The Warm Down: Villa suffer VAR heartbreak in London
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa reacts after VAR rules his goal offside during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Aston Villa at London Stadium on November 30, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Aston Villa fell to their first defeat on the road on Monday evening as West Ham United ran out 2-1 winners.

Angelo Ogbonna headed the Hammers into the lead after only two minutes, before Jack Grealish whipped the ball past Lukasz Fabianski after the visitors pilled the pressure.

David Moyes introduced Sebastien Haller and Said Benrahma at half-time, and the changes paid off as Benrahma's chip was directed towards goal by Jarrod Bowen to restore the hosts' lead.

Villa were handed a huge chance to draw level for the second time, but Ollie Watkins failed to convert from 12 yards out before harshly having his goal ruled out in injury-time.

Villa need more of their wingers

Grealish netted his fifth goal in nine Premier League games on Monday, with a sensational strike in the first-half at the Olympic Stadium.

The side's captain has been a revelation so far this season, helping Villa sit 10th after nine games.

However, one thing that will worry Dean Smith is the lack of goals from his other wingers.

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Trezeguet played 74 minutes against Moyes' side, making nine passes and created one chance. Out of his 13 duels, the Egyptian lost eight on a frustrating evening for him.

After being played in by Watkins, the winger got his effort all wrong and was denied by Fabianski from four-yards out.

Both Anwar El-Ghazi and Bertrand Traore struggled to make a difference, with the latter seeing shot arrow straight at the hosts' keeper.

Either has scored since the 3-0 win at Bristol City in the EFL Cup in September.

VAR continues to cause controversy

Like most week's, VAR managed to spark controversy in different ways after disallowing Watkins' late equaliser.

After a lengthy check, the goal was ruled out and it was clear that the Villa players' had been hit a blow.

The technology, which was originally brought in to award decisions that were clear and obvious, has continued to receive criticism this season.

When looking at the still picture for Watkins' goal, the frustration within the Villa changing room wouldn't be hard to tell. 

Villa have now lost their last two games, with only one victory in their previous five. After winning their opening four league games, they are currently dropping their standards.

However, their next five fixtures will fill Smith with the confidence of rising in the table ahead of 2021.

Next up, they will host Newcastle United at Villa Park, a fixture they have not lost since September 2013.

A tricky trip to Molineux to face Wolves follows, before hosting Burnley and travelling to West Bromwich Albion in the space off three days.

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On Boxing Day, Villa host another side they have not lost at home to since 2013, Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson's side currently sits 15th after suffering defeats in their previous two games.

Getting maximum points in this run of fixtures will be vital as they then face Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.

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