Antonio strikes again as Hammers deal blow to West Brom survival bid

Antonio, who scored the only goal of the game against Burnley at the weekend, struck again as the Hammers climbed to seventh following a 2-1 win.

The controversy started however before a ball was kicked with the omission of Robert Snodgrass from the West Brom squad. The Scot had impressed in the Baggies 3-2 victory over Wolves at the weekend but was left a spectator because of an agreement between his new employers and the Hammers with the Premier League now reportedly “looking into” the matter.

The story on the pitch was better for West Ham who had plenty of the ball in the first half but struggled to breakdown Allardyce’s defensive line.

Craig Dawson perhaps should have opened the scoring against his former side but planted a free header wide at the far post from a corner and just when the first half was meandering towards a goalless conclusion, Vladimir Coufal burst into the area from the right.

The Czech full-back drilled in a cross which Bowen, with little time to react, managed to divert in with his chest from four yards out.

Early in the second half Lukasz Fabianski kept out Conor Gallagher’s angled shot, but moments later the Poland keeper was beaten. West Ham’s defence backed off Pereira as he reached the edge of the box and the Brazilian winger made them pay with a low shot which arrowed into the bottom corner drawing the game level – despite calls from the West Ham defence that Gallagher was interfering with play in an offside position.

West Ham continued to press for the winner and it arrived on the 65th minute when Aaron Cresswell’s cross found the head of substitute Andriy Yarmolenko. His header back into the danger zone was heading behind Antonio but he twisted his body well to hook the ball in from six yards out.

The Baggies rallied late on with a series of freekicks pumped high into the West Ham area but they came to nothing and West Ham win their first four fixtures in a calendar year for the first time since 1958 whilst West Brom remain 5 points from safety in the Premier League.

West Ham United 2 – 1 West Bromich Albion.

Aston Villa set for Premier League relegation decider at West Ham

This fixture could easily have been a relegation showdown on the final day, but West Ham’s recent revival means the Hammers already safe.

For Villa, a crucial win over Arsenal last time out, alongside Watford’s defeat to Manchester City, means they move out of the relegation zone for the first time since November.

Villa must better Watford’s result at Arsenal – in both points and goals – if Dean Smith’s want to preserve their Premier League position.

Any two of Watford, Bournemouth or Aston Villa face the drop going into Sunday – and a Villa win is vital to offer the best chance of survival.

Smith will be without long term absentees Wesley, Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels and Ahmed Elmohamady through injury, but Neil Taylor could be fit in time to play, with the Welsh international set for a late fitness test.

West Ham meanwhile have the pressure off this weekend, with David Moyes set to rotate his side, in the likely absence of Robert Snodgrass, Jarrod Bowen and Aaron Creswell against Villa.

West Ham United v Aston Villa at the London Stadium is a 4pm kick off on Sunday, July 26.