Unai Emery facing Nicolo Zaniolo dilemma, Douglas Luiz makes history - Three things learned in Aston Villa v West Ham United
Aston Villa climbed up to fifth in the Premier League with a 4-1 win over West Ham at Villa Park on Sunday (22 October).
Douglas Luiz netted either side of half-time for the Villans, but Jarrod Bowen pulled one back for West Ham to potentially make things nervy.
Ollie Watkins’ strike eased any lingering nerves, however, and substitute Leon Bailey added a fourth goal to round off another impressive team display.
If the scoreline was not proof enough, Villa were deserved winners as they registered an xG of 2.02 compared to 1.15 for West Ham [SofaScore].
Here, Villa News looks at three things learned on the back of the victory on home soil.
This victory was Villa’s 11th in a row on home soil in the league in a run that started with a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace in early March.
Six clean sheets have been kept during that ongoing streak, while 31 goals have been netted at the other end – an average of 2.8 per game.
One of the key aspects to this superb form at Villa Park has been Douglas Luiz, who has now scored in six successive league games at home.
As confirmed by Opta, Douglas Luiz is the first Villa player ever to achieve that, overtaking the previous record held by Dwight Yorke.
Watkins scored and assisted against West Ham to make it eight direct goal involvements for the season in the Premier League.
That is a tally that only Erling Haaland (10) and Mohamed Salah (11) can better [FBref]- quite the company for Watkins to find himself in.
Sky Sports pointed out that Watkins has converted 20% of his chances under Emery, compared to 13% before the Spaniard arrived.
Indeed, he has been directly involved in 26 goals in 33 league games under Emery, which again only Salah (35) and Haaland (33) can better.
On a day in which Villa scored four goals, Nicolo Zaniolo struggled to truly get involved in the contest prior to being hooked in the 76th minute.
The Italian, who has had to deal with off-field issues of late, had just a solitary off-target shot and did not register any key passes [WhoScored].
His 36 touches was the same number Moussa Diaby managed, yet the Frenchman laid on four key passes for his team-mates.
To make matters worse for Zaniolo, Bailey added his name to the scoresheet late on with a goal assisted by fellow sub Youri Tielemans.
Emery will be reluctant to change a winning side, but it may well be that Bailey comes in for Zaniolo against Luton Town next weekend.
In other Aston Villa news, one player scored a 3/10 rating for his performance against West Ham.