Premier League: West Ham move up to 4th place
West Ham’s Declan Rice scored a fine goal from a distance as the rampant Londoners breezed past Aston Villa 4-1 in their Premier League clash at Villa Park on Sunday, to pile up the pressure on home manager Dean Smith.
West Ham are fourth in the standings with 20 points — behind champions Manchester City on goal difference — after 10 games. The visitors went ahead in the seventh minute when full back Ben Johnson cut inside from the right and fired a brilliant left-footed shot into the far corner.
Jarrod Bowen almost doubled the lead minutes later from a rapid counter-attack before Villa equalised in the 34th through Ollie Watkins, who finished with aplomb following a reverse pass from Matty Cash.
West Ham, however, kept up the pressure and were rewarded when Rice restored their lead before halftime.
The home side’s hopes of a comeback suffered a blow when Ezri Konsa was sent off almost immediately after the restart.
Villa rallied valiantly and created a string of chances but were caught twice on the break, with Pablo Fornals and Bowen each finishing off slick counter-attacking moves and putting the game beyond Villa’s reach.
Second-half goals from Raphinha and Rodrigo Moreno earned Leeds United a 2-1 win away at Norwich City, keeping the visitors out of the relegation zone and the home side nailed to the bottom of the table after 10 matches.
Leeds are now 17th with 10 points, three above 18th-placed Burnley, while promoted Norwich were left propping up the table on two points.