It wasn’t one of the most entertaining matches this season, and this now makes it eight games without a win, drawing our last five and we are finding it a battle with the injuries we have.
Our injury concerns have again increased with both Cresswell and Tomkins picking up minor injuries, which could see them miss Monday’s game against the Saints.
We started the game on the back foot, not really keeping possession well enough, and we let Villa play. We let them run at us, take touches, move the ball around easily, and quite frankly it wasn’t good enough.
Gestede had a great chance to put Villa a goal ahead after a cross came in from a wide position, he met it with his head but could only manage to head wide. That should have been the wakeup call we needed, as we were losing the midfield and making them look like Barcelona.
After 35 minutes, we started to keep the ball a little better and move it around quicker, which was in return creating space in the wider areas. This showed in the second minute of added time in the first half when Antonio switched the ball to Cresswell who was in acres of space, and composed himself to hit a rocket of a shot past Guzan from about 25 yards out.
An undeserved lead, but an important one.
Moving on to the second half, we saw the introduction of Jenkinson for Tomkins, which many fans were not too keen about, but it turned out that Tomkins could not continue from an earlier injury.
We started the half brightly, having a few dangerous attacks and we looked comfortable at the back and we were pressing very well. Then we did what we shouldn’t have done, sat off and invited pressure.
Bilic decided to hold on to a one goal lead after about 55 minutes which I found a really strange decision, and we got punished. They were flying crosses in left right and centre, keeping the ball and we just sat back on the edge of our area and invited them to score.
Ogbonna brought down Gestede in the box, and although it seemed to be a harsh penalty, Ogbonna should not have put his arms on him, as any ref will give it. Ayew stepped up from the spot and sent Adrian the wrong way.
From this point on we were just praying to hold onto a draw, and in the end we did, but again we should be winning these sorts of games if we are going to stay in touch with the teams around us.
That draw puts us 10th going into the game against Southampton, who have just beaten Arsenal 4-0, so again it is going to be a tough game.
A few positives we can say about it is that Ginge looked excellent once again, and Cresswell scoring should give him a bit more confidence to get forwards more, although he did picked up a knock.
Another draw from the Hammers, but with some key players set to return very soon, hopefully we will see a change in fortune.