Premier League
Aston VillaAston Villa1West HamWest Ham United1

Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham United

By Aimee LewisBBC Sport
Aaron Cresswell

A Jordan Ayew penalty helped bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa come from behind to earn a draw against a West Ham team which has not won since 24 October.

In an evenly contested game, Villa twice went close in the first half through Rudy Gestede before Aaron Cresswell scored with a low strike.

The spirited hosts levelled through Ayew after Gestede was clumsily felled by Angelo Ogbonna.

As Villa searched for the winner, Alan Hutton went close with a header.

But the right-back's effort was cleared by James Collins as West Ham held on for their fifth successive draw to remain ninth in the league.

Garde remains winless

Villa have now battled back to earn a point in successive league matches, but Remi Garde's team desperately need to start collecting three points if they are to overcome the odds and maintain their Premier League status.

Garde has yet to oversee a Villa victory since succeeding Tim Sherwood as manager at the beginning of November, although there may be some solace in the desire his side displayed against a well-organised West Ham side despite falling behind just before half-time.

The grim reality, however, is that Villa have not won since the opening day of the season and are now 10 matches without a win at Villa Park and nine points from safety.

Only three of the previous 23 sides who were bottom of the Premier League on Christmas Day have avoided relegation, although the last two sides in that position - Leicester in 2014 and Sunderland in 2013 - did both survive.

Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham
Aston Villa enjoyed plenty of possession against West Ham

Hammers masters of the draw

Although Villa fans might look at their mid-table rivals with envy, Slaven Bilic's side are enduring a slump of their own slump after promising early-season form.

The Londoners' winless run has coincided with the absence of the injured Dimitri Payet - scorer of five goals in an impressive start since his arrival from Marseilles - and the France international's return in the New Year will be welcomed by Bilic's injury-hit side.

West Ham are defensively sound - enjoying three successive clean sheets prior to this match - but currently lack cutting edge in front of goal.

Not many sides would have been as obliging as Villa in giving Cresswell the freedom to roam down the left, before cutting inside and striking low into the far corner from the edge of the box to end West Ham's 388-minute goal drought.

The Hammers had their chances, with Cheikhou Kouyate hitting the crossbar before Cresswell opened the scoring, but a draw was a fair result as the visitors' verve died away after the break and the hosts came back into it.

Man of the match - Jordan Ayew

Jordan Ayew scores for Aston Villa
Gestede was instrumental for Villa, but it was Ayew who led the hosts' attack and scored a great penalty to give his team hope of survival. The 24-year-old summer signing has now scored five goals for Villa in nine games and was adventurous and industrious.

What the managers said

Aston Villa boss Remi Garde: "I knew this game was crucial for us. I wanted to win. A draw was not the goal for this game.

Remi Garde 'sad' for his players after draw

"We only missed the points. What we put into this game was probably the best we can do. I think we deserved more than we got. I am frustrated and also a bit sad for my players.

"We are still in a very bad position but when I see my team play it's very encouraging. The performance we gave was not a bottom one. We have to score goals and be more efficient in the offensive parts."

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on Villa's penalty: "I am not happy with that of course. From my point of view I saw Rudy Gestede was pulling Ogbonna's shirt. With that it gained him an advantage and he got in front of Angelo. For me it was a foul.

Draw was a fair result - Slaven Bilic

"He gave a penalty but if he gave that he should have given a penalty for one of the handballs for us. Unfortunately, he didn't.

"It's mixed emotions for us. When you are leading 1-0 at half-time against a team which is fighting for their lives and nervous, you expect to win the game.

"They scored a penalty and then got the momentum so it was a fair point. With the injuries and everything that happened we showed good character. We got a point away from home which is good. Hopefully we will have a few players back very soon."

Karen Brady tweet
West Ham chief executive Karren Brady, a former managing director of Birmingham City, was at Villa Park

The stats you need to know

  • Aston Villa are now winless in 17 Premier League games - only four teams have ever had a longer run in the division (Derby 32, Sunderland 26, Norwich 21 and Nottingham Forest 19 - QPR also had a run of 17).
  • West Ham have recorded five successive top-flight draws for the first time since October 1968.
  • Aaron Cresswell scored his first Premier League goal since April and his first for the Hammers away from Upton Park.
  • Aston Villa have won just one of their past 15 games on Boxing Day (Won 1, Drawn 5, Lost 9).
  • The Hammers have earned 16 points on the road so far this season, the same tally as in the whole of last season.

What next?

Prior to this match, Garde had said his team needed "at least 10 victories" from their remaining 21 matches to avoid relegation, and one of those victories must surely come against fellow strugglers Norwich on Monday.

On the same day, West Ham will hope to end their eight-match winless run against a Southampton side which enjoyed a thumping 4-0 win over Arsenal on Boxing Day.

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Guzan
  • 21HuttonBooked at 78mins
  • 5Okore
  • 16LescottBooked at 90mins
  • 7BacunaBooked at 11mins
  • 15Westwood
  • 24C SánchezSubstituted forGilat 38'minutes
  • 17VeretoutSubstituted forTraoréat 83'minutes
  • 8Gueye
  • 39Gestede
  • 19J Ayew

Substitutes

  • 6Clark
  • 9Sinclair
  • 18Richardson
  • 20Traoré
  • 25Gil
  • 31Bunn
  • 40Grealish

West Ham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Adrián
  • 5TomkinsSubstituted forJenkinsonat 45'minutes
  • 19CollinsBooked at 58mins
  • 21OgbonnaBooked at 12mins
  • 3CresswellSubstituted forSongat 75'minutes
  • 14Obiang
  • 8KouyatéBooked at 74mins
  • 30Antonio
  • 16Noble
  • 10ZárateSubstituted forOxfordat 85'minutes
  • 11E Valencia

Substitutes

  • 1Randolph
  • 4Song
  • 12Jenkinson
  • 33Hendrie
  • 35Oxford
  • 39Cullen
  • 40Parfitt-Williams
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
38,193

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamWest Ham
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home9
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 1, West Ham United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, West Ham United 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Brad Guzan.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Enner Valencia (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  5. Booking

    Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa).

  7. Post update

    Michail Antonio (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Mark Noble (West Ham United).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa).

  11. Post update

    James Collins (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Adama Traoré (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Reece Oxford (West Ham United).

  14. Post update

    Carles Gil (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Alexandre Song (West Ham United).

  16. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Cheikhou Kouyaté.

  17. Post update

    Offside, West Ham United. Reece Oxford tries a through ball, but Michail Antonio is caught offside.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Reece Oxford replaces Mauro Zárate.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Adama Traoré replaces Jordan Veretout.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Pedro Obiang (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.