West Ham climbed up to fifth as late Aston Villa goal ruled out by VAR

Published:2 December 2020


West Ham

As goals from Jarrod Bowen and Angelo Ogbonna sunk Aston Villa 2-1, West Ham climbed to fifth.

Since moving to the London Stadium four years ago, the Hammers have made their best start to a season.

However, when Villa equalised once through Jack Grealish and had the chance to steal a point, they rode their luck, only for Ollie Watkins to miss a penalty.

And Watkins had the ball in the net just for an 'armpit offside' in stoppage time to come to West Ham's rescue.

The hand of David Moyes kept on to climb into the table above Manchester City, Manchester United, Villa, Everton, Wolves and Southampton.

After forcing a corner when Matt Targett deflected Tomas Soucek's shot behind, with less than two minutes on the timer, they took the lead.

Bowen swung in the cross and at the far post, Italian centre-half Ogbonna was unmarked to nod in his first season goal.

Much had been made of Michail Antonio's return to West Ham's attack, but it seems Moyes had goals from all over the pitch, nine different players had scored their last nine.

Villa had started sluggishly but eventually came to life and before Conor Hourihane tested Lukasz Fabianski with a free-kick, Ezri Konsa headed over.

After 25 minutes, Grealish drew them level as West Ham backed off the England midfielder before allowing him, with the help of a deflection, to bury his shot from 20 yards.

Moyes substituted him with Sebastien Haller with Antonio with little effect and also sent him to Said Benrahma at half-time.

And Benrahma, the £ 30 million signings from Brentford, crossed for Bowen in 30 seconds to lead West Ham into a 2-1 lead.

Things turned niggly on the pitch and tensions were simmering off it, continually chipping away at each other with Villa boss Dean Smith and Hammers coach Kevin Nolan.

Before Villa assistant John Terry and a West Ham backroom staff were both shown yellow cards, Pablo Fornals was booked for a foul at Grealish.

When Watkins crossed low into the path of Trezeguet, Villa could have equalised, but the forward finish was slow, and Fabianski was able to make the save.

After Declan Rice was booked for pulling Trezeguet's shirt in the field, they should have equalised moments later.

As a result of landing on Rice's studs as he flung himself to the turf, Trezeguet left the field with a cruel cut above his eye, but a nervous-looking Watkins lifted his spot-kick against the crossbar.

When Watkins tapped into Targett's cross in stoppage time, Villa thought they had rescued a point, but VAR decided otherwise, and West Ham held on for a third straight victory.

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