West Ham claim the claret bragging rights as Lingard stars on debut

West Ham players celebrating Jesse Lingard's second goal of the match. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
West Ham players celebrating Jesse Lingard's second goal of the match. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /

West Ham put their poor defeat to Liverpool firmly behind them as they cruised to a 3-1 win over fellow highfliers Aston Villa, following a brace from Jesse Lingard on his debut.

The Hammers went into the game with the better form having won four of their last five games and they certainly carried that confidence into the game.

The Hammers had the first big chance of the game and it was new boy Lingard who was heavily involved in the buildup. His slick flick on to Said Benrahma allowed the Algerian to whip a cross into Michail Antonio, but the Striker’s scuffed shot was easily caught by Emi Martinez.

West Ham didn’t let off the pressure and it was Lingard again who was causing Villa issues when his long-range strike seemed destined for the bottom right corner until Martinez clawed it away at the last minute.

A strong start built on offensive pressures had West Ham poised for a strong performance.

In the 21st minute, Villa had their first chance of the game when Cash broke down the right-wing and whipped a great ball into Ollie Watkins whose free header went over the bar. Should have done better

The hosts nearly punished West Ham for not taking their chances when a rare Craig Dawson mistake in the middle of the field allowed Jack Grealish space to create a chance.

The England international latched onto the loose ball and offloaded it to Watkins whose curling shot just clipped the outside of the right-hand side post, letting Dawson seriously off the hook.

Villa again nearly took the lead in the 29th minute when following a freekick won by Grealish. Grealish’s ball in bounced around the box before falling to Ross Barkley on his favoured left foot but the former England internationals shot was surprisingly off-target.

However, it was to be a first half of missed opportunities from both sides as the scores were still level when the halftime whistle went.

Despite a dull start to the second half, it was West Ham who broke the deadlock in the 51st minute. The ball fell to Said Benrahma who played a beautiful first-time ball through to the in-form Tomas Soucek on the right-hand side of the box.

The Czech Republic international made no mistake in burying his low driven shot into the bottom corner to put the Hammers one goal ahead.

Things then went from bad to worse for Villa when West Ham broke on the counter-attack in the 55th minute. Benrahma was again involved and drove the ball to the edge of the penalty area before offloading the ball to Antonio who then spotted Lingard in acres of space.

Lingard brought the ball down and smashed it into the bottom right corner on his debut to double West Ham’s lead and make the score 2-0.

West Ham didn’t stop there and continued to heap the pressure on Dean Smith’s side. The Hammers could have easily added a third and fourth goal in quick succession with a spell of great chances.

The first of which could have seen West Ham gain their first penalty of the season after Antonio’s shot seemed to be sent over the bar by Ezri Konsa’s hand, however, the former Nottingham Forest’s complaints were waved aside.

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The second chance was denied by some superb defending from Aston Villa. Aaron Cresswell whipped a lovely cross into Antonio who dinked Martinez and seemed certain to have made the score 3-0. However, Tyrone Mings came to Villa’s rescue and scooped the ball clear of the goal at the last second to deny Antonio.

The Hammers completely snuffed Villa’s attacking threat in the second half and it showed as Barkley was hooked off in the 68th minute for Trezeguet.

In order to get Villa back in the game, Dean Smith handed new signing Morgan Sanson his Premier League debut in the 79th minute.

The arrival of Sanson seemed to boost Villa and they clawed a goal back just minutes later. Grealish’s inch-perfect ball found Watkins in the box, and the former Brentford talisman made no mistake in making the score 2-1.

The goal gave Villa confidence and they nearly levelled the scores when Grealish again found Watkins in the box but his shot was luckily saved by Fabianski.

However, Villa’s mini resurgence was put to bed when Antonio drove West Ham on the counter-attack and slotted Lingard through on goal to get his second West Ham goal, putting the Hammers ahead by three goals to one and securing the three points.

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Lingard’s heroics won him the man of the match award and fired West Ham back up to 5th place in the Premier League. The Hammers move onto a London derby against Fulham in three days’ time and Moyes’ men will be looking to continue their good run of form as they hunt the European places.