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Aston Villa 1-3 West Ham United
Jesse Lingard marked his West Ham United debut with an impressive brace as the East Londoners swiftly returned to Premier League winning ways at Villa Park.
The Manchester United loanee thumped home the Hammers second of the evening shortly before the hour mark, this after Tomas Soucek had set the ball rolling with his eighth goal of the season six minutes after the restart.
Former Brentford frontman, Ollie Watkins, gave Villa hope, halving the deficit nine minutes from time. But Lingard and the East Londoners had the final say – this time the 28-year-olds effort eluding Emiliano Martinez to seal the contest.
The result saw West Ham move back into fifth place, nine points behind leaders Manchester City.
“We are in a really good position but I would be stupid to say something different,” Hammers chief, David Moyes enthused.”
“We didn’t perform against Liverpool but tonight we did perform. we are going to try and keep knocking on the door but we have a very busy schedule.
“Let’s hope we can put ourselves in a position that might give us a chance on capitalising on other teams with European football.”
On the performance of Lingard, the Scotsman added: “He has his own ambitions and I thought tonight he showed a really good level. Why should Jesse not try and push for the England squad?”
West Ham United return to Premier League action on Saturday, February 6 when they take on London rivals, Fulham at Craven Cottage (5:15pm).
Aston Villa: Martínez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Douglas Luiz (Sanson 80’), McGinn, El Ghazi (Traoré 46’), Barkley (Trézéguet 69’), Grealish, Watkins Subs not used: Heaton, Nakamba, Engels, El Mohamady, Davis, Ramsey
West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Fredericks (Fornals 84’), Rice (Capt), Souček, Lingard (Bowen 90+1’), Benrahma (Johnson 88’), Antonio Subs not used: Martin (GK), Diop, Balbuena, Yarmolenko, Odubeko
Referee: Andy Madley
Assistants: Richard West and James Mainwaring
Fourth Official: Matt Donohue
VAR: Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR: Stephen Child