Mings clashes with Villa teammate El Ghazi in West Ham draw

Mings clashes with Villa teammate El Ghazi in West Ham draw

BIRMINGHAM: Aston Villa duo Tyrone Mings and Anwar El Ghazi were involved in a furious clash and West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku was sent off in a separate incident during Monday’s fiery 0-0 draw.

Mings and El Ghazi lost their cool in the first half at Villa Park and had to be dragged away by team-mates after West Ham nearly took the lead. The pair escaped punishment for their row, but Masuaku was not so fortunate as he saw red for a second booking after half-time.

Villa were unable to make their numerical advantage pay off and had to settle for a stalemate that left the spotlight on the bust-up between Mings and El Ghazi. Villa defender Mings had blocked a cross that he felt Dutch midfielder El Ghazi allowed to come in too easily.

El Ghazi was angry enough with the criticism to brush his head against Mings’ forehead as the pair went face to face. They were pulled away by team-mates but stood glaring at each other inside the penalty area as Mings pointed an accusing finger at El Ghazi.

Referee Mike Dean urged them to calm down after consulting VAR to check there was not a red card offence and play eventually resumed with Villa manager Dean Smith wearing a bemused expression on the touchline.

Smith insisted the row hadn’t caused a rift in the squad and claimed it was quickly resolved by his players. “That’s a heat of the moment thing. I didn’t even talk to them at half-time, it had already been sorted,” Smith said.

“I expect players to look after themselves and take responsibility. There’s a limit, you can’t step over.” West Ham remain unbeaten since being thrashed by Manchester City in the opening game of the season and their refusal to surrender after the red card was a welcome birthday present for boss Manuel Pellegrini, who turned 66 on Monday.

“We played with 10 men exactly the same as 11. I’m very happy with the personality and performance,” Pellegrini said. “If you cannot win, don’t lose it. We did a complete game.” Villa thought they had taken the lead when John McGinn curled into the top corner, but the midfielder’s effort was ruled out for his foul on Angelo Ogbonna.

They went close again when Jack Grealish’s cross picked out Wesley, but the Brazilian striker headed over. Sebastien Haller had scored three times in three games for West Ham since his close-season move from Eintracht Frankfurt. But the French striker was off-target with a misjudged header. West Ham midfielder Mark Noble was jeered by Villa fans after escaping a second booking for what looked a dive in a failed bid to win a penalty.

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