains he was held back chasing a throughball, a complaint the crowd support, but Andre Marriner is not convinced.

    12 min Moyes not off to a flyer quite yet. “Wasn’t one of the criticisms of Bilic his over-reliance on inspirational speeches?” emails Peter Oh. “Moyes sure has fixed that problem.”

    Zeegelaar finds Richarlison who dribbles in from the left before returning the ball to his full-back. He delivers a cross, and in the ensuing scramble Will Hughes swivels smartly before slamming his first Watford goal past Joe Hart from 10 yards.

    8 min Kabasele shakes that one off. It has been more royal rumble that football match so far. Watford take hold of the ball, briefly, but can’t make anything meaningful with it in the final third – something which blighted their performance in defeat against Stoke recently.

    6 min Cresswell aims a cross into the middle but scuffs it along the ground when Carroll was at the far post. Another incident involving Carroll in that buildup – he jabbed an elbow into Kabasele’s chest and he’s down clutching his ribs.

    5 min Zeegelaar returns to the fray with cotton buds or something similar shoved up both nostrils.

    3 min Zeegelaar is off the pitch with his bleeding nose being carefully attended to. “I can’t put my finger on exactly why but I take a great deal of pleasure in watching footballs fly past Joe Hart and into the net,” emails JR from Illinois. “I have also developed a decent amount of schadenfreude where David Moyes is concerned so we’ve got a perfect storm brewing here. Nothing personal West Ham fans but I hope Watford win 10-0.”

    “How does Carroll not get a yellow for that?” JR adds. “Crazy.” It was a red in my book.

    2 min Marvin Zeegelaar is down receiving treatment and it looks like there is some blood coming from that wound sustained by Carroll. The replay shows that it was a very similar clash to that with Burnley’s Ben Mee (I believe) a few weeks ago which saw him sent off.

    Andre Marriner gives his whistle a peep and we’re under way – and straight away Andy Carroll smashes an arm into debutant Zeegelaar’s face.

    The players enter the field of play. On Sky Sports, pundit Alan Pardew is asked what advice he would give to the West Ham players, and he talks for a long time before finishing with “Do what you do.” Inspiring. Hands shake and they are about to get under way.

    “Where’s Antonio?” emails Graeme Arthur. He’s suffering some rib knack.

    Was Moyes this cheery at Everton?

    David Moyes, sounding as optimistic as ever: “We’re ready to go. We’ve had a few training sessions this week and last week. Have we done everything we could? No. Have we had enough time with the players? No. We’re a bit limited in what we can do. I’ve been saying ‘Let’s make sure we do the job right’ but [the players] need to take responsibility themselves. Most important is we want to be a team that doesn’t lose.”

    David Moyes’s new backroom staff:

    So Marco Silva hands Marvin Zeegelaar a debut at left wing-back, the Dutch summer signing from Sporting. David Moyes makes three changes from Slaven Bilic’s final match, a couple of which are enforced with Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew injured and unwell respectively. He hands Marko Arnautovic a chance to reestablish himself in the side while Andy Carroll leads the line.

    Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Zeegelaar; Hughes, Richarlison; Gray

    Subs: Karnezis, Carrillo, Prodl, Holebas, Capoue, Okaka, Pereyra

    It is difficult to find the words to dress up David Moyes’s return to management as exciting without lying. It wasn’t always this way; back around the time when Manchester United were winning a historic treble, a young red-headed Scot was winning Division Two titles and manager of the year awards with Preston as the next talented British coach on his way to the top. Moyes retained much of that promise at Everton but as we all know, his reputation began to rapidly disintegrate soon after signing a six-year contract at Old Trafford.

    Continue reading...