Latest Aston Villa news from BirminghamLive includes a round-up to Villa’s 4-1 win over West Ham in the Premier League
Aston Villa extended their remarkable winning run at home to 11 Premier League games after thrashing West Ham 4-1 at Villa Park, writes John Townley.
The win propels Villa back into the top five having collected 19 points after nine games, which is their highest tally at this point in a Premier League season for 25 years. Douglas Luiz netted either side of half-time before Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey scored after Jarrod Bowen’s strike deflected past Emi Martinez on the hour mark.
Villa started the stronger of the two sides in the first period as Moussa Diaby caused problems on the counter attack. He fed Watkins inside the box on one occasion, but the England international couldn’t convert past Alphonse Areola, missing the target from 10 yards.
Watkins’ chance came moments after Luiz went close to breaking the deadlock in the 16th minute. Areola denied Luiz when he clawed his strike from out of the top corner, but he couldn’t prevent the Brazilian later in the half. Watkins combined with Zaniolo before picking Luiz out at the edge of the box before he drilled the ball past Areola to hand Villa a much-deserved advantage.
West Ham traveled to Villa Park in search of their third away win of the season, which would have ensured their joint-highest tally of 17 points after nine Premier League matches, having previously reached that mark in 2015 and 2021.
The Hammers shot themselves in the foot inside the first five minutes of the second period as Lucas Paqueta played a poor back pass to Edson Alvarez, which allowed Ezri Konsa to pounce, before being fouled by the Mexican midfielder inside the box. Luiz stepped up and slotted the ball down the middle of Areola’s goal.
Villa’s two-goal cushion didn’t last for long, as Bowen helped reduce the Hammers’ deficit. His strike from outside the box deflected off Torres and past Emi Martinez, who was rooted to the spot.
After weathering a storm from West Ham, Watkins restored Villa’s two-goal lead. John McGinn played an excellent ball in behind, to where the striker was allowed to run into the box and fire beyond Areola at his near post.
Youri Tielemans and Leon Bailey both came off the bench in the second half and combined for Villa’s fourth. The Belgian midfielder found Bailey in the box, who turned and planted the ball into the far top corner.
Villa have now scored at least three goals in each of their opening four league matches of a season at Villa Park for the first time since 1920-21.
What Unai Emery said…
On the game/result: “We are feeling very good at home with our fans. We tried to add to the support and energy.
“We are trying to be positive and play in our style. We did well across the 90 minutes and imposed ourselves for most of us.
“For me to play at home is always something special. We have to believe and always connect with the fans. We have to be focused and strong defensively, but then create a bigger noise with the fans by making them feel they are playing with us.”
On Douglas Luiz’s performance: “It’s credit to him, firstly. He has to be demanding in everything and he is doing. I am very happy with him.
“But I think he can do better. There were some moments after he scored the two goals where we were trying to control the game and I wasn’t happy because he was too relaxed.
“We have to see where we can improve in everybody. I was very demanding off the players to try and score another goal. After the third goal we controlled the game.”
On European football ambitions: “We are not contenders to be in the top four or in the top seven teams in the beginning but of course we need to take our dreams.
“One of our dreams is to be with the top seven teams and to do something in Europe. To get European football is very important and that is the work we need to try to do. We need to be consistent in what we are doing.”
What David Moyes said…
“We weren’t as resolute as we have been and we need to be harder to play against but we were up against a really good Aston Villa side,” he told Sky Sports. “We didn’t do well in the final third.
“There were opportunities to pick people out. We had a few chances in the first half but didn’t pick people out. We were narrowly down at half-time and we came out hoping to get ourselves back in it then gave away a stupid penalty.
“That didn’t help us but all credit to the players before they fought back and made a game of it for a while.
“There were other things in the game. I don’t think Edson Alvarez should go down in the tackle but I don’t think it should be a penalty either, so there we go.
“There were opportunities all game. Our balls into the box were not executed well enough. That was probably the biggest disappointment.
“Lots of things were actually OK. But when you’re not scoring then you can’t concede and need to be hard to beat. You need to be ugly at the back if you have to be. We were nice to them and helped them.”
Villa fan reaction…
KasperAVFC: “This team!!”
Steven Healy: “Unreal.”
Jack: “Title charge is on.”
Jally: “Villa Park is a fortress.”
Jack Luckhurst: “Unai Emery is the best manager in the world!”
Ben: “Two off top of the league!”
RH: “Villa Park is the temple and Unai Emery is the God!”
Catrin: “Title charge incoming.”
Slob: “We’re winning the league.”
Dom: “Curse: Broken. Still can not believe we’re achieving these heights without Mings, Buendia, Moreno, etc.”
Dan: “Outstanding performance.”
Stephen: “Emery is cookin’.”
Ionasca Daniel: “We’re massive!”
SRU L: “Unbelievable results. Up the Villa.”
Greg: “Thank you Unai Emery!”
Al Dumbleton: “What a performance, well done lads.”
Jay: “I love Aston Villa Football Club.”
Louise K: “Absolutely fantastic result.”
David Kearney: “Konsa unbelievable.”
What Douglas Luiz said about unusual celebration
“The truth is, I’m really happy,” he told Sky Sports. “We need to keep this atmosphere here, it’s perfect for us.
“The fans push us, it’s incredible. I like fishing so much. When I go to Brazil, every time I go finishing.
“The celebration is for my family and my friends who like fishing. I’m a really good [fisherman].”