Aston Villa’s winning streak comes to an end at the hands of West Ham United, as Jacob Ramsey’s late consolation goal couldn’t spark a comeback.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa travelled to the London Stadium this Sunday afternoon, as Steven Gerrard’s side looked to make it four wins from four in recently weeks.
There was a big chance for Danny Ings in the opening three minutes as Matty Cash’s ball fell to him – but the forward couldn’t quite get his feet right and the ball bounced between West Ham’s centreback pairing before being collected by Fabianski. Said Benrahma tested Emiliano Martinez shortly after, but the Argentinian collected the ball well.
In under nine minutes, Lucas Digne’s afternoon would be cover. The leftback felt a strain in his hamstring and was required to come off – and was replaced by Ashley Young.
There was another chance in the 19th minute for Aston Villa with Jacob Ramsey gliding past three West Ham defenders and riding their challenges, before playing the ball into Coutinho who couldn’t quite flick the ball past Fabianski.
In the latter half of the first half, there was an extended period of West Ham pressure, before the tables turned and Aston Villa looked to be the team on top. Neither side truly challenged the opposition ‘keeper however.
Manuel Lanzini was booked in the 44th minute for a high boot which struck Douglas Luiz in the face.
There were four minutes added time at the end of the first half.
In the opening five minutes of the second half, West Ham’s Michail Antonio needed to be replaced after hurting his hamstring during a challenge for the ball with Jacob Ramsey. He was replaced by Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko.
Danny Ings came close again in the 56th minute, with his low, skidding shot palmed onto the post and into the safety of his hands by Fabianski. Shortly after, Aaron Cresswell was replaced by Ryan Fredericks, as West Ham picked up another injury.
Emiliano Martinez produced an excellent reaction save to deny Kurt Zouma a sure goal at the end of a corner just before the hour mark. The Argentinian managed to palm the ball away, before Dawson headed over the bar for West Ham.
Steven Gerrard made a change in the 68th minute, as Leon Bailey replaced Danny Ings. Aston Villa had been under the cosh for some time at this point in the game, and almost as soon as Bailey came on – Villa conceded. A cross from Said Benrahma came to Yarmolenko, who took a touch before spinning quickly and poking towards the bottom right corner of the net – where the ball settled.
Declan Rice was booked for a challenge on Leon Bailey just outside of the West Ham Box in the 78th minute. Coutinho’s attempt was blocked away for a corner – before Douglas Luiz was replaced my Emiliano Buendia.
Pablo Fornals seemed to put the game to bed for West Ham in the 83rd minute as Declan Rice won the ball from Leon Bailey before charging forward and passing the ball to Benrahma, who slid the ball into a central position for Fornals to curl towards goal. Martinez got something on the ball, but it landed in the net.
Buendia had the chance to grab a goal back in the 89th with an attempt from the near post, but Fabianski was able to save the effort. Just thirty seconds later, however, Villa did grab one back. Buendia showed excellent strength to gather the ball and race into the box, before cutting onto his left and playing a ball to the edge of the box where Ramsey was waiting to curl the effort into the top right.
There was fight to try and grab another in added time – but not enough. Aston Villa’s winning streak comes to an end.