2022-23 English Premier League
  • Pablo Fornals (74')

West Ham earn first PL win of season with Pablo Fornals winner at Aston Villa

West Ham United earned their first win of the 2022-23 Premier League season as a deflected effort by Pablo Fornals sealed a 1-0 victory at Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Spaniard took aim from just outside the box in the 74th minute and his effort looped in after hitting Villa's Ezri Konsa.

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It was reward for an improved second-half performance by West Ham who offered little before the break.

Villa were hardly much better in a turgid first half although they did have the ball in the net early on when Konsa got on the end of a Lucas Digne corner but the ball had rightly been adjudged to have gone out of play.

The victory lifted West Ham off the foot of the table into 17th place with three points, the same as Villa.

Had they been beaten without scoring West Ham would have become only the second team in the Premier League era not to register a goal or a point in their opening four fixtures, the other being Crystal Palace in 2017-18.

"It's a great three points. The Premier League is tough at the moment. There's very little between the teams, games are really tight and that's the way it was today," West Ham manager David Moyes said.

"Any win away from home is a really good result. We've had a really good two-and-a-half years so any external voices should be talking about that."

While Moyes was relieved to get West Ham's season up and running, the focus shifted to Villa boss Steven Gerrard whose side have lost three of their opening four games.

Villa face an uphill battle to turn around their form, though, as they face Premier League leaders Arsenal on Wednesday and host champions Manchester City in their next two games.

To add to his woes, midfielder Philippe Coutinho was forced off with an injury.

English Premier League Standings

1 Arsenal 28 +40 69
2 Manchester City 27 +42 61
3 Manchester United 26 +6 50
4 Tottenham Hotspur 28 +12 49
5 Newcastle United 26 +20 47
6 Liverpool 26 +18 42
7 Brighton & Hove Albion 25 +15 42
8 Brentford 27 +9 42
9 Fulham 27 +1 39
10 Chelsea 27 +1 38
11 Aston Villa 27 -4 38
12 Crystal Palace 28 -16 27
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 28 -19 27
14 Leeds United 27 -9 26
15 Everton 28 -18 26
16 Nottingham Forest 27 -27 26
17 Leicester City 27 -9 25
18 West Ham United 26 -10 24
19 AFC Bournemouth 27 -29 24
20 Southampton 28 -23 23