Pablo Fornals struck a late winner as struggling club West Ham United picked up their first three points of the Premier League season against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.
The Spain midfielder saw his deflected shot leap up and over goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to secure all three points against Aston Villa with 15 minutes to play and strike for the third game in a row against Sunday’s opponents.
Ezri Konsa’s disallowed effort in the first half was the closest the hosts came to a goal, but West Ham stood tall to hold on to an important victory, their fifth in a row against Villa. Their first three points of the season take the Hammers to the 16th spot from four matches. Ashton Villa too have three points and are placed a spot above them in the table.
The Hammers will now look to build on a battling performance in the West Midlands, as they take their first win of the Premier League season into two upcoming London derbies against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
It was not the prettiest match at Villa Park, as West Ham had to dig deep to grind out a win against a battling Aston Villa, according to a report on the official website of the Hammers.
With the Hammers beginning in a back-five, Emerson Palmieri was deployed at left wing-back on his first Claret and Blue start. The Italy international started in front of left centre-back Aaron Cresswell, who did well to diffuse an early Villa counterattack with a good interception.
Gianluca Scamacca also showed a few neat touches on his full Premier League debut, whilst Jarrod Bowen was almost found when a whipped Pablo Fornals pass was cut out by Calum Chambers.
Newcastle Hold Wolves
Newcastle United continued with their unbeaten start to their 2022/23 campaign with a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers thanks to Allan Saint-Maximin’s stunning strike on Sunday.
Newcastle had more of the ball and more shots on goal but trailed to Ruben Neves’ crisp strike going into stoppage time. But then, from nowhere, Saint-Maximin sent a glorious 20-yard volley flying past keeper Jose Sa to deny the home side what would have been their first win of the season.
With new signing Alexander Isak ineligible and Callum Wilson and Bruno Guimaraes injured, Sean Longstaff made his 100th appearance for his boyhood club while Chris Wood started after scoring at Tranmere in midweek.
The first chance of the game fell to Wood in the fourth minute, when Joelinton slid in to prod the ball through to the New Zealand international, but he was forced wide by Sa and saw his shot blocked by the goalkeeper.
Three minutes later, great work on the right from Goncalo Guedes presented Pedro Neto with an opportunity, but he prodded over with the ball dropping onto the roof of the net, according to a report on the club’s website.
Newcastle felt they should have been awarded a spot-kick in the 12th minute as Longstaff clearly had his shirt pulled in the box, but play continued and Joe Willock eventually stabbed wide. Then soon afterwards, Longstaff had a powerful effort blocked by Neves.
The home side withstood some sustained United pressure before beginning to threaten themselves, with Matheus Nunes sending a free header horribly off target before Jiminez twice came close.