Aston Villa's 4-1 Triumph Against West Ham in Premier League
Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United at Villa Park on October 22, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Image-Getty)
Two goals from Douglas Luiz helped a rampant Aston Villa to a 4-1 victory against visitors West Ham United and moved the Midlands club into fifth spot in the Premier League on Sunday.
Luiz struck either side of halftime, his second goal from the penalty spot, to put Unai Emery's side in control on their way to an 11th successive home league win.
A deflected shot by Jarrod Bowen offered the visitors a lifeline and they threatened to draw level before Ollie Watkins struck with an exquisite finish after a counter-attack.
Leon Bailey came off the bench to put the icing on the cake with a superb fourth goal late on after cutting in from the right.
High-flying Villa are unbeaten in five league games and have 19 points from nine games, two points off leaders Manchester City.
West Ham are in ninth place on 14 points.
Spaniard Emery has been at Villa Park almost exactly a year and has turned them from team looking over their shoulders at the bottom three into a side capable of challenging at the top.
They finished seventh last season to qualify for Europe and this time look capable of exceeding that.
Key to that turnaround has been Villa's form at Villa Park.
They have scored 17 goals in their four home league games this season, more than any other club in the top flight, conceding just three in the process.
What is more, since Villa appointed former Arsenal boss Emery they have accumulated 68 points, a total bettered only by Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
"We are trying to be positive and play in our style. We did well across the 90 minutes and imposed ourselves," Emery said.
"For me, to play at home is always something special. We are feeling very good at home with our fans."
Apart from a couple of spells on Sunday, West Ham were no match for the free-flowing Villa.
Villa peppered West Ham's goal early on, with Alphonse Areola making a superb save to keep out a Luiz curler before Watkins wasted a golden chance to open the scoring.
The England striker made amends though with an astute pass to Luiz who fired a low shot past Areola in the 30th minute.
Luiz is the first Villa player to score in six straight home Premier League games and he doubled their lead when he tucked away a penalty in the 51st after Ezri Konsa was fouled.
Bowen replied for West Ham five minutes later when his shot took a big deflection off Pau Torres and spun past keeper Emiliano Martinez.
For a while West Ham looked dangerous but when Watkins was released by John McGinn's long pass the England forward burst into the area, slamming a shot into the roof of the net and the West Ham resistance was broken.
Bailey then joined the party with a superb curling finish with his left foot after cutting in from the right.
"Just a bad day and one that we go away now and reflect on and become hard to beat again," West Ham's James Ward-Prowse said. "It's in West Ham's DNA, to not be beaten easily."