West Ham United 3, Watford 1: Andy Carroll makes it six in six as Slaven Bilic urges Hammers to keep up chase for historic Champions League place

 
Frank Dalleres
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Andy Carroll set West Ham on their way to victory with his sixth goal in the last six games (Source: Getty)

West Ham United 3, Watford 1

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic reiterated his determination to gatecrash the Premier League's top four after his side kept up the chase by brushing aside under-strength Watford on Wednesday night.

Striker Andy Carroll's sixth goal in as many games and two penalties from captain Mark Noble put the Hammers in charge before the visitors responded through defender Sebastian Prodl and missed a spot-kick of their own.

Victory kept Bilic's men in sixth place but moved them to within six points of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time, and the West Ham boss has not given up hope of making history.

"We are victims of our success as the bar is always rising," said the former Hammers defender, who has wildly exceeded expectations in his first term in charge.

"We are coping with that well. This game was a big one because I told the players: 'The season is good or very good anyway but after this game are we going to look up and try to catch those teams'. Still we have to look down as Liverpool are in good form."

Liverpool's drubbing of Everton means they are just two points behind West Ham with a game in hand, while Manchester United stayed three points in front by beating Crystal Palace. Arsenal, who retain the edge in the skirmish for fourth place, could go third when they play West Brom on Thursday evening.

The hosts took just 11 minutes to take advantage of a Watford side missing most of their first XI with Sunday's FA Cup semi-final in mind, Carroll prodding home a cross from playmaker Dimitri Payet.

West Ham doubled their penalty tally for the season and took full advantage to make the game safe. First, Jose Holebas clambered on Cheikhou Kouyate; on the second occasion, Almen Abdi fouled Michail Antonio. Noble was unerring.

Prodl gave Watford hope with a 64th-minute volley and in stoppage time earned a penalty when he was impeded by Angelo Ogbonno. But substitute Troy Deeney's kick was saved by Adrian, and fellow forward Nordin Amrabat completed a miserable night for the Hornets when he was sent off in stoppage time.

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