Aston Villa secured a hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw with West Ham on Sunday with Ollie Watkins on the scoresheet again, but his opener was cancelled out by a Said Benrahma penalty.
There were plenty of positives from this performance, particularly given how we’ve struggled against the Hammers in recent times, with more signs of the control and game-management that Unai Emery has been demanding for weeks.
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Villa were patient and measured throughout, and although we struggled to create as much in the second half, both sides had chances in this one and so a draw was arguably the fair result.
As we now switch our focus to Bournemouth at home next weekend, Emery will have decisions to make in terms of team selection, as certain individuals weren’t as effective on Sunday as he would have liked.
Aston Villa player ratings vs West Ham:
Emi Martinez, 7 – On his 100th appearance for Villa, Martinez made a number of key saves and commanded his box well while rushing out at the right times. He may feel he could have done better in the lead up to the penalty decision, but a strong showing from the Argentine shot-stopper.
Matty Cash, 5.5 – Although he stuck to his task throughout and continued to battle away, he really had his hands full with Benrahma on that side and struggled to get to grips with him. West Ham enjoyed a lot of success down that flank, and Cash will hope to improve now after being replaced in the latter stages.
Ezri Konsa, 7 – Put in a solid shift at the back as he was alert to clear danger when needed, and did well in playing a high line to catch West Ham out. Stepped up and broke the home side’s possession and rhythm at times too to help out our midfield.
Tyrone Mings, 7 – Similar to Konsa, he was a solid presence in the Villa defence as he dealt with balls into the box well and was physical in his battle with Ings. An important shift to keep things compact at the back.
Alex Moreno, 6.5 – Showed his attacking quality throughout his time on the pitch as he continued to make bursting runs forward to offer width and a threat. Provided an assist for Watkins with a brilliant delivery into the box, but he did struggle defensively and was caught out in possession on a few occasions. Replaced late on as Digne was introduced to shore things up a bit.
Leon Bailey, 5 – Didn’t really offer anything in the final third, as he looks to be struggling with confidence and rhythm in his play. While he continues to fail to influence games and we don’t seem to be able to make the most of his main strengths, he was also clumsy to give away the penalty, even though it was a really soft decision.
John McGinn, 7 – Did an important job for us in midfield as his role was tweaked in Kamara’s absence. Got stuck into the midfield scrap when needed and kept possession ticking over alongside Luiz to give us control and possession for long periods. Positive from McGinn again as he continues to show his importance to Emery.
Douglas Luiz, 7 – Similar story to McGinn in terms of his ability to give us a sense of control and dictating the tempo of the game with his technical quality in possession. Stepped in and won possession back regularly too and so it was positive in both phases.
Jacob Ramsey, 6 – Still not hitting his best form, but he continues to show glimpses of his quality with his bursting runs forward and should have had an assist with Watkins missing a big chance from his ball across. Needs to find consistency and add that decisive touch in the final third.
Emiliano Buendia, 6 – Had moments where he showed his quality but couldn’t find the key to unlock the West Ham defence. Kept plugging away, battled hard off the ball and had a shout for a penalty, but it was a frustrating afternoon for him for the most part as he couldn’t produce that bit of class needed in a tight game.
Ollie Watkins, 7 – On the scoresheet yet again as he’s got six goals in his last seven outings now to extend a brilliant run of form. Took his goal really well with a nice headed finish, and although he didn’t have much to feed on in the second half, he’ll be disappointed he couldn’t convert a big chance before the break from close range to double his tally and potentially put us in a strong position to win the game.
Lucas Digne, 6 – Did a good job defensively after coming on as he limited Bowen’s threat, which is likely exactly what Emery sent him on to do in the latter stages.
Bertrand Traore, 6 – Given his lack of minutes in recent months, it was a decent effort off the bench. Showed glimpses of his technical quality and creativity, and he will now hope to build on his appearance and secure a bigger role if he can make an impact.
Ashley Young, N/A – Crucial block on Benrahma late on.
Jhon Duran, N/A – Looked a threat in the latter stages as he missed a big chance with a scuffed effort that Areola was ultimately comfortable dealing with.
Calum Chambers, N/A