Aston Villa vs West Ham match report: Jordan Ayew earns a point but Villa still without a win since opening day

Aston Villa 1 West Ham United 1

Jon Culley
Villa Park
Saturday 26 December 2015 17:56
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Aston Villa’s chances of survival remain bleak, without a win in 17 Premier League matches since the opening day of the season. They have not won at home since West Ham succumbed here in May, yet they attracted more than 38,000 to Villa Park and at last revealed that they can roll up their sleeves and fight.

It took a penalty to earn a point, converted by Jordan Ayew, but the result was the least they deserved. West Ham, without a win in eight matches, rarely posed a threat and the goal scored by Aaron Cresswell in first-half stoppage time came from one of only four shots on target.

Villa manager Rémi Garde said: “Every player gave 100 per cent today and we perhaps deserved more but it was pleasing to see the way we put them under pressure. The spirit in the dressing room is much better than a few weeks ago but we need to produce that kind of performance more regularly.”

Aaron Creswell opened the scoring with a brilliant strike

The recall of Rudy Gestede up front gave Villa an edge. He drew a save from Adrian with an 18th-minute header following good work from Jordan Veretout to keep the ball in play, and Adrian also beat out a shot by Leandro Bacuna and Gestede’s follow-up.

Yet West Ham led at half-time. Villa lost midfielder Carlos Sanchez through injury after 36 minutes and before they had adjusted, they were caught out as Cresswell found the space to drive in from the flank and launch a strong left-foot shot into the far corner of the net.

Villa did not lose heart. Adrian kept out efforts from Veretout and Gestede before Gestede broke away from Angelo Ogbonna and was brought down inside the box by the West Ham defender. Ogbonna, already booked, was spared further punishment, butAyew sent Adrian the wrong way from the spot.

Jordan Ayew continued his good form, scoring his fifth of the season

Aston Villa: (4-4-2) Guzan; Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bacuna; Westwood, Sanchez (Gil, 39), Veretout (Traore, 83), Gana; Gestede, Ayew.

West Ham United: (4-1-3-2) Adrian; Tomkins (Jenkinson, h-t), Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell (Song, 75); Obiang; Zarate (Oxford, 85), Noble, Kouyate; Antonio, Valencia.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Man of the match: Gestede (Aston Villa).

Match rating: 7/10

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