67 min Cash is booked for a scything tackle on Haller.
66 min Cash’s cross is headed over at the near post by the diving Watkins. That wasn’t much of a chance.
66 min A smart shot on the turn from Konsa, who was on his way back from a corner, is held by the diving Fabianski.
63 min: Trezeguet misses a great chance! Villa almost scored from the West Ham corner. Grealish led the break and curled a beautiful pass around the defence to find Watkins on the left side of the area. He slid a precise low cross to Trezeguet, unmarked six yards from goal. Trezeguet was so excited that he almost fell over; in the end he hit an off-balance shot that was pushed away by Fabianski. I think Trezeguet’s shot was going wide anyway, though Fabianski did extremely well to change direction and make the save.
62 min Fornals’ speculative cross hits Mings in the six-yard box and bounces over the bar.
61 min West Ham started the season with back-to-back defeats. Since then their form has been terrific: four wins, two draws (against Spurs and Manchester City) and one narrow defeat at Anfield.
59 min “Hi Rob,” says Peter Oh. “How many Premier League bookings does that make for John Terry?”
58 min Haller is fortunate to not be booked for a naughty late tackle on Mings.
58 min “I like Jarrod Bowen,” confesses Gary Naylor. “My father always said that you shouldn’t have to look for a player and he passes that test every week. Old dogs like Mourinho, Moyes and Ancelotti are proving they can still improve young players.”
57 min The game has turned a bit niggly, primarily because West Ham’s players think Jack Grealish has been diving.
56 min The effervescent Cash wins a corner for Villa. It’s too deep and cleared by Haller.
53 min Fornals is booked for a kick at Grealish. Two of the backroom staff are also booked, John Terry and someone on the West Ham bench.
51 min That double substitution means a switch to 4-2-3-1 for West Ham, presumably because David Moyes wants to match up with Villa.
50 min Grealish’s well-struck shot from an absurd angle is comfortably saved by Fabianski.
48 min Villa almost equalise for a second time. Grealish runs infield from the left, draws defenders and slides an angled ball into the path of McGinn. His shot on the run hits Cresswell and goes behind for a corner.
David Moyes made two half-time substitutions, bringing on Said Benrahma and Sebastien Haller for Antonio and Masuaku. And it was Benrahma who made the goal with a clipped cross from the left towards Bowen, who leant back and steered a fine header into the far corner.
GOAL! West Ham 2-1 Aston Villa (Bowen 46)
Jarrod Bowen scores after 29 seconds of the second half!
46 min Peep peep! Villa begin the second half.
Half time: West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa
Peep peep! Aston Villa will feel they should be ahead after having the better of the first half. They responded really well to Angelo Ogbonna’s second-minute goal, and Jack Grealish equalised after a carpe-diem surge and deflected long-range shot.
45 min Mings is robbed by Rice, 20 yards from the Villa goal. He moves the ball across to Bowen, whose shot deflects behind for a corner. This time it comes to nothing.
44 min “It’s happening again for Villa!” says Ian Copestake, who still isn’t over that 7-2 business last month. “If every deflection is bound for the net who needs tactics or a bucket to sit on.”
43 min: Hourihane hits the side netting! That was a nice effort. Hourihane played a one-two with Grealish to create a better angle for a left-footed shot. He whipped it round the wall and it brushed the side netting on its way through. Fabianski had it covered though.
43 min The free-kick is a few yards to the left of centre, perfect for Jack Grealish…
42 min Antonio is penalised for a challenge on McGinn 25 yards from goal. That’s a bit harsh – McGinn was in the process of hitting a half-volley over the bar and kicked Antonio rather than the other way round.
41 min Coufal gets a final warning after another foul on Grealish. It’s turning into a decent contest between those two.
38 min Grealish plays a good ball down the left to Targett, whose cross is miscontrolled by Hourihane. That was another decent opportunity for Villa.
37 min: Just wide from Watkins! It’s all Villa just now. The ball ricocheted around the West Ham area and came to Watkins, who improvised to bobble a shot that beat Fabianski and went just wide of the far post.
35 min West Ham are playing more like the away team, if such a thing exists in Covid football. They need more from Antonio, who hasn’t been as dynamic as usual on his return from injury.
32 min Masuaku drives a long square pass to his fellow wing-back Coufal, who spanks a shot into orbit from 20 yards.
30 min After a slow start, Villa have been the better side. There’s a slight whiff of scored-too-early about West Ham’s performance.
28 min Grealish had been quiet until that point. I’m not sure what the moral of this particularly story is.
