Manuel Pellegrini

Pellegrini chastises Masuaku for red card against Villa

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Manuel Pellegrini said he was “very happy for the performance of the team” despite the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa that saw West Ham record just one single shot on target.

Still, he noted that he was less than pleased with the sending off of Arthur Masuaku, for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, the West Ham manager said the referee can be easily goaded into soft decisions against the away side by raucous fans. “It’s a typical sending off when you play away,” Pellegrini said in his post-match television interview. “With the pressure of the fans in every foul, of our players that had a yellow card – in this case Arthur Masuaku, Mark Noble, and another player in the first half, I don’t think this was a yellow card, but playing away it is very easy for the referee to send him off.”

Later, he noted that a discussion at halftime with Masuaku about his earlier booking was unsuccessful. “They [the home fans] try to do it with the pressure of the fans,” Pellegrini said in the post-match press conference. “They tried to do it with Mark Noble in the first-half, they try to get a second yellow. We [Masuaku] talked about it at half-time. We told him he must be careful.”

That didn’t pan out, as Masuaku was sent off for a second yellow card earned while fouling Ahmed Elmohamady who had just come onto the pitch moments earlier. The foul was deemed somewhat soft, but match commentator Martin Tyler pointed out – as Pellegrini seems to be indicating – that Masuaku’s mistake was giving the referee the opportunity to make the call for an otherwise needless foul.

Despite the one negative moment, Pellegrini was pleased with the team’s overall performance on the road.

“I prefer to talk about our team,” Pellegrini said when asked about the refereeing decisions. “I think we played a very good game. We had the personality to come here and try to win the game from the beginning, and the last action, the last play of the game we had a very clear chance to score. We played with 10 men exactly the same that we did with 11. We tried defending well, we tried to continue scoring a goal, so I am very happy for the performance of the team, for the personality of the team, and when you are playing away if you can’t win the game, don’t lose it.”

Watch Live: Aston Villa v. West Ham

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Aston Villa host West Ham United at Villa Park on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in what promises to be an intriguing battle.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Villa have one win to their name so far this season, as Dean Smith‘s side have played well but have only got three points on the board as they sit in the relegation zone.

As for the Hammers, Manuel Pellegrini‘s side look better balanced this season and after their opening day humbling at the hands of Man City they’re unbeaten with Sebastien Haller leading the line.

In team news Villa make two changes. Anwar El Ghazi comes in for the suspended Trezeguet out wide, while Marvelous Nakamba comes in for Douglas Luiz in central midfield.

West Ham are unchanged from their 2-0 win against Norwich City before the international break.


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Premier League Preview: Aston Villa v. West Ham

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  • West Ham 9th in PL heading into Matchweek 5
  • Aston Villa, 18th in the standings, look to climb out of relegation zone

There was an international break in between to blow off some steam, but Aston Villa, sitting in the relegation zone, remain set on better days following a controversial ending to their last league game against Crystal Palace. For a team whose only win of the season has come at home, it couldn’t get much better than hosting West Ham at Villa Park on a Monday night (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Dean Smith and Co. aren’t necessarily playing bad, if anything their attack-oriented brand of play is as captivating as they get. The lack of finishing, in-game concentration and poor officiating (like against Palace), however, have not done Villa well. That said, their 2-0 victory against Everton weeks back is a testament to what they can really do on a positive night. With revenge on their mind, that can be the case against the Irons.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ] 

On the other side, after a detrimental 5-0 loss to Manchester City to start the season, West Ham have found their groove under a revamped attack. Bundesliga import, Sebastien Haller, has scored three goals in the last two games, which resulted in victories for West Ham. Currently ninth in the table with seven points, with a win at Villa Park, Manuel Pellegrini‘s side can creep right behind the defending champions. It’s a complete 180-degree turn for West Ham, and they know they need to take advantage of the situation.

Injuries/suspensions

Man United: OUT – Winston Reid (knee), Michail Antonio (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE – None

Leicester: OUT – Jonathan Kodjia (head); QUESTIONABLE – James Chester (thigh), Matt Targett (thigh); SUSPENDED – TrĂ©zĂ©guet (one match)


Projected lineups

Aston Villa: Heaton – Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Taylor – McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Grealish – Jota, Wesley, El-Ghazi

West Ham: Fabianski – Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku – Rice, Noble, Felipe Anderson, Lanzini, Yarmolenko – Haller


What they’re saying

Manuel Pelegrini, on playing Aston Villa: “We need to beat teams like Aston Villa, because last season there were a lot of teams around us that we lost to. Now we will see what happens this season. Villa is a difficult team. Their stadium is very important for them, but we go there as we do in all the other games – to try to win. Villa have had some different results, bought a lot of good players and play an attacking style. I think that they are doing well, they must adapt to the Premier League still, but they have a very good team and a manager in Dean Smith who wants to play in an attacking way.”

Dean Smith, on his player’s urgency to play and perform well: “They’re itching for that next game. There’s a burning desire from them to right the wrongs. I can sense that.The international break has given us an opportunity. For instance, we’ve been able to work a lot on our breakthrough opportunities as all of our forward players have been here.”


