Aston Villa 1-4 West Ham: Player ratings as Hammers destroy hosts

West Ham made it four wins in five Premier League away games with a convincing 4-1 win over 10-man Aston Villa.

Ben Johnson, Declan Rice, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen were all on the scoresheet as the Hammers cemented their place in the top four at Villa Park, with the home side's consolation goal delivered by Ollie Watkins.

The Hammers knocked Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night - ending a great week that had also seen them beat Tottenham in the Premier League and Genk in the Europa League - so it was perhaps no surprise to them fly out of the traps at Villa Park with confidence so high.

Their opening goal, against a Villa side at the opposite end of the confidence scale, did come from an unlikely source, though. Johnson was the player to get it, calmly collecting Rice's pinpoint pass to fire home with his weak foot inside the first ten minutes.

Bowen could - and perhaps should - have made it two with an effort that Matty Cash somehow got in the way of, before Villa found a way back into the game through Watkins' first-time finish.

But Dean Smith's side quickly fell behind again, this time allowing Rice to fire home from 25 yards via a deflection in off Emi Martinez's post.

Things got a whole lot worse for Villa minutes into the second period when Ezri Konsa was sent off for tripping Bowen, though West Ham will argue the hosts got off lightly - Kortney Hause could easily have seen red in the build-up of the same move after forearm smashing Fornals square on the jaw.

Down to 10-men, Villa did hit the bar as Watkins looked to draw his side level, before David Moyes' Hammers made their numerical advantage count.

Fornals got the third, tucking home into an empty net after Martinez had saved well from Bowen, before the latter got a goal of his own - unselfishly set up by Lanzini to also slide home from close range.

It was no less than West Ham deserved, with the game played out to a cacophony of noise from the away end. Here's how both sets of players rated...

Aston Villa player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Ezri Konsa saw red | James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Emiliano Martinez (GK) - 5/10 - Beaten four times, though there was little Martinez could do with any of them. Made one smart stop.

Matty Cash (RB) - 5/10 - Brightened up with Villa's backs against the wall, ensuring the hosts carried a threat. Defensively troubled, however.

Ezri Konsa (CB) - 4/10 - Saw his afternoon ended prematurely after hauling down Bowen on the edge of the box. Saw the referee's original award of a yellow card upgraded to red thanks to VAR.

Kortney Hause (CB) - 4/10 - Almost took Fornals' chin off with a nasty looking strike to the face, yet he somehow stayed on the pitch. Second best against Antonio and saw the goals pile up late-on.

Matt Targett (LB) - 5/10 - Too passive and gave Johnson far too much space to open the scoring. A handy wing-back but looks vulnerable in a four.

2. Midfielders

McGinn was one of Villa's better performers | James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

John McGinn (CM) - 6/10 - Got into his stride after a sluggish start and was clearly up for the battle against West Ham's more classy operators. Best of an average bunch.

Marvelous Nakamba (CM) - 5/10 - Second best to a number of balls, much like his teammates. Outclassed in general.

Jacob Ramsey (CM) - N/A - Rolled his ankle just 15 minutes in and was forced to limp off.

3. Forwards

Ollie Watkins was offered little support | LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

Emiliano Buendia (RW) - 5/10 - Forced his way past Pablo Fornals to set up Villa's equaliser, but was then the sacrificial lamb when Konsa was sent off. Was miffed about it, too.

Ollie Watkins (ST) - 6/10 - Took his goal smartly and came so close to a second - denied by a wonderful Fabianski stop.

Leon Bailey (LW) - 5/10 - Looked like he'd be the bright attacking start that Villa looked to, but he didn't ever really challenge Johnson - despite his inexperience. Subbed.

4. Substitutes

Ashley Young came on early on | LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

Ashley Young (15') - 5/10 - A busy display after coming on for the injured Ramsey, but showed little real quality. Flexible with the positions he played.

Tyrone Mings (52') - 6/10 - Dropped after last Friday's defeat at Arsenal, Mings was called upon after Konsa's sending off. Couldn't stem the flow.

Anwar El-Ghazi (72') - 5/10 - Barely involved after coming on.

West Ham player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Ben Johnson celebrates with Declan Rice | LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

Lukasz Fabianski (GK) - 7/10 - May feel he could have stopped Watkins' goal, but made a superb fingertip save to keep West Ham ahead.

Ben Johnson (RB) - 8/10 - Scored a fabulous goal with his weak foot and was impressive again in every aspect.

Kurt Zouma (CB) - 7/10 - Controlled, measured and solid as ever. Hilarious that his signing was ever questioned.

Angelo Ogbonna (CB) - 7/10 - Another reliable display at the back from West Ham's veteran.

Aaron Cresswell (LB) - 7/10 - Got forward in support of Said Benrahma in the first half, helping West Ham get a grip on proceedings. Dependable as ever.

6. Midfielders

Rice was the man of the match - again | Tony Marshall/GettyImages

Tomas Soucek (CM) - 7/10 - Another positive performance from Soucek, following on from his improved showing against Spurs. Energy levels look to be restored and helped West Ham take charge.

Declan Rice (CM) - 9/10 - The Hammers' commander in chief was the best player on the park again, comfortably. Everything goes through Rice, and he even added a goal and assist to his season résumé.

Pablo Fornals (CM) - 7/10 -
Didn't do enough to prevent Buendia getting to the byline for Villa's goal but ran his heart out, again. Scored the third.

7. Forwards

Bowen grabbed a late fourth | Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Jarrod Bowen (RW) - 8/10 - Gave Targett an uncomfortable afternoon and was excellent with his movement. Links up play superbly and more than deserved his goal.

Michail Antonio (ST) - 7/10 - Enjoyed the rough and tumble all day long, and consistently hounded Villa out of possession. No sights of goal but a decent, committed display nevertheless.

Said Benrahma (LW) - 6/10 - Looked to run with the ball whenever he could, though did fade out of the game a tad. Subbed.

8. Substitutes

Lanzini's cameo was decent | LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

Manuel Lanzini (64') - 7/10 - Looked sharp after coming on, playing his part in West Ham's fourth goal with some unselfish play.

Vladimir Coufal (90+1')

Nikola Vlasic (90+1')

Source : 90min