David Moyes’ West Ham reign began with a 2-0 Premier League defeat by upwardly mobile Watford at Vicarage Road.
The Scot’s hopes of a winning start in his 500th game as a manager were dashed by goals in either half from Will Hughes and Richarlison that left his new club in the bottom three and the size of the task facing him even clearer.
For the hosts, it was another energetic and clinical performance that highlighted why coach Marco Silva is coveted by Everton.
Moyes can feel aggrieved at an unpunished handball in the build-up to Richarlison’s strike, and lost £25m striker Marko Arnautovic with a suspected broken hand in the second half.
But he will have to build on an improved second-half spell by the Hammers, who were spectacularly denied by Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes.
It was an impressive return to winning ways for the Hornets, whose early-season momentum had stalled with defeats in their previous three games, and the victory moves them up a place to eighth in the table.
Hughes, the 22-year-old £8m summer signing from Derby County, scored with his first attempt on goal in the top flight, latching on to Andre Gray’s scuffed effort and smashing it past Joe Hart.
The England goalkeeper was also beaten by Richarlison, who was a constant threat, but did well to stop Adrian Mariappa’s header to deny Watford a third after an hour.