West Ham rides its luck to beat Aston Villa 2-1

Goals by Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen at the start of each half earned West Ham the points, although Villa will rue an Ollie Watkins penalty that rattled the crossbar.

West Ham United climbed to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Monday.   -  REUTERS

West Ham United climbed to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Monday as for the second successive home game it benefited from a missed penalty.

Goals by Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen at the start of each half earned West Ham the points, although Villa will rue an Ollie Watkins penalty that rattled the crossbar.

West Ham then got lucky again as Watkins thought he had made amends in stoppage time but his close-range goal was ruled out by VAR for a marginal offside decision.

Jack Grealish had levelled with a deflected effort in the 25th minute but it was a frustrating night for Villa which could have gone fourth with a win.

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West Ham's third successive victory leaves it on 17 points from 10 games, only four points behind leader Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. Villa has slipped down to 10th with 15 points, having played a game less.

Three weeks ago West Ham beat Fulham 1-0 at the London Stadium after a comical last-gasp penalty miss by Ademola Lookman and it got lucky again as it bagged the points, despite being second-best for much of the game.

“We've missed a penalty and had a goal disallowed for a part of his body that can't actually be used to put the ball in the net anyway,” Villa manager Dean Smith said.

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“The goal Ollie scores they've given offside for his arm, but the only reason his arm is there is because he's being fouled. It's either he scores or it's a penalty.”

Villa was caught cold as Ogbonna rose unchallenged to head West Ham into the lead after two minutes. But it responded well and Grealish exploited a hole in the middle of West Ham's defence to burst forward and strike a shot that deflected past Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham manager David Moyes sent on Said Benrahma for the second half and almost immediately he set up Bowen to head his side back into the lead.

The host never looked comfortable though and Villa should have levelled when Grealish released Watkins and he pulled the ball back for Trezeguet who somehow failed to beat Fabianski from point-blank range.

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Villa was awarded a penalty, via VAR, when Declan Rice was adjudged to have pulled Trezeguet's shirt but Watkins leant back and sent his spot kick against the bar.

Watkins should have had the last laugh but after breaking free of Ogbonna, who had his arms around the striker's neck, to slot in from a low cross his joy was cut short because, according to VAR, part of his arm was offside.

Moyes was not complaining and pointed to Rice being hard done by for the Villa penalty.

“I'd like referees to toughen up a bit and not give every decision,” he said.

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