Aston Villa fell to a 2-1 defeat to West Ham on Sunday despite a stunning late finish from Jacob Ramsey.
Villa were hoping to build on three consecutive wins and clean sheets, but after a evenly-matched first half, goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Pablo Fornals put the Hammers in a commanding position.
While Steven Gerrard’s side rallied and set up a tense finish after Ramsey found the back of the net, it wasn’t enough to avoid returning home empty-handed as we now look to bounce back when we face Arsenal on Saturday.
It was a struggle across the pitch for Villa, with most of our boys putting in a shift, but failing to show the quality that we had done previously in our last three games.
Aston Villa player ratings vs West Ham:
Emiliano Martinez, 7 – Little he could have done for either goal, but was on hand to produce a brilliant earlier save to deny Zouma from point-blank range. Was key in keeping the game level and subsequently us in it.
Matty Cash, 5 – Compared to his recent performances, he struggled to reach the same level. Put in a dogged defensive display, but got caught out at key moments and failed to have any real impact on our attacking play with his final ball.
Calum Chambers, 5 – Similar to Cash in that after impressive displays in the last two games, he wasn’t quite as comfortable and didn’t impose himself as well. Did help keep Antonio quiet for the most part but then afforded West Ham too much space in the box for the goals.
Tyrone Mings, 6 – Provided us with a steeliness in defence to keep things tight, but has to take a share of the blame for the goals too as we weren’t sharp enough to cut out the danger in and around our box.
Lucas Digne, N/A – Picked up an injury early on and so the hope is that it isn’t serious enough to keep him sidelined for long.
John McGinn, 6 – Battled hard as he usually does but was too quiet for large periods and didn’t impose himself on the game as we know he can. Need more quality in possession, and more presence out of of it from our talismanic midfielder.
Douglas Luiz, 5 – Suffered a nasty cut to his face in the first half which could now sideline him after Gerrard confirmed he needs facial surgery. That aside, too passive and not physically imposing enough in midfield. The Villa boss seemingly pointed to the difference in that area after the game when referring to West Ham having more ‘stature’. Still a weak link in our midfield.
Jacob Ramsey, 7 – Didn’t really get into the game for the most part, barring some dangerous bursts forward with the ball at his feet as he is making that a hallmark of his play and is an important part of our attack. Took his goal brilliantly late on though with a composed, controlled strike into the corner.
Philippe Coutinho, 6 – Struggled to have the level of influence that we need him to have as our chief creative spark. Dropped deep to get on the ball and make things happen, but couldn’t find ways through the West Ham defence to pose more of a threat.
Danny Ings, 6 – Worked hard for the team off the ball, but was quiet as an attacking presence. Denied by a top save from Fabianski though which was a big moment in the game.
Ollie Watkins, 6 – Similar afternoon as Ings, but arguably with less of an attacking threat. Gerrard has spoken about how certain games and opposition might not be suited to us playing two up top, given the lack of cutting edge and danger posed by us in this one, perhaps this was one where a change was needed.
Ashley Young, 6 – The Villa stalwart did his job well after coming on, showing his experience and versatility to slot in at left-back and do a decent job. An important figure in the squad.
Leon Bailey, 6 – Looked lively in the latter stages. Added pace and a more direct approach to our play with his technical skill in possession, and it was arguably enough to give Gerrard something to think about selection wise moving forward.
Emiliano Buendia, 6.5 – Added a real spark off the bench as after going close himself to cutting the deficit, he showed great composure and vision to spin in the box and provide a perfect layoff for the onrushing Ramsey to score. We’ll hopefully see more of him in the side again as his quality makes an important difference.