WATFORD, England — West Ham put in a familiar performance on Sunday despite having hired a new manager.
David Moyes’s first game in charge ended in a 2-0 defeat at Watford, keeping his new club in the Premier League relegation zone.
Will Hughes scored his first goal for Watford before setting up Richarlison to end a three-match losing streak for the Hornets.
Watford moves back up to eighth. West Ham hasn’t recorded a league win since September and stays 18th.
West Ham’s decision to hire a manager who failed to last a year at his previous three clubs — Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland, after a long-running stay at Everton — was met with criticism from supporters and Moyes’ debut did little to appease them.
Having been clattered by Andy Carroll just six seconds into his Watford debut, Marvin Zeegelaar displayed his toughness to help set up the opening goal.
West Ham could only clear Zeegelaar’s cross as far as Andre Gray, whose scuffed shot fell into Hughes’s path, allowing the midfielder to swivel and find the bottom corner with his left foot after 11 minutes.
Watford was in control for much of the game at Vicarage Road, but West Ham did have chances to draw level.
Cheikhou Kouyate wasted a clear opening either side of halftime and Heurelho Gomes made a fine triple-save from Marko Arnautovic to preserve the home side’s lead.
Watford appeared to take note of the scares and lifted its intensity. Its reward came when Richarlison latched onto Hughes’s pass in the 64th. The Brazilian pushed the ball onto his left foot before squeezing his effort past Joe Hart, who should have done better.