English Premier League

Aston Villa 0 – 1 West Ham United

West Ham earned their first win of the season as Pablo Fornals’ deflected second-half strike gave them victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Villa had a first-half goal disallowed with Lucas Digne’s corner having gone out of play before Ezri Konsa tapped the ball home.

West Ham improved in the second half and could have opened the scoring when Jarrod Bowen broke away on the counter, but the winger was denied by a well-timed Digne tackle.

But 16 minutes from time, Fornals’ shot struck Konsa and looped over Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and proved enough to kick-start the Hammers’ season.

The win lifts West Ham off the foot of the table, level on points with Villa.

A third defeat of the season will only add to the pressure on Villa boss Steven Gerrard, whose side were booed at full-time.

Gerrard’s woes may be further deepened, too, if he finds himself without Philippe Coutinho’s services after the Brazilian was forced off with an injury.

While Villa looked the more dangerous side during a forgettable first half, the hosts struggled to trouble the West Ham defence after the restart and looked desperately short of ideas in attack.

The hosts thought they had taken a 16th-minute lead when Philippe Coutinho headed Digne’s corner against the post before Konsa tapped home the rebound.

However, Villa’s celebrations were cut short by the linesman, who correctly ruled that Digne’s set-piece had gone out of play before it reached Coutinho.

Outside of that, they created very little and must now regroup ahead of a daunting week in which they travel to Arsenal on Wednesday before hosting Manchester City on Saturday.

After a poor first-half showing, West Ham improved after the restart with Bowen breaking away on the counter only for the England winger to be stopped by Digne’s last-ditch tackle.

Bowen’s chance appeared to give the visitors a lift, however, as Gianluca Scamacca – handed his first league start by Moyes – fired straight at Martinez having been picked out by Tomas Soucek on the edge of the box.

The goal was hugely fortuitous as Fornals’ drive from distance looped off Konsa and over Martinez, but with Villa struggling to mount a response in the closing stages, Moyes will feel his side deserved the win.

West Ham’s victory came just hours after news that they are on the brink of completing a £36.5m deal for Lucas Paqueta from Lyon.

The Brazilian’s imminent arrival coupled with this vital win should give the Hammers a timely boost as they prepare to welcome Tottenham to the London Stadium on Wednesday before Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.

source – BBC

Back to top button