David Moyes admitted it was “not easy” for West Ham to beat Aston Villa, pointing to their opponents’ results against Liverpool and Arsenal.
Villa travelled to the London Stadium with a 100 per cent away record, but it came to an end thanks to goals from Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen early in either half.
It moves West Ham up to fifth in the table and extends their winning run to three games.
It wasn’t a straight-forward outing by any means, as West Ham’s two goals were their only shots on target. However, that made it even more pleasing for manager Moyes.
He told BBC Sport: “Big smile. It was a really difficult game for us and thankfully we got three points after the many different incidents.
“We got there in the end. Aston Villa played well tonight and we didn’t play well tonight. They’ve beaten Liverpool and Arsenal and so for us to beat them and get a couple of goals, it’s not easy.
“It’s great getting off to the [good] start in the first half. I needed us to take control after that but Aston Villa did that. I made changes at half-time; we started quite well and got the goal but Aston Villa picked it up again and in the end we were hanging in.”
Their opponents were particularly aggrieved when VAR ruled out a late equaliser for Ollie Watkins being marginally offside.
Moyes admitted West Ham were “fortunate” that the goal was overturned, but was keen to move on to the standards his side have been setting.
He added: “We got fortunate that in some way it was offside.
“I’m disappointed because I think we can and have played much better. I’m setting the standards high but I’m taking tonight’s result.
“We’ve been excellent [recently], the teams we’ve played, after 10 games it starts to give a truer reflection so I’ll be delighted if we can continue this form throughout the season.”
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Moyes building up Benrahma
The assist for the winning goal came from Said Benrahma, whom Moyes had sent on as a substitute at half-time.
It took the summer signing less than 30 seconds to make an impact with his assist. Moyes is looking forward to him getting more comfortable in the top flight.
Moyes said: “He’s come on in a few games and had assists in them. I want him to get used to the Premier League, the speed and power of it.
“We’re still building him up to the condition to be ready.”
West Ham will be able to welcome some fans to their stadium for their next game, for the first time this season. And Moyes is pleased they will be coming back to watch a winning side.
“Really looking forward to it,” he said of their return. “I feel good that they are coming back when we’re in a good place and they can come and see a good team.”
READ MORE: Smith explains why Aston Villa loss to West Ham ‘hurts’