Premier League
West HamWest Ham United1Aston VillaAston Villa1

West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa: Villa survive relegation with final-day draw

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
Jack Grealish (centre) and team-mates celebrate
Grealish's goal was his 10th of an impressive season

Aston Villa will play Premier League football next season after a draw at West Ham was enough to ensure they escaped relegation on the final day of the campaign.

Hometown hero and captain Jack Grealish looked to have sealed a win for Villa with a powerful strike in the 84th minute, but Andriy Yarmolenko's deflected leveller soon after made it a nervy finale for the visitors.

They hung on though and the point, coupled with a defeat for Watford at Arsenal, ensured Villa's survival and consigned the Hornets to the Championship next season along with Bournemouth, whose win at Everton was not enough.

It caps an impressive end to the season for Dean Smith's side, who were seven points from safety two weeks ago but then put together their first four-game unbeaten run of 2019-20 to survive.

It was a game of few chances at the London Stadium, although the in-form Michail Antonio would have made Villa's afternoon a lot more tense had he not blazed a shot wide with just the keeper to beat in the first half.

West Ham secured their own Premier League place for 2020-21 with a draw at Manchester United on Wednesday and end the season in 16th.

Grealish is Villa's talisman to the end

West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa: Emotional Dean Smith proud to have kept Villans up

Possessing only a goal difference advantage of one over Watford, Villa came into this tense final day with all possibilities on the table - even the prospect that they might lose and stay up, or win and go down.

That this situation even existed in the first place is a feather in the cap of Smith's side, who fought hard despite seemingly looking doomed to the drop.

A long way from safety and on a three-game losing streak heading into their game against Crystal Palace on 12 July, they beat the Eagles, drew at Everton and then recorded a win over Arsenal to edge ahead of the faltering Hornets.

This final point sealed a second-successive season in the top-flight and to some extent justified the lavish spending they undertook last summer.

In the end, though, it was one of their own who stood head and shoulders above the rest to earn them the point they needed.

Grealish was neat and energetic without being spectacular for much of the game but came alive when he was needed.

Soon after dancing through the Hammers defence and seeing a shot deflected wide, he went one better, finding space on the edge of the box before firing in.

That should have been the end of it, but West Ham provided one final scare for Villa at the end of what has been a dramatic, rollercoaster season.

Inevitably, Villa will have to spend a portion of the upcoming truncated off-season dealing with rumours linking Grealish with a move away from the club.

But at least they will now be able to negotiate from a relative position of strength as a top-flight club.

Hammers earn their bit of luck

West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa: Draw was a fair result - David Moyes

Having already secured their place in the Premier League next season, there was a risk that West Ham's players might have played within themselves on Sunday.

Villa boss Smith asserted beforehand that his opposite number David Moyes would not allow this from his players and he was proven right.

The Hammers were not at the level that has seen them take seven points from their last three games, but they certainly weren't already on the beach.

The biggest testament to this is the manner in which they rallied after conceding so late, when they could have been excused just allowing the clock to run down on a slim defeat.

Their equaliser - coming just a minute or so after Villa's opener - owed plenty to fortune, with Yarmolenko's effort from range looping up off Grealish, over Pepe Reina and in.

But it was a moment of luck to cap what has been an impressive last four games of a campaign that has lurched between crises but has set them up a stable off-season and a fresh start to 2020-21.

Man of the match - Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)

Jack Grealish
Who else? Grealish has been Villa's stand-out player this season and stood up when it counted again at West Ham

'My dad will be looking down on us'

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "When Jack scores you think 'That's it we're safe' but a deflection made it a little bit nervous, but we saw it out well.

"I'm immensely proud and I've said that in the dressing room. We now look like Premier League players.

"My whole family are in the living room watching together. It's been emotional because I lost my father to coronavirus. I'm sure he'll be looking down on us."

West Ham boss David Moyes, speaking to BBC Sport: "We didn't play so well today but if you put it in perspective the players have done a brilliant job. Today was a bit of a chance to play. But we were playing against an opponent with a lot to play for. A draw is about fair.

"We are trying to get a young, fresh group of players and they have done really well for us. Today is another experience for them. Every game in football matters. The standards they have set since lockdown have been really good."

Villa fail to collect a clean sheet on the road

  • Aston Villa's point means they have survived relegation from the Premier League, despite failing to keep a clean sheet away from home all season - only the 10th time this has happened in a Premier League campaign.
  • West Ham have finished this Premier League season with 39 points - their lowest in a top-flight campaign since 2010-11 (33) when they finished bottom of the table.
  • In 19 games under David Moyes, West Ham recorded one more Premier League point (20) than they managed in their 19 previous games this season under Manuel Pellegrini (19).
  • Jack Grealish's opener was his 10th goal of the season for Aston Villa; the club's outright top scorer in all competitions in 2019-20.
  • West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has become the fourth player to play every minute of a Premier League season aged 21 or younger - along with Gary Kelly (1993/94), Frank Lampard (1998/99) and Wayne Bridge (2001/01 and 2001/02).
  • Exactly 100 seconds separated Jack Grealish's opener for Aston Villa and Andriy Yarmolenko's equaliser for West Ham.

Line-ups

West Ham

  • 1Fabianski
  • 24FredericksBooked at 51mins
  • 23Diop
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 53Johnson
  • 28Soucek
  • 41Rice
  • 17BowenSubstituted forYarmolenkoat 45'minutes
  • 16NobleSubstituted forFelipe Andersonat 87'minutes
  • 18FornalsSubstituted forLanziniat 67'minutes
  • 30AntonioBooked at 23minsSubstituted forHallerat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Balbuena
  • 7Yarmolenko
  • 8Felipe Anderson
  • 10Lanzini
  • 19Wilshere
  • 22Haller
  • 32Costa Silva
  • 35Randolph
  • 54Coventry

Aston Villa

  • 29Reina
  • 24GuilbertSubstituted forHauseat 76'minutes
  • 15Konsa
  • 40Mings
  • 18Targett
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 17TrézéguetSubstituted forEl Ghaziat 90'minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 14HourihaneSubstituted forNakambaat 76'minutes
  • 10Grealish
  • 20SamattaBooked at 41minsSubstituted forDavisat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 8Lansbury
  • 11Nakamba
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 23Jota
  • 25Nyland
  • 30Hause
  • 36Vassilev
  • 39Davis
Referee:
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamWest HamAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home10
Away13
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home0
Away7
Fouls
Home16
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

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

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Andriy Yarmolenko.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Angelo Ogbonna.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Anwar El Ghazi replaces Trézéguet.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Sébastien Haller (West Ham United).

  8. Post update

    Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Trézéguet (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  10. Post update

    Ben Johnson (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Trézéguet (Aston Villa).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Felipe Anderson replaces Mark Noble.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! West Ham United 1, Aston Villa 1. Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Declan Rice.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! West Ham United 0, Aston Villa 1. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by John McGinn.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by John McGinn (Aston Villa).

  19. Post update

    Issa Diop (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Keinan Davis (Aston Villa).

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