September 27, 2022

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West Ham win piles pressure on Gerrard, Newcastle snatch draw

West Ham win piles pressure on Gerrard, Newcastle snatch draw

West Ham won for the first time in the Premier League this season as their 1-0 victory piled fresh pressure on Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard, while Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin rescued a 1-1 draw at Wolves on Sunday.

David Moyes’ side arrived at Villa Park sitting bottom of the table after losing their first three games without scoring a single goal.

Pablo Fornals’ goal late in the second half ended West Ham’s wait to get off the mark as they climbed out of the relegation zone.

Fornals’ shot deflected off Villa defender Ezri Konsa and looped over keeper Emiliano Martinez to break the deadlock with 15 minutes left.

The Hammers, beaten by Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and Brighton, are now level on points with Villa, who have lost three of their first four matches.

Villa’s latest setback will only add to the scrutiny on Gerrard amid talk of dressing room unrest with the former Liverpool and England midfielder.

A midweek League Cup second round win at third-tier Bolton had given Gerrard a little breathing space.

But Villa fans are growing increasingly restless with Gerrard, who has struggled to make a sustained impact since leaving Rangers to succeed Dean Smith last season.

With matches against Premier League leaders Arsenal and champions Manchester City looming in their next two fixtures, Villa could be deeper in trouble by early September.

At Molineux, Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves gave his side the lead seven minutes before half-time when he drilled a superb strike into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

But Saint-Maximin matched Neves’ goal in the quality stakes as he blasted a brilliant equaliser in stoppage time.

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Saint-Maximin volleyed home from the edge of the area after Wolves forward Hwang Hee-chan scuffed a woeful clearance towards the French forward.

Newcastle are up to seventh place after an unbeaten start which has extended to four matches, a sequence that includes three successive draws.

They were inches away from snatching all three points in the final seconds when teenager Elliot Anderson headed a corner off the crossbar from close range.

Second-bottom Wolves remain without a win in the league after two draws and two losses.

In the day’s late game, Tottenham will bid to move their unbeaten run to four games when they visit promoted Nottingham Forest.

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