Aston Villa and West Ham played out an extremely dull affair on Monday night, with both teams lacking any sort of quality in the final third.
West Ham were the better team for much of the first half but struggled for cutting edge. This was illustrated by the fact that
Villa will argue that Mark Noble should have been sent off for the Hammers, after clearly diving whilst on a yellow card.
There was also an incredible VAR delay when teammates Tyrone Mings and Anwar El Ghazi locked horns when Mings believed the winger wasn't tracking back, resulting in the Dutchman directing a headbutt towards the centre back.
The second half had very little talking points - until the 67th minute. Arthur Masuaku was sent off for a second yellow card which looked like a poor decision from Mike Dean. This failed to change the game though, as both teams struggled for any fluidity.
Then with five minutes left and the game finally starting to come alive, Jack Grealish had a terrific chance to win the game but scuffed his shot as the game tapered out to a 0-0 draw.
Key Talking Point
Aston Villa were returning to the scene of their only win of the season, looking for another three points as they were hovering around the relegation zone.
It is clear to see that Villa are a much stronger proposition at home, and if they are to stay up, the home fans are going to be pivotal in it.
The atmosphere at Villa Park was good throughout, and the players will need more of that support to stay up.
Starting XI: Heaton (6); Guilbert (7), Engels (6), Mings (7), Taylor (6); Grealish (6), McGinn (8*), Nakamba (6); Jota (6), Wesley (5); El-Ghazi (5)
Subs: Elmohamady (6), Luiz (6), Davis (N/A)
It has to be that man John McGinn again. He is an absolute machine. One minute he's in the box taking shots at goal, the next you see him steaming back to get the ball.
He has adapted to the Premier League brilliantly and become a quality central midfielder. Villa are lucky to have them.
Would love United to sign McGinn! Better than everything we've got apart from Pogba— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) September 16, 2019
If John Mcginn was a Brazilian named Mcginho he’d be at Real Madrid right now, cracking player— ⚜️ (@TheImmortalKop) September 16, 2019
Key Talking Point
Before the game, the Hammers had a chance to jump to third and based on their recent form, they were probably confident of the win.
However, their much talked about front four failed to click, and as a result, they were terrible in the final third, resulting in Sebastien Haller being starved of service.
Starting XI: Fabianski (8*); Fredericks (6), Diop (6), Ogbonna (6), Masuaku (4); Noble (5), Rice (7); Yarmolenko (5), Lanzini (7), Anderson (6); Haller (6)
The fact that Lukasz Fabianski was the star man for West Ham, pretty much summed up the way the match went.
There was really little to talk about in this tepid game, but Fabianski was solid in goal, making some good saves and being a real presence in the box. He showed why he is now one of the best goalkeepers in the league.
Fabianski is the best keeper in the league, don’t care what anyone says— West Ham Transfers (@westhamtransfer) September 16, 2019
Fabianski is actually good— - (@GabrielS11i) September 16, 2019
Fabianski the goat— Harry Wilkins (@HammersHype) September 16, 2019
Both teams will be looking to put their torrid performances behind them, with tough fixtures next weekend for both sides.
West Ham host Manchester United, knowing they will have to be 100% better to get the win - against a team that are most definitely beatable.
Aston Villa go the Emirates in a game where they will have their back to the wall for the majority of the game. In fact, this fixture may suit them more, as seen by their impressive display at Spurs.
But major improvement is needed, otherwise Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be having another field day.