One for purists and those who are more trashy had the lot. Goals, tackles, tricks, kicks, deceptions and fouls. There was also an intriguing interlocking of tactics that could have ended in any way, but in West Ham’s favor, but only after Ollie Watkins ruled out VAR equalization for offside in stoppage time.
One goal at the beginning of each half by Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen was enough to get West Ham past Aston Villa and another dominant performance from Jack Grealish. His virtuoso goal was ultimately irrelevant, but it could have been different if Watkins had a penalty in the 74th. Minute for the guests.
The pre-game broadcasts had mainly focused on the return of Mikhail Antonio to West Ham XI after three injury-related absenteeism. It wasn’t an easy phone call after Sebastien Haller played one of his best football games for the club in defeating Sheffield United. But Antonio’s physicality, speed and determination can put the Jeepers on either side, and that has proven itself in the first few moments here.
His drive into the box and general presence lurking off Ezri Konsa’s shoulder shocked the crowd and within the first minute it took a final block from Matt Targett to save a low shot from Tomas Soucek.
A corner followed and West Ham took the lead. Bowen drifted up a flank and slowly to the back post, where Angelo Ogbonna had the whole time to choose his place and hop a header past Emiliano Martínez.
The defense of Villa looked threatening. They were ragged, looked intimidated, and West Ham’s direct play seemed to punish them every time they got over the center line.
Villa weathered the storm, however, and West Ham’s pervasive game became indiscriminate. Suddenly it was the visitors who held the ball. For 20 minutes only the possession stats changed, but then the chances appeared.
Grealish had mostly argued with Vladimir Coufal in the early stages to see who could pull the cutest foul out of the other. In the 25th. Minute, however, the captain of the villa exploded into life.
The move started with Matty Cash on the center line. The right-back hit Grealish with his back to the goal. Instead of taking a touch, Grealish took the opportunity to ping the ball and himself around Coufal in an acre of space in the middle of the field.
He hit the goal, the West Ham defenders pulled back and that was a mistake. A violent blow from right to left deflected slightly and shot past Lukasz Fabianski.
Villa had two more good chances before the break. Watkins stabbed after a fine pass and a clever attempt by Conor Hourihane from a free kick. It prompted David Moyes to step into action with Antonio at halftime, as Haller and Saïd Benrahma replaced Arthur Masuaku.
Playing the adventurous Algerian in full-back was a bold move, but it paid off in seconds. Benrahma picked up the ball from Bowen from turnover shortly after kick-off and cut from the left in to throw a short cross into the box. Bowen was there to hit it and his header went into the far post.
But Villa came back again. Aaron Cresswell had to parry a low shot from McGinn shortly after the goal. Trézéguet couldn’t believe his eyes when Fabianski stopped a shot from close range after a good job by Watkins.
In the 74. In the 30th minute, Trézéguet won a penalty for Watkins after the winger collapsed after a Declan Rice jersey. Watkins stepped forward and struck the bar with his kick.
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Aston Villa F. . C.. . , West Ham United F. . C.. . , Premier League, Jack Grealish
World News – USA – West Ham lives dangerously but Bowen’s goal is enough to keep Aston Villa down
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