Aston Villa’s late charge to level the score went in vain as the West Ham United battled their way to a 2-1 win at the London Stadium on Sunday.

West Ham secured three important points in their bid to finish in the top four, as they ran out 2-1 winners over Aston Villa. David Moyes’s men found it hard to break down the opposition defence, although second-half strikes from an emotional Andriy Yarmolenko and Pablo Fornals were enough to secure the win.

After a topsy-turvy time until the break, the goalkeepers were the heroes of the game. Lukasz Fabianski and Emiliano Martinez made some sensational stops to go into half -time with the score reading 0-0, as the game seemed destined to finish goalless.

However, substitute Yarmolenko was on hand to give West Ham the lead after some good work inside the box. The Ukrainian was treated with widespread appreciation and was very emotional upon scoring, owing to the horrific things happening back in his homeland.

As Villa looked for an equaliser, West Ham took advantage of sloppy defending, as Fornals slotted past Martinez to double the advantage. Villa defenders left plenty of space in the box for the Spaniard to exploit and easily take his shot on his weaker left foot. Said Benrahma, in the process, registered two assists.

For Villa, it was game over, but they did not give up, as Jacob Ramsey got a goal back right at the death. There was still plenty of time left, and Villa did have a few chances to equalise. However, The Hammers kept their composure and saw the game out in the end. Here’s how the players fared as West Ham United beat Aston Villa 2-1 at the London Stadium.

West Ham United

Lukasz Fabianski: 8/10

Fabianski made a fantastic save to deny Coutinho in the first period and was on hand to make some more smart stops to keep the score intact. Late on, he also saved from a close range Emiliano Buendia shot, although he had no chance with Ramsey’s late strike.

Ben Johnson: 6/10

Johnson put in a good display while ending the game on the other flank after Cresswell’s injury. The full-back produced a powerful performance as he contained the threat from some of Villa’s most dangerous attackers.

Craig Dawson: 5.5/10

Dawson was good defensively despite some nervy moments early in the game. He recovered from those to keep control at the back. He missed an inviting header from three yards out on the other end.

Kurt Zouma: 6/10

A commanding performance from Zouma at the back as he kept taking the ball forward at every possible opportunity. He drew a fantastic close-range save from Emiliano Martinez in the second half, and Dawson missed the rebound.

Aaron Cresswell: 7.5/10

A terrific outlet on the left-hand side, Cresswell constantly threatened the Aston Villa defence. He did have a few problems defending the ball early on, and the West Ham fans will be worried about his latest injury.

Declan Rice: 6.5/10

The Hammers were glad to see him back as Rice put in a decent shift to help his team out. The midfielder was instrumental in winning the ball back in the build-up to the second goal.

Tomas Soucek: 5.5/10

Soucek always finds space and time to run into the box, which yielded good results last season. He did have a half-decent chance or two and otherwise had a productive and busy time in the middle of the park.

Manuel Lanzini: 3/10

Lanzini continued with his dipping performances, putting in a bad one against Aston Villa. There were a few moments where he could have made a difference; the Argentine has been alarmingly losing form in recent games.

Pablo Fornals: 7/10

Fornals starting on the right showed the difference between him and Jarrod Bowen. While the Hammers missed their injured attacker, Fornals more than made up with the crucial second goal with his left foot.

Michail Antonio: 3/10

Antonio, struggling for form, was forced off with a knee injury in the second half, leaving Moyes without a recognised striker. His involvement against Aston Villa was not up to the mark, as he visibly struggled to get the grips in the game.

Said Benrahma: 9/10

While many West Ham attackers struggled for form, Benrahma decided this was the day to shine. The Algerian was lively throughout and put in two assists for his teammates.

SUBSTITUTES

Andriy Yarmolenko: 8/10

Yarmolenko probably wrote the story of this day, as the Ukrainian netted a dramatic yet emotional goal. Moreover, his deft finish attracted widespread praise and certainly got the ball rolling for West Ham, who somewhat struggled to penetrate the area before the Ukrainian’s arrival.

Ryan Fredericks: 5/10

Fredericks came on for the injured Cresswell, although he switched to right-back. After his introduction, the Hammers found less joy attacking from the right side, with the defender deciding to sit back.

Issa Diop: N/A

Did not play enough to warrantย a rating.

Aston Villa

Emiliano Martinez: 6/10

West Ham’s two goals were beyond his reach but took nothing away from his world-class save from the Zouma header in the second half. Otherwise, Martinez had a good game, as he stood tall in his area.

Matty Cash: 6.5/10

Cash was a constant menace on the right flank, embroiled in his battle with Cresswell, which made up for a good contest. The full-back’s continuous running and threat via unmarked box entries always posed a problem for the West Ham defence.

Calum Chambers: 6/10

The conceded goals will always be disappointing for a defender, although Chambers continued to impress in the Aston Villa backline with another good performance. The former Arsenal man stood tall and challenged Antonio at every stage until the striker’s apparent injury.

Tyrone Mings: 6.5/10

Mings had a busy day keeping the West Ham attackers at bay. His real value was to prevent attacks from set-pieces, and he did a fine job with it. Still, he will be disappointed at the two goals conceded and must feel he could have done better positionally to avoid them.

Lucas Digne: N/A

Digne was taken off with an injury very early in the game.

Douglas Luiz: 6/10

Luiz may have won the possession battle with Rice and Soucek in central midfield. The Brazilian quickly became a good outlet to recycle the ball and distribute it forward, and overall did a fine job. He also took a nasty high boot from Lanzini, which luckily did not end badly for him.

John McGinn: 5.5/10

McGinn was missing the purpose of winning battles, something he did so expertly against Leeds United in the previous encounter. His midfield role was fulfilled, and he had a productive day in the middle.

Jacob Ramsey: 7.5/10

His box-to-box style is yielding more with each passing week. Ramsey was once again a top performer for Aston Villa and also got a crucial late goal, which turned out to be a mere consolation in the end.

Philippe Coutinho: 6.5/10

Coutinho may not have had a telling contribution here, but the attacker was one of Aston Villa’s most dangerous players on the pitch.

Ollie Watkins: 5.5/10

It was not his day, as Watkins struggled to make a difference in the final third. He mustered a few unconvincing efforts, although he did a lot of running and fought a physical battle with Zouma and Dawson.

Danny Ings: 6/10

Ings thought he had scored, only for Fabianski to pull off a brilliant save to deny the striker. Otherwise, the English international had only sporadic moments to influence and looked far different than some of his recent performances in an Aston Villa shirt.

SUBSTITUTES

Ashley Young: 6/10

Young’s experience counted after he replaced Digne early in the game, as he put in a good shift at left-back. He did offer a good outlet from his side, despite Villa concentrating more on the right flank to attack with the ball.

Leon Bailey: 5/10

Bailey created good chances late on, especially for Buendia in the game’s dying ember.

Emiliano Buendia: 6/10

A good introduction in hindsight, as Buendia somewhat made a difference. He did have a close-range effort saved by Fabianski and then created the chance for Ramsey.

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