Dimitri Payet defends rabona assist against Watford

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West Ham were 2-0 up and absolutely cruising with just half an hour on the clock during their match against Watford last weekend.

Little did they know, just over an hour later they would be on the receiving end of a 4-2 loss and a lot of criticism.

The perceived showboating of West Ham's stars during the first half did not go down very well with Hornets' captain Troy Deeney, who claimed Slaven Bilic's side 'were trying to mug us off'.

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Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet were both guilty of attempting the risky - yet very aesthetically pleasing - rabona skill, with the latter's culminating in a beautiful assist for Michail Antonio's second goal of the game.

However, Payet has hit back at the criticism both he and his teammates received after the defeat.

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The Frenchman told the West Ham website: "It was something that came instinctively to me at that time in the game.

"I thought that it was the best thing to do at that moment and I did it and it worked. When it works, the skill becomes even more impressive.”

Payet's stock in the sport is at the highest point of his career after a stunning debut campaign in the Premier League followed up with an equally impressive Euro 2016.

Despite brief interest from abroad, the French international stayed at West Ham for another year and acted coy when asked if fans can expect to see more rabonas as the season progresses.

He added: “If it worked every time, then of course. Unfortunately, it is not a piece of skill that you can use every time, so we will have to see.”

Silky skills are part of what makes the game so special so to be condemning them, particularly when they result in a goal, seems a little bit strange.

There has been a growing discontent from the Hammers faithful at their disjointed start to the season and Watford's dramatic comeback left many with a sour taste after looking so comfortable in the opening half hour.

West Ham United v Watford - Premier League

And Payet didn't hide behind any excuses for the bad performance.

"Against Watford, you have to say that we had two very different halves. The first, apart from the last five minutes, we were playing well and scored two times," he continued.

"Unfortunately, we let them get back into the game and then in the second half, they managed to get another.

"We lost this game and I think we didn't quite do enough to see the game through and to win it."

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West Ham United
Premier League
Mark Noble
Dimitri Payet
Andrew Carroll

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