Prediction

Both teams don’t need extra motivation heading into Monday. It’s simply a matter of who wants the three points more. Obviously, given their position on the table, Villa could benefit more from a win than West Ham. Couple that with Villa playing in front of their vociferous and passionate crowd, and that might be the secret ingredient for the home side to squeeze out a win against what will be a challenging bout against Pellegrini’s side. Aston Villa, 2-1.

Mexicans abroad: Weekend Roundup

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Scoring a goal for Napoli against Juventus in a seven-goal thriller, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano’s Serie A debut lived up to the hype.

In England, despite Wolves’ slow league start, Raul Jimenez continues to rack up his goal count. His combined Premier League and Europa League qualifying goal count now stands at eight goals throughout 10 appearances.

Elsewhere, Chichairto, who didn’t feature for West Ham on Saturday, is on the verge of signing with Sevilla. If the reported $10 million transfer follows through, he will become the fifth active Mexican in La Liga, and the third to play for the Spanish club.

Here is a list of several other Mexico national team affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) outside of Mexico this weekend.

Serie A

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli — It’s the Lozano signature special: scoring in debuts. Like in his debuts for Pachuca and PSV Eindhoven, Chucky opened his Napoli account in his first appearance. On Saturday, the 24-year-old scored 23 minutes after coming on at halftime; however, Gli Azzurri would go on and lose 4-3 in the final seconds following a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal.

Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers — Wolves’ miserable Premier League start continues, falling 3-2 to Everton. Jimenez, who played all 90 minutes, scored his second of a young season.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, West Ham — With a return to La Liga expected to be announced on Monday, Chicharito was inactive this weekend for West Ham. Recognizing that the 31-year-old was on his way out, Manuel Pellegrini cited that an injury was the root of his absence.

La Liga

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid — La Liga is three weeks in and Hector Herrera has yet to make his La Liga debut. It’s not the start the 29-year-old expected, surely.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis — Los Verdiblancos’ captain started and played 90 minutes in Betis’ 2-1 win against Leganes. The Jalisco native recorded 81 touches, four key passes and one shot on target.

Diego Lainez, Real Betis — The 19-year-old didn’t dress for Saturday’s bout.

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Throughout 76 minutes, Araujo recorded five interceptions and two clearances in Celta’s 1-1 draw against Sevilla.

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven — Gutierrez started and played 56 minutes for PSV on Sunday in their 3-1 win over RKC Waalwijk. In the 51st minute, the midfielder was shown a yellow card. 

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Like Lozano and Jimenez, Alvarez, too, is flourishing in Europe. Midweek, Alvarez scored his first goal for the Dutch side in their Champions League qualifying victory over APOEL. On Sunday, the 21-year-old started and played all 90 minutes in Ajax’s 4-1 walloping of Sparta Rotterdam. 

Primeira Liga

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — Deployed as a right back, Corona continues to excel in Sergio Conceicao’s scheme. On Sunday, in Porto’s 4-1 win against Vitoria, he assisted Moussa Marega, who opened the scoreline.

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Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — All is well for Govea in Belgium. The midfielder started and played 90 minutes in Zulte Waregem’s 2-0 victory against Royal Antwerp.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Hector Moreno, Al Gharafa  — On Friday, Moreno started and played all 90 minutes in Al Gharafa’s 0-0 draw.

Juan Gerardo Ramirez Alosno, Roda JC — The 21-year-old fullback was left on the bench in Roda’s 1-0 loss.

Carlos Fierro, San Jose Earthquakes – Matias Almeyda has yet to hand the 25-year-old his first start. On Saturday, Fierro played the final nine minutes of San Jose’s convincing 3-0 win over Orlando City.

Carlos Vela, LAFC – LAFC take on Minnesota United on Sunday.

Jonathan Dos Santos, LA Galaxy – Dos Santos has been as reliable as they get. On Sunday, the midfielder started and played 90 minutes in Galaxy’s 4-3 loss to Seattle.

Uriel Antuna, LA Galaxy – A favorite of Tata Martino, Antuna scored a goal against the Sounders. It will play to his advantage as he and the rest of his national team prepare for Mexico’s upcoming friendlies against the USMNT and Argentina, respectively.

West Ham’s Chicharito arrives in Spain ahead of Sevilla move

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Well now we know that Manuel Pellegrini has a sly side.

Kidding aside, the West Ham boss waved goodbye to one of his strikers, as Mexican star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was captured arriving at Sevilla’s San Pablo Airport on Sunday. He is expected to be introduced formally by the club on Monday, just in time before the European transfer window deadline.

Hernandez, 31, was left out of the lineup on Saturday due to injury, Pellegrini said, but was also preparing for a return to La Liga. In 2014, on loan from Manchester United, Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer played an entire season at Real Madrid, scoring nine goals in 33 appearances throughout all competitions.

Chicharito then moved on to the Bundesliga, where he became a wrecking force for Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 39 goals in 76 appearances.

Since then, however, a lack of consistency has plagued the Guadalajara native. In Week 2, against Brighton, Hernandez scored, giving him 17 West Ham goals for his career that started back in 2017.

With Wissam Ben Yedder now at Monaco, and Dutchman Luuk De Jong as the only sign of competition, Chicharito will have his chances under manager Julen Lopetegui to regain the form that once made him an international household name.

If the transfer is completed, Chicharito will become the third Mexican to play for Sevilla, joining the likes of Gerardo Torrado and Miguel Layun.