BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — West Ham recorded their first points and first goal of the Premier League season with a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday.
Pablo Fornals’ curling second-half strike was enough to see the Hammers open their account for a top-flight campaign after losses to Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and Brighton.
That will ease some of the pressure on West Ham manager David Moyes but increase the pressure on rival Steven Gerrard, whose side were shut down at full-time.
Villa thought they had taken the lead in the 14th minute, but Ezeri Konsa’s goal was disallowed as Lucas Deegan’s corner kick was ruled out of play.
Ollie Watkins was a constant threat for Villa early on and saw a shot deflected behind by Kurt Zouma before another Tim Sarder was easy for Lukasz Fabianski in the visitors’ goal.
For all the huffing and puffing of Gerrard’s side, they had little to show for the West Ham Storm in terms of clear-cut chances. Gianluca Scamacca, on his first Premier League start, helped the defense head home a dangerous free-kick from Douglas Luiz.
Moyes was forced to withdraw Ben Johnson at half-time due to injury and made another change for the second half with Said Binrahman replacing new starter Emerson Palmieri, with the Hammers back to their best 4-2- 3-1 went to formation.
This immediately boosted their performance and the audience had to score in 56.
Farnells played through Jarrod Bowen after John McGinn’s slip but the England international was reluctant on the ball and Deegan produced a superb sliding tackle after good early work by fellow full-back Matty Cash.
A neat couple between Tomas Susic and Scamacca saw the final test of Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez just past the hour mark but the Italian was taken off for Mikel Antonio soon after.
The Hammers remained the side on the rise and with 16 minutes remaining, Farnells opened the scoring at Villa Park.
Zouma brought the ball forward and found captain Declan Rice, who picked out Fornals and the Spaniard’s 25-yard effort deflected off Consa and Martinez looped to put West Ham ahead.
Villa tried to respond quickly and cashed in but Gerrard’s side were consigned to their third defeat of the season. Villa are level with West Ham on three points after four games.
St Maximin’s Amazing Salvages drew for Newcastle at Wolves
WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) — Alan Saint-Maximin’s stunning 90th-minute equalizer held Newcastle to a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton on Sunday, saving an unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
In fact, Newcastle almost turned the game around in stoppage time with Elliott Anderson hitting the crossbar. Ruben Neves’ first-half header gave Wolves the lead.
Newcastle needed Saint-Maximin to produce as Eddie Howe was unable to appeal to new £70m signing Alexander Isak, with the Sweden international yet to receive his work permit, while Bruno Guimaraes and Callum Wilson are injured.
The point does little to raise hopes at Molineux as Wolves are still looking for their first Premier League win of the season.
Newcastle threatened first when Jose Sa crossed Chris Wood in the opening five minutes after the striker latched on to a loose ball that went past the goalkeeper.
At the other end, Pedro Nieto picked up Goncalo Guedez’s cross after Neves’ superb crossfield pass.
While Neves produced quality in midfield, his team-mates were nervous at the back and an indecisive decision after 12 minutes almost cost them.
Wood’s shot was blocked and fell to Joe Wilke but with only a flick of the wrist, the midfielder steered wide from six yards.
Newcastle looked the more dangerous side but almost gifted Wolves a goal when Kieran Trippier carelessly lost possession to Raul Jimenez, who had time to pick out the unmarked Matthews Nunes, only to score a club record. For that leads to a large extent.
It gave Wolves a boost as the hosts began to find some momentum, which was capped by a trademark rocket from Nevis seven minutes before the break. Neto spread play on the left to Guedes, who played the ball inside to Neves and the midfielder unleashed a wonderful low drive into Nick Pope’s bottom corner from 25 yards.
The visitors then seemed to lose their early enthusiasm and seemed bereft of ideas, while Wolves became comfortable with their lead and defended strongly.
The home side thought they had doubled their lead with just 10 minutes remaining to see Jimenez’s goal disallowed for a foul in the build-up by Neto.
Newcastle then took full advantage of a last-minute comeback.
Under pressure from Jacob Murphy, Hwang Hee-chan sliced a clearance in the air and it slipped for Saint Maximin to fire a stunning volley into the corner from 20 yards.
There was still time for France to test Sa as Newcastle suddenly went for the winner and Anderson’s header went off the bar at the close.