West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa – Reaction
It wasn’t always easy on the eye, but gritty West Ham United picked up another three points thanks to a slice of luck and well-deployed game management.
Sure, Aston Villa looked bright with Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins a persistent threat. But the Hammers – honest and marshalled by Declan Rice – with a willing runner in Jarrod Bowen – had just enough.
“We won, stuck at it against a good Aston Villa team who have shown really good form away from home so I am really pleased to pick up the three points,” was David Moyes short, but sweet assessment.
“I am thrilled with the position we are in but I am also interested in the performance, I want it to be better but if we don’t play well and win then I’ll take it.”
Angelo Ogbonna and Bowen headed goals at the start of each half, either side of a superb strike from Grealish for the visitors. The Hammers survived a couple of late scares – Watkins’ spot-kick crashing back off the bar after Rice had tugged back Trézéguet. And Watkins frustrating evening concluded when a lengthy VAR call chalked off what he believed was a late equaliser.
But despite their welcome fortune, Moyes clearly isn’t a fan of how off-side is perceived in the game at this time.
“I was more disappointed that we didn’t defend the cross and I do believe my defenders should have got goal side and stopped that in the first place,” Moyes explained.
“But look, I don’t really like a lot of the offside rules at the moment but the lines that we are using now are something they have been and we are having to get used to.
“I think the late and delayed flag is a terrible rule and I think it is enhancing the game at all.”