With three straight defeats on the spin for Aston Villa (and we won’t mentioned the manner of the losses) head coach Dean Smith had called for a response from the team as we welcomed David Moyes’ West Ham United to Villa Park this afternoon – but our chances weren’t helped by rumours of another presumed Covid outbreak at the club, however, whilst Smith did make some bold changes, there wasn’t the over reliance on youngsters that some had feared.
How strong we might be in midfield remained a major question though.
It was a mixed and scrappy start and the visitors were on top but arguably took an unfair lead seven minutes in as more woeful defending allowed Johnson in from almost nothing. Targett will shoulder that, but Emi should’ve done better as well.
Bailey had our best chance, but it was straight at the keeper who saved easily. The worry was, they looked like scoring every time they attacked but thankfully their finishing was off at this point.
After a very poor showing, we found a bit of heart with ten minutes remaining on the clock and after some good work by Cash, McGinn and Buendia, the ball was fed to Ollie to make it 1-1.
Was that the lift we needed or would we conspire to shoot ourselves again?
Well, yes. After giving the referee a decision to make on a poor shout for a penalty, we gave Rice the freedom of Villa Park to stroll up and hit one straight into the corner. But from that distance, Emi is again at fault and should’ve done better.
But how poor we were, we probably should’ve gone in level, if not in front, given the chances we did fashion but not for the first time the composure on the final ball just wasn’t there. We weren’t out of this though, not by a long shot – we just need to stop gifting them goals.
Well five minutes into the second half we hadn’t gifted them a goal but VAR took 20 minutes to decide whether it preferred to send off Hause or Konsa, finally deciding on Konsa, when neither were actually a foul in my book. Not least as Bowen was offside anyway.
But we can rely on Stockley Park to make themselves the centre of attention can’t we. A Stuart Attwell special to top off Kavanagh’s inability to punish Wet Spam’s indiscretions.
It did seem to spark a bit of fire in the bellies though and Watkins was incredibly unfortunate to hit the bar just ahead of the hour mark as his header looked destined for the back of the net until the keeper got a sliver on it.
We were on top at this point, and they threatened on the counter, however we just couldn’t make it count and then rather predictably the referee got what he wanted, ignored two possible red cards late on for West Ham (bizarelly booked McGinn for being pushed to the floor), ignored what looked like a foul on Targett and let them break to make it 3-1. It was soon 4-1 as more childlike defending saw them waltz through us once more, despite a clear offside shout VAR predictably didn’t give.
They almost made it 5-1 as we had a perfectly good penalty shout completely ignored as well, but hey ho I’m now off to do something useful and maybe entertaining following that.
31/10/2021 4:30 pm
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
|Aston Villa||West Ham United|
|Watkins (34)||Johnson (7), Rice (38), Fornals (80), Bowen (84)|