Monday Night Football is always a mixed bag when it comes to entertainment value, with some fans enjoying the novelty of a game being played after the weekend, and others hating it. While there were certainly a few notable talking points during tonight’s encounter at Villa Park, there wasn’t all too much to scream and shout about when it comes to entertainment value as Aston Villa played out a 0-0 draw with their claret & blue rivals West Ham United.
An odd affair
Coming into the game there was certainly a tale of two seasons coming from either side, even at such an early point in the campaign. The jury was out over whether or not Villa were about to ‘do a Fulham’ by failing to thrive in the top flight after being promoted, spending a lot of money in the process. West Ham, on the other hand, seem to be on the verge of making a push for seventh in the wake of another strong summer transfer window on their part.
In the first half, though, the most notable incident actually had nothing to do with the in-play action whatsoever. Villa teammates Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings had a coming together, to the point where it actually seemed as if they were going to start fighting in the middle of the Villa Park pitch. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed, with Wesley having a header that went wide that threatened to steal the attention of the fans.
The ultimate stalemate
In the second half, Villa were given a lifeline in the form of Arthur Masuaku being sent off with just over 20 minutes remaining in the game. It seemed as if the door had been swung wide open for the home side to score late in the day and seal all three points in front of a lively crowd, but they just couldn’t quite get themselves over the finish line.
The attention for Villa will now turn towards next weekend when they face what is always a tricky trip to the Emirates where they will take on Arsenal. West Ham will also be playing in London on the very same day, as they will be hosting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side.
Aston Villa: Heaton (6.5), Taylor (7), Mings (6.5), Engels (7), Guilbert (7.5), McGinn (7), Nakamba (7), Grealish (7), El Ghazi (6.5), Wesley (6.5), Jota (6), Davis (6), Elmohamady (6.5), Luiz (6.5)
West Ham: Fabianski (7.5), Fredericks (7), Diop (7.5), Ogbonna (6.5), Masuaku (5), Rice (7.5), Yarmolenko (6), Noble (6.5), Lanzini (7), Anderson (7.5), Haller (7), Fornals (6), Balbuena (6), Zabaleta (6)
Referee: Mike Dean
Yellow Cards: Masuaku x2, Mings, Grealish, Noble
Red Cards: Masuaku
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