Aston Villa 4-1 West Ham: Player ratings as Villans crush sorry Hammers

  • Aston Villa were excellent in thumping win over West Ham
  • Ollie Watkins on the scoresheet again for Villans
  • Victory leaves thema two points adrift of Premier League leaders
Aston Villa thumped West Ham on Sunday evening
Aston Villa thumped West Ham on Sunday evening / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Aston Villa were once again in a rampant mood at Villa Park as they thumped West Ham 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Douglas Luiz, Ollie Watkins, and Leon Bailey all got on the scoresheet for the hosts as they moved into fifth place in the Premier League table - just two points adrift of Manchester City at the summit.

The hosts were quite brilliant and far too good for a sluggish West Ham outfit that had little of the game other than the period succeeding Jarrod Bowen's goal.

How the game unfolded

The hosts seemed intent on maintaining their 100% record at Villa Park, and flew out of the blocks. While David Moyes' West Ham have often been credited for their robustness, Villa had their way with the Hammers in the opening exchanges.

The visitors' midfield couldn't cope with the positions taken up by Nicolo Zaniolo and Moussa Diaby, who relentlessly received possession in the half-spaces before igniting attacks. The hosts were slick across the board, while West Ham struggled to penetrate a high, but superbly drilled, Villa backline.

Villa's superiority rendered Luiz's opener inevitable, but his strike from distance did facilitate an improvement from Moyes' side as they rallied at the end of the first half.

However, when the hosts doubled their lead quickly after the restart from the penalty spot, it looked a long way back for West Ham. But, a Bowen hit-and-hope which deflected cruelly off Pau Torres swiftly brought them back into the game. Bowen's strike ignited the visitors, who finally took control from the hosts.

But, when it looked as if West Ham were closing in on an unlikely leveller, Ollie Watkins rounded off a devastating two-pass transition (including a loose Mohammed Kudus touch) which gave Villa breathing room once more. Villa's stellar display was capped off by substitute Bailey, who danced into the West Ham box before coolly converting.

While West Ham did threaten a resurgence after Bowen's strike, the scoreline did reflect Villa's supremacy.

Aston Villa player ratings (4-4-2)

Douglas Luiz
Douglas Luiz scored for the sixth consecutive time at Villa Park in the Premier League / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

GK: Emi Martinez - 6/10 - Nothing he could do to deny Bowen's effort from trickling into the corner. Dealt with Ward-Prowse's set pieces well.

RB: Matty Cash - 7/10 - There was little by way of attacking vigour, but Cash defended well when called upon. The right-back made a crucial intervention from a Nayef Ageurd effort at 2-1.

CB: Ezri Konsa - 8/10 - Fantastic. Not exactly sure what he was doing that high up to win the penalty, but he was far too dynamic for Edson Alvarez to handle. Konsa was excellent in Villa's high defensive line and was never troubled by Michail Antonio.

CB: Pau Torres - 6/10 - Unlike Konsa, Torres wouldn't have fancied seeing much of Antonio. Fortunately, he didn't. The Spaniard wasn't at his most proficient in possession.

LB: Lucas Digne - 6/10 - Digne had to be sturdy up against Bowen, and the Frenchman largely kept him in check. Digne also forayed into the final third and offered a threat.

RM: John McGinn - 7/10 - The Scottish terrier was impressive again. He's thriving in his nuanced midfield role, McGinn's pass for Watkins which led to Villa's third was divine.

CM: Boubacar Kamara - 7/10 - The Frenchman manoeuvres through the shadows while his midfield partner takes all the plaudits for his scoring exploits. Kamara was efficient yet again.

CM: Douglas Luiz - 8/10 - The midfielder extended his scoring streak at Villa Park in the Premier League to six games with his brace on Sunday. Luiz was superb; the beating heart of a stellar Villa showing.

LM: Nicolo Zaniolo - 7/10 - We enjoyed the Nicolo Zaniolo of his Roman apex in the first 30 minutes. The Italian's drive played a key role in Villa's attacking success. He quietened down thereafter, but an impressive showing given his current situation.

ST: Moussa Diaby - 8/10 - A constant outlet. Diaby varied his positioning which meant he was tough to track throughout. He had success receiving deeper before creating, as well as running in behind and working in tandem with Ollie Watkins.

ST: Ollie Watkins - 8/10 - Made up for his early miss by putting the game beyond the Hammers with 20 minutes remaining. Such a good finish. Teed up Luiz's opener with a smart layoff, too.


SUB: Leon Bailey (76' for Zaniolo) - 7/10

SUB: Youri Tielemans (85' for Diaby) - 5/10

Subs not used: Robin Olsen (GK), Diego Carlos, Bertrand Traore, Calum Chambers, Clement Lenglet, Leander Dendoncker, Omari Kellyman.


Unai Emery - 8/10 - His Villa side were so good in the first-half, with their high and compact defensive line depicting just how well coached they are. They had total control before Bowen's goal, and hadn't Watkins continued his fine run of form in front of goal, some might have criticised Emery for not switching things up.

West Ham player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Edson Alvarez
The Hammers were sluggish at Villa Park / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

GK: Alphonse Areola - 4/10 - Areola's had an excellent season so far, but this wasn't his best work. He perhaps should've done better to keep out Luiz's opener.

RB: Vladimir Coufal - 5/10 - Serviceable in the final third, producing a couple of nice touches and crosses. Was caught out a couple of times defensively in the first half.

CB: Kurt Zouma - 6/10 - Had defended well in transition before he afforded too much space to Watkins which allowed him to score Villa's third.

CB: Nayef Aguerd - 4/10 - Didn't exactly instil calm, but West Ham's porous midfield thrust him into some difficult situations. Aguerd had issues dealing with Diaby's position, too.

LB: Emerson - 6/10 - The left-back was probably one of West Ham's more impressive performers on the day, but that isn't saying much. Needed more from him going forward.

CM: Edson Alvarez - 5/10 - Looked like someone who racked up a fair few air miles over the break as he was sluggish at Villa Park - exemplified by his clumsy challenge on Konsa for the penalty.

CM: James Ward-Prowse - 5/10 - Positionally all over the place in the first half as Villa's creators ran amok. Looked better in more advanced positions, and set-piece threat was obvious throughout.

RM: Jarrod Bowen - 6/10 - Tried to probe throughout and it was his deflected strike from distance that got West Ham into the game out of nothing.

AM: Tomas Soucek - 4/10 - Offered very little before he was withdrawn after the hour.

LM: Lucas Paqueta - 5/10 - A mixed bag for Paqueta, who produced some divine sequences for the ball, but his loose pass directly led to Villa's penalty at the start of the second half.

ST: Michail Antonio - 4/10 - Should've had much more success against Villa's high defensive line than he did. Remains a technical liability.


SUB: Mohammed Kudus (67' for Soucek) - 5/10

SUB: Danny Ings (86' for Paqueta) - 5/10

SUB: Pablo Fornals (90' for Antonio) - N/A

Subs not used: Lukasz Fabianski (GK), Konstantinos Mavropanos, Angelo Ogbonna, Said Benrahma, Thilo Kehrer, Divin Mubama.


David Moyes - 4/10 - We know of Moyes' Hammers are, and they were completely undone by a dynamic and confident Villa outfit on Sunday. The boss should've made a midfield change (possibly to a 4-5-1) to combat Villa's half-space progression, while Soucek remained on the pitch for far too long.

Player of the match - Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)