Moyes delight at 'lucky win' over Villa tempered by belief Hammers are capable of much better
David Moyes admitted West Ham got lucky in their Monday night win over Aston Villa – and that he was a bit disappointed by their display.
The Hammers were fast out of the traps in both halves and scored through Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen at the start of each 45 minutes.
But they were often hanging on against a slick Villa, who missed a penalty and had an injury-time equaliser ruled out for the slenderest of offsides, thanks to VAR intervention.
The Irons are up to fifth in the table after the 2-1 victory, having lost just once in seven fixtures.
“We are in a good place but I’m disappointed because we can play much better and have played much better this season,” said the Hammers’ boss.
“I’m setting the standards high. I want us to play well. If we play badly and win, I’m taking that.
“You wouldn’t have thought much [of us] if you watched the whole game, but prior to it we’ve been excellent, the games we’ve played and the teams we’ve been up against and the start we’ve had to the season. After 10 games, I think it gives you a truer reflection of where you are in the league.
“I’ll be delighted if we continue this form through the season and the next 10 games we can pick up some more points, but it’s been a really good start for us.”
Moyes added: “It was a really difficult game for us. Thankfully we got three points but there was a lot of different incidents but overall, we got there in the end.
“They certainly did [deserve something from the game]. Aston Villa played well, we didn’t play well. This is a Villa team who’ve beaten Liverpool, who’ve beaten Arsenal, unbeaten away from home and not conceding any goals, so for us to go and beat them is not easy. They’ve got a lot of good players.
“It was great getting off to that start in the first half. Then what I needed was for us to take some form of control of the game, which we didn’t go on to do, so I was disappointed at half time, so I made the change. I thought we had to somehow get a bigger foothold in the game.
“We started well again and got the goal, but then Villa picked up and made it difficult for us again and as the game went on, we were hanging in. But the resilience the players have shown is very good and we’re pleased with that.”
About the disallowed goal, Moyes said: “I’m not convinced it was the best defending we have done but we got quite fortunate in that it was given offside and we came away quite lucky with that.”
One of the key moments for West Ham was the half-time introduction of Said Benrahma. He is still finding his way after a switch from Brentford but laid on the winner against Fulham in the previous home match and this time played in the cross for Bowen’s decisive goal.
“He’s come in two games and had an assist in them, which is really important,” Moyes said.
“I want him to get used to it and you can see there’s still lots of his game where he’s going to have to get used to the Premier League – the speed of it, and the power. We’ve got a bit of time here. We’re still building him up and getting him to the condition we think to be ready.”