Generally speaking any draw away from home in the Premier League for West Ham United is a good one.
In the context of the match at Aston Villa on Monday night – where Arthur Masuaku was harshly sent off – it could be a great one.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side were solid but unspectacular and sit eighth in the Premier League with the point gained.
But how did Pellegrini’s player’s perform.
West Ham, Pellegrini, Villa and fans rated
Here’s our Hammers News no filter ratings from the trip to Villa Park.
Manuel Pellegrini: 7
Did the right thing by keeping the same team that had beaten Norwich last time out. Also made the sensible – if slightly unpopular – call to replace Felipe Anderson with Pablo Zabaleta following Masuaku’s sending off. West Ham finished the better team and earned their point.
Lukasz Fabianski: 9
Is he ever any lower than a 9? Fabianski was once again top class and well on his way to going down as one of West Ham’s great goalkeepers. The Pole made a number of excellent stops but it is his calm, assured all round play that really catches the eye.
Ryan Fredericks: 7
Much better from Fredericks who looks to be finding his feet again. Very much a confidence player, the right back was solid while also offering an outlet with his pace down the right. Might have had a late penalty on another day but overall a solid display.
Rolls Rice and Arthur rash
Issa Diop: 9
Did not put a foot wrong and was immense, particularly when West Ham went down to 10 men.
Angelo Ogbonna: 8
The Italian was just as good as Diop and handled Wesley well. A key figure in West Ham’s defensive excellence at Villa Park. Did get the odd rush of blood charging into midfield to win second balls which could have cost the East Londoner’s against a better team. Otherwise excellent.
Arthur Masuaku: 5
Would have got a 6 but for his sending off. The second yellow was harsh but having already been on a booking – and having been warned by Pellegrini at half-time to be careful not to play into Villa’s hands – Masuaku did just that. Rushing into a tackle instead of jockeying could have proved costly for West Ham. Arthur can be a liability at times. His rash decision making has earned him a deserved reputation.
Declan Rice: 9 – MOTM
Sky Sports’ “award-winning” Monday Night Football show didn’t bother handing out a man of the match award, or interviewing either manager, or even discussing the game to any great degree afterwards. But Rice was fantastic completing the most tackles and interceptions while also boasting the highest passing accuracy.
Mark Noble: 8
Good old Mr consistent was at it again. Noble’s efforts were curtailed somewhat by his first half booking. But he used all his experience to help get West Ham over the line and showed some amazing touches on the attack including a John Moncur-esque Cruyff turn that even the great men themselves would have been proud of.
Felipe Anderson: 6
Very economical with the ball and kept probing Villa but last night was one of those games where Anderson just didn’t look like he could be bothered to really bust a gut to make something happen. Time and again did not fancy taking on his man.
Manuel Lanzini: 6
Like Anderson, Lanzini was neat and tidy on the ball but his job is to create chances and he failed to do that. Everyone loves Lanzini and it is easy to see why. But he must produce on a consistent level if he is to help the Hammers progress and challenge the top six.
Andriy Yarmolenko: 5
After his Norwich heroics, Yarmolenko fell back down to earth with a lacklustre display where he just did not get going. Was substituted for Pablo Fornals, a change which perhaps should have happened at half-time.
Sebastien Haller: 8
At times Haller looks like he can be lazy. I prefer to see it as an intelligent use of energy in the lone striker role. Haller’s all round game was excellent and a couple of brave Villa blocks denied him a fourth goal in as many games. He was blowing towards the end and perhaps needs to get a touch fitter to really start firing in this frenetic Premier League of ours.
Pablo Zabaleta: 7
The veteran was excellent when he entered the fray. Coming on for Anderson, the Argentine was charging up and down the left hand side as Masuaku’s replacement. Literally rolling back the years and puts himself in the box seat to start against Manchester United on Sunday.
Pablo Fornals: 7
Another excellent sub display. Pellegrini will surely give Fornals his first start for West Ham against Manchester United. The £24million midfielder has barely been used so far. In fairness to Pellegrini, Fornals has looked somewhat lightweight. But his display at Villa Park could be a watershed moment for his Hammers career.
Fabian Balbuena: 6
Only on for the last few moments to see out the point.
Aston Villa: 6
A decent outfit that lacks any genuine top class operators. Will be more than fine this season.
Villa Park: 6
Rocking for spells and will have reminded West Ham fans of their beloved Upton Park. Chants of “Your support is… (not very good)” from West Ham fans says it was quiet for spells. But overall a good atmosphere.
Mike Dean: 1
The least said the better.
West Ham fans: 10
Packed the away end as always, loud throughout, praised by the commentators on Sky Sports and renewed the rivalry with John Terry.