We moved up to fifth in the Premier League with victory over Aston Villa in a pulsating match at London Stadium.
Villa’s Ollie Watkins was denied a stoppage-time equaliser after an agonising VAR wait deemed his upper arm was offside. The former Brentford man also hit the bar with a penalty as the visitors pressed for the leveller their play probably deserved.
We got off to the perfect start when Ogbonna buried a header past Emiliano Martinez inside the first two minutes. But Villa, who had won all three of their previous away games, seized control of the first half after that, Jack Grealish whipping an equaliser past Lukasz Fabianski from distance.
But Moyes rang the changes at half-time and it paid immediate dividends as substitute Said Benrahma set up Jarrod Bowen for a delightfully deft header immediately after the restart to retake the lead. Villa had plenty of chances to draw level but were left to rue Watkins’ profligacy and VAR’s ruling.
But we gratefully took the win to move to within four points of Tottenham and the Premier League summit.
When we were handsomely beaten by Newcastle on the opening day, the script was seemingly set for another season scrapping at the bottom of the Premier League.
But since that defeat, we have thumped Leicester City and Wolves, drawn with Man City and Tottenham and accrued our highest points total after 10 games in nine years.
Indeed, only Tottenham and Chelsea have conceded fewer in the league than West Ham. And we carry a threat from set-pieces too, no more evident than when Ogbonna towered above Matt Targett to open the scoring from Bowen’s corner.
We rode their luck, not least with Villa’s missed penalty and disallowed goal, but we took their chances and held on. We may have been written off earlier this season but Moyes has previous with taking unfancied sides into the upper echelons of the league.
“Our performance was not very good. We showed resilience to get the three points as Aston Villa made it really difficult for us. I don’t want us to play badly, I want us to play well but the team have been excellent generally. The small things went for us tonight, we’ll take that and move on.”West Ham boss David Moyes