Replays show there was a deflection on Grealish’s shot, but it was still a fine run. He moved infield to receive possession just past the centre circle, turned and ran straight at the West Ham defence. Once he got to within 25 yards of goal, Grealish lashed a shot that took a biggish deflection off Ogbonna and flew into the far corner.
GOAL! West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa (Grealish 25)
Jack Grealish equalises with a banger!
22 min Hourihane’s free-kick is pushed behind by the diving Fabianski. It was a good save, though one he’d expect to make.
21 min Trezeguet is fouled just outside the D by Cresswell, though he thought he got the ball. Grealish, Hourihane and Douglas Luiz are over the ball.
19 min: Chance for Villa Trezeguet’s tame cross-shot deflects behind for a corner. Grealish plays it short to Targett, whose floated cross is headed onto the roof of the net by Konsa. That was a decent chance.
18 min Nothing much is happening. Jack Grealish has barely touched the ball in the first 18 minutes.
17 min “Mr. Hirst, congratulations on a well-deserved win for your boys,” says Mary Waltz. “Being an Everton fan I have nothing but faith to live on, if it was a diet it would be a best seller.”
14 min West Ham look a really well-organised team. Soucek and Rice, in particular, give them great protection in midfield.
12 min West Ham continue to have the better of the game, though there haven’t been any chances since Ogbonna’s goal.
8 min “Oh Mary, ye of little faith,” says Richard Hirst, who might just be a Fulham fan. “I never doubted it (he lied). Just sad I had to follow it on the BBC, not the Guardian.”
7 min Villa’s away record this season has been brilliant, but they’ve started sluggishly tonight.
4 min “Well-placed corner,” says Mary Waltz, “but that was beer-league marking.”
GOAL! West Ham 1-0 Aston Villa (Ogbonna 2)
Bowen’s deep corner is headed in from six yards by Angelo Ogbonna! So simple. It was a towering header from Ogbonna, who had the jump on Matt Targett at the far post. Villa briefly appealed for a foul on Martinez but there was nothing in it.
2 min A long throw from Masuaku rebounds off Antonio and falls kindly for Soucek, whose fierce shot hits Cash and goes behind for a corner. From which…
2 min “Of the FA Cup draw,” says Ian Copestake, “if Marine are in the eighth tier, is anyone allowed within one hundred miles of them?”
Arf, very good.
1 min Peep peep! West Ham kick off from left to right.
The players are out on the field. Villa are in their white third kit; you know full well what colours West Ham are wearing.
“Of course no one thought Fulham would win,” says Mary Waltz. “But it is still 2020. So is anyone surprised?”
In case you missed the FA Cup draw, it’s all here.
Here’s Paul Doyle’s report on Fulham’s impressive victory at the King Power Stadium
“Evening Rob,” says Chris Drew. “Hope you are keeping well in these times. As a Villa fan, I must say that since that result against Liverpool (who we’ve now just drawn in the third round of the FA Cup), I think it can only be downhill from now on this season. Doomed would be an understatement.”
It wouldn’t really be an understatement to say Villa are doomed, would it? The loss of Barkley is a worry, though.
Leicester City 1-2 Fulham was the final score in the early Premier League game. Who knew? It means that Villa will go fourth if they win tonight, with a game in hand on the teams above them.
Michail Antonio returns for West Ham, who also have Said Benrahma on the bench. Conor Hourihane replaces the injured Ross Barkley for Villa.
West Ham (3-4-2-1) Fabianski; Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Masuaku; Bowen, Fornals; Antonio.
Substitutes: Randolph, Diop, Johnson, Lanzini, Noble, Benrahma, Haller.
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1) Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Douglas Luiz, McGinn; Trezeguet, Hourihane, Grealish; Watkins.
Substitutes: Steer, Taylor, El Mohamady, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Ramsey, Traore.
Referee Peter Bankes.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the claret and blue derby from the London Stadium. A lot has changed since West Ham and Aston Villa last met. Their 1-1 draw on the final day of the season was enough to keep Villa up, by the skin of their teeth, and ensured that West Ham would finish a place above them in 16th. Villa and West Ham were the worst of the rest.
Four months on, this is a mid-table clash. Both teams have made impressive starts to the season, and a win for either side tonight would put them fifth (or maybe fourth in Villa’s case, as Leicester are 2-0 down at home to Fulham). David Moyes and Dean Smith made some really smart summer signings, and Villa in particular look a different side to last season.
One of the main reasons for that, Ross Barkley, is out injured tonight. That’s a big blow to Villa and particularly Jack Grealish, whose burgeoning creative bromance with Barkley has been put on hold. We’ll find out in the next few minutes who his replacement will be.
Kick off 8pm.