West Ham 2-0 Aston Villa: Hammers heap more misery on Garde, Villa

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  • Hammers lost once in last 11
  • Villa 10 points off safety
  • Ayew sent off for elbow

West Ham United beat 10-man Aston Villa 2-0 at Upton Park on Tuesday, with Jordan Ayew‘s moment of madness in the first half condemning Villa to yet another defeat.

Ayew was shown a straight red card for inexplicably elbowing Aaron Cresswell off the ball and Villa never recovered. It took the Hammers until the second half to break through with Mark Noble‘s superb pass headed home by Michail Antonio and a late strike by Cheikhou Kouyate sealed the win.

With the win West Ham move onto 39 points, while Villa stay rooted to the bottom of the table on 13 points from 24 games.

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Early on Villa started brightly and were denied what looked like a clear penalty kick with Gabby Agbonlahor’s cross striking Antonio in the box but the referee waved away Villa’s cries.

Then the game-changing moment arrived when the red-mist descended on Ayew and he launched his elbow into Cresswell’s face and was shown a straight-red. Madness. Villa down to 10-men.

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Predictably West Ham dominated the play for the rest of the first half and should’ve gone 1-0 up when James Tomkins‘ driven shot was goalbound but Enner Valencia couldn’t direct his header from two-yards on target and it flew over the bar.

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The Hammers continued to press after the break and finally found a way through as Noble’s raking pass found Antonio who headed home. 1-0 to the Irons.

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With a fuming Garde watching on — question marks remain over the future of Villa’s French manager as he failed to bring in a single player during the January transfer window — Villa then let in another late on, this time Kouyate slotting home after a counter-attack.

This season can’t end soon enough for Villa. The opposite can be said for high-flying West Ham.