Aston Villa 1-3 West Ham United – Match Report
West Ham United‘s pre-season just went better as they warmed to their tasks by comfortably defeating Aston Villa 3-1 at the Banks’ Stadium in Walsall. A sensational solo effort from Michail Antonio, followed by goals from Marko Arnautovic and Robert Snodgrass sealed the deal for the Hammers.
Among the new signings bought this summer, manager Manuel Pellegrini gave some game time to Fabian Balbuena, Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere and Issa Diop. They looked quite menacing in all aspects of their game, which is a sign of good things to come.
Antonio broke the deadlock inside 10 minutes when he recieved a ball on the right and skipped past a challenge to slot a low effort into the far corner from a tight angle. This goal came after Villa had a bright start to the game, testing Adrian with two efforts, but the Spaniard was equal to the task.
West Ham’s second goal was a result of some lovely football they have been playing. Anderson was involved in the build up as he sprayed the ball out wide to Arthur Masuaku. His cut-back towards Arnautovic was accurate, and the Austrian made no mistake from six yards to double the lead.
Pellegrini’s men were looking very composed and controlled in the first half, something which would have pleased the Chilean.
The pace of the game slowed down in the second period with a string of changes sucking the momentum of the game. However, it was West Ham who always looked like scoring another goal.
The third goal did eventually arrive for the east London club when Snodgrass had an easy task of rounding the keeper and slotting home the finish. It was well set up by Arnautovic with a cute little through ball.
Even though Villa had some joy when youngster Andre Green scored a sumptuous goal, the Hammers were always in control and were deserving winners of the game.
Pellegrini must be delighted by the way his men displayed collective effort, considering there were few new signings on the pitch. He would also be rooting for Wilshere to be fit like this and start the season in a menacing manner, which is just 16 days away.
New defenders Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena also looked pretty comfortable in every aspect of their game to further delight the manager.
Here’s how the fans reacted to the Hammers’ win:
We’re winning the league
— joe (@RemarkableRice) July 25, 2018
Excellent controlled display
— You knows what you knows (@alielmuchacho) July 25, 2018
Fans were excited to see Felipe Anderson for the time, and the Brazilian didn’t disappoint:
— Chris Harris (@HappierHammer) July 25, 2018
decent first appearance, going to be a big hit at west ham
— David bough (@futurestrader05) July 25, 2018
Meanwhile, Arnautovic continues his deadly form in front of goal in the pre-season, much to the delight of several fans.
Premier League Golden Boot winner 2018/19 confirmed. pic.twitter.com/BjDeRQyRmD
— West Ham Central (@WestHam_Central) July 25, 2018
#COYI!!! Next season is going to be awesome!
— Mushy Fringe (@Mushy_Fringe) July 25, 2018
Some of them are happy that Pellegrini joined the club along with quality players, which will enhance the competition for place within the squad:
Maybe I’m jumping the gun a little but I also see Pellegrini and the addition of better players making our existing players better, some of our starters last season had no competition whatsoever for their places in the team. Competition should breed success.
— TheWestHamWayCoUk (@WestHamWaycouk) July 26, 2018