West Ham White-Knuckle Player Ratings vs Aston Villa

West Ham United, Jarrod Bowen. (Photo by JULIAN FINNEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
West Ham United, Jarrod Bowen. (Photo by JULIAN FINNEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

As advertised, West Ham’s Monday night match against Aston Villa was gritty and difficult, but perseverance saw the Hammers players rise up.

After facing Fulham and Sheffield United, West Ham were prepared to come up against a much tougher and potent offence from Aston Villa. As onlookers suspected, the stout defensive coverage of West Ham went toe-to-toe with Villa’s strong attack. Here are the player ratings from the gutty win.

Lukasz Fabianski – 9/10: The stats show that Villa had 16 shots and six on target, leaving Fabianski with five saves, but it somehow felt like more. The crowning save was against Trezeguet at point-blank range to keep the lead intact. He was a force between the pipes today.

Vladimir Coufal – 7/10: The Czech wing-back started the game very well and continued to join the attack well for the full match, however, Jack Grealish was able to have a lot of freedom in his coverage later in the match. Solid performance but room to improve defensively.

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Fabian Balbuena – 7.5/10: It was a quiet performance from Balbuena outside of him stepping up too late on Grealish’s goal, which is a good thing. He continued to be no-nonsense in his clearances and keeps his place in the team.

Angelo Ogbonna – 9/10: His only mistake was the missed coverage on Grealish’s goal with Balbuena, but stamped the match open with a towering back-post header for the 2-minute opening goal. He also did enough (not close to a foul) to knock Ollie Watkins offside in the dying moments of the match. He keeps on getting better.

Aaron Cresswell – 8/10: It was a game of two halves for Cresswell who started at centre-back and flipped to left-back at halftime. He used his winger, Benrahma, more and stayed back and more conservative and showed his versatility in play.

Arthur Masuaku – 5/10: He only had 45-minutes to try and impress but after the team looked slow and lacking in attack he was sacrificed in a gambling move to switch to a 4-2-3-1. He’ll be back in the team to face Manchester United for sure.

Declan Rice – 8/10: He got the better of his England pal Grealish in this match in the win column and in the class category, as diving Jack wouldn’t even accept a hand up from his international teammate. Regardless, Rice patrolled and dominated the midfield to his usual standard, captaining the team to another win.

Tomas Soucek – 8/10: Mirroring his midfield partner, Soucek was solid on the ground and a force in the air at both ends of the pitch. He almost scored within the opening minute of the match too, forcing the corner that Ogbonna would net. Another strong showing.

Jarrod Bowen – 10/10: What can you say about West Ham’s starman? His opening corner kick delivery was perfect and found Ogbonna for the goal and his diagonal run to pop in the Benrahma cross was deflected in with precision to win the match. He was Man of the Match by a long shot.

Michail Antonio N/A: In a surprise move, Michail Antonio started this match, likely to try and catch Villa off guard, but was clearly rushed back too soon. Antonio couldn’t even sprint at full tilt and was removed at half time, rightfully so.

Pablo Fornals – 7/10: Maybe the most shocking aspect of this match was Fornals surviving the introduction of Benrahma! Shifting centrally to his natural position, Fornals instigated the second goal with a wonderful outlet pass and ran his socks off as he usually does.


Sebastien Haller – 8/10: It was a shock that he didn’t start after his goalscoring performance against Sheffield United, but Haller didn’t show any disdain for the decision, coming off the bench motivated and proving that he deserves more minutes. His hold up play was great and he worked well with Benrahma and Fornals behind him.

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Said Benrahma 9/10: The spark when Moyes and West Ham needed him, Benrahma took just a handful of seconds to drift from his defender, back Villa up in their box, and pick out the diagonal run of Bowen to secure the second and game-winning goal. It’s time for him to start now.