Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, right gestures as he speaks to his players during a drinks break during their English Premier League match against West Ham United at the London Stadium in London on Sunday. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, right gestures as he speaks to his players during a drinks break during their English Premier League match against West Ham United at the London Stadium in London on Sunday. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP

Villa survive with tense draw at West Ham

By Reuters Time of article published Jul 26, 2020

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LONDON – Aston Villa preserved their Premier League status with a nerve-racking 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Sunday -- a result that meant they finished one point above the relegation zone.

Captain Jack Grealish thought he had won it for Villa when he fired past Lukasz Fabianski in the 84th minute but West Ham hit back almost immediately through Andriy Yarmolenko.

With Bournemouth winning at Everton, Dean Smith's Villa knew that defeat would send them down but they held on.

Villa had been in the bottom three since February until their midweek win over Arsenal left their fate in their own hands. While they could not grab the victory, Watford's loss at Arsenal ensured a second successive season in the top flight.

Staying up will give Aston Villa more leverage as other club circle around in order to tempt skipper Grealish away from the Birmingham club.

Reuters

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