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West Ham, Aston Villa trade blows as Irons collect valuable point

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Said Benrahma's penalty canceled out Ollie Watkins' header to send West Ham and Aston Villa home with a point apiece from the London Stadium.

West Ham and Aston Villa combined for nearly 30 shots but the hosts will feel aggrieved not to have found a winner in a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium on Sunday.

Ollie Watkins put Villa in front with an industrious and clever header of an Alex Moreno cross, but Said Benrahma made the most of a silly Leon Bailey foul to set the game level from the penalty spot.

WATCH WEST HAM v ASTON VILLA FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM - LINK

After being hammered 4-0 at Brighton last weekend, West Ham’s fans vented their anger as their talented squad sits just one point above the relegation zone with 13 games to go but they’ll have to acknowledge the proper responses on Thursday in the Europa League as well as Sunday vs the Villans.

West Ham sits 17th, out of the bottom three on goal differential.

Unai Emery has done a fine job to turn things around at Villa, but they needed to hang on for their point in London on Sunday. Villa exits the game in 11th with 35 points.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


What can we make of West Ham?!

Let’s focus on the hosts here, because it seems fairly certain that Aston Villa have a good manager now and they will neither be going down to the Championship nor rising into Europe for next season.

West Ham has no business being near the bottom three, but here David Moyes’ men stand after another performance on the upside of their up-and-down campaign.

How did they not win this? Yes, Michail Antonio was out and the Irons needed a penalty to get their point, but the xG battle was very much in their favor.

Danny Ings was not at his best up top and Jarrod Bowen seemed to be focused on taking one touch too many nearly every time the ball came his way, but West Ham’s season failings really feel more about luck and bounces more than performances on the whole.

That will mean very little if the Irons manage to go down, but it still doesn’t feel like that’s a real danger, does it? Bueller?


West Ham vs Aston Villa player ratings: Stars of the Show

Ollie Watkins: Just outside the Premier League’s top 10 in goal contributions, the busy striker is a deserving Man of the Match.

Said Benrahma: An ever-present threat, he will be happy with his penalty but likely rue a near-post chance that went begging in the early stages of the match.

John McGinn: Busy as usual. He’s finally back at his best after a few wayward months, and Unai Emery has a good mind to help McGinn stay near the top of his game.

West Ham vs Aston Villa player ratings

fotmob.com


What’s next?

West Ham’s home Thursday, holding a 2-0 lead over AEK Larnaca in the Europa Conference League’s Round of 16. They’ll then wait through an international break for their next Premier League match, a huge April 2 visit from Southampton.

Villa welcomes Bournemouth to Villa Park at 11am ET Saturday.

Follow @NicholasMendola


Ollie Watkins goal video: Well-won header beats Areola


Said Benrahma goal video: Algerian converts Paqueta-won penalty


How to watch West Ham vs Aston Villa live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, SundayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & in-form players to watch

The Hammers have won just three of their last 16 Premier League games and are struggling for consistency after recording back-to-back victories just once all season long. That was back at the start of October. Moyes has tried to many combinations of players in attack but nothing seems to be clicking. Declan Rice is doing his best to drive them on from midfield but defensive mistakes behind him are costing West Ham big time.

Villa look solid, dependable and are really dangerous on the counter attack. Emery has set them out to get the ball wide when they can and Ollie Watkins has been popping up in key areas centrally and has scored five goals in his last six games. Emiliano Martinez has been excellent in goal, while Tyrone Mings is also back to his best at the back. Losing Boubacar Kamara to injury is a blow as his form alongside Douglas Luiz is a big reason behind Villa’s upturn in results.


West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Lukasz Fabianski (face), Vladimir Coufal (heel), Michail Antonio (calf)

Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Philippe Coutinho (thigh), Boubacar Kamara (leg), Jed Steer (calf), Leander Dendoncker (undisclosed)



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