West Ham out of relegation zone with 1-1 draw v Villa

West Ham out of relegation zone with 1-1 draw v Villa

LONDON (Reuters) - West Ham United drew 1-1 with Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, with Said Benrahma scoring from the penalty spot to cancel out Ollie Watkins's early opener, lifting the London club back out of the relegation zone.

West Ham, who slipped into the bottom three after Everton's and Bournemouth's wins on Saturday, dominated the game but struggled to convert their chances. The result leaves them on 24 points in 17th place, while Villa remain 11th in the table.

The hosts made a bright start to the match and almost took an early lead from a set play, but Nayef Aguerd dragged his shot wide in the seventh minute, with Benrahma then firing a volley over the bar.

West Ham were made to rue their early profligacy as Villa went in front with their first real attack of the game, as in-form Watkins rose highest to head home from Alex Moreno's inch-perfect cross in the 17th minute.

That lead lasted just nine minutes, however, as Benrahma made amends by hammering his spot kick past Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez after a clumsy foul by Leon Bailey on Lucas Paqueta.

Chasing a goal that would have earned them a third league win in 2023, West Ham pumped plenty of long balls forward and crosses into the box after the break, but Villa dug in defensively and Martinez stood firm when called upon.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)