Wednesday media watch [03.02.16]
BBC Sport: West Ham secured a fourth win in six Premier League games to stay sixth in the table with victory over 10-man Aston Villa, who remain bottom. The visitors, who had an early penalty shout turned down during a bright start, had Jordan Ayew sent off for elbowing Aaron Cresswell. West Ham's pressure eventually told when Michail Antonio scored with a header from Mark Noble's raking pass. Cheikhou Kouyate slotted in a second after a swift the counter-attack.
Sky Sports: West Ham beat 10-man Aston Villa 2-0 after Jordan Ayew was sent off for a first-half elbow at Upton Park. The striker was dismissed in the early stages after throwing his arm into Aaron Cresswell, before Michail Antonio headed the Hammers in front after half-time. Cheikhou Kouyate then added a second on the counter-attack as Villa pushed for a late equaliser. The result leaves Aston Villa 10 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table while West Ham stay in sixth, six points off the top four.
Independent: When you are fighting for your Premier League lives, the last thing you want is an early sending off, especially if it's completely avoidable. Sadly for Aston Villa, their young striker, Jordan Ayew, put his struggling side into further trouble with the kind of behaviour that you do not expect at this level. The 24-year-old elbowed Aaron Cresswell in the face and was dismissed after 17 minutes. His team-mates may well have earned something from this game, as they competed well for long periods, before goals from Michael Antonio and Cheikhou Kouyaté in the second half led West Ham to victory.
Guardian: Of all the reasons that Aston Villa look certain to be playing in the Championship next season, the most maddening is their unerring ability to tease their supporters with the idea that they are capable of pulling off one of the greatest escapes in Premier League history, only to ruin rare spells of encouragement by pressing the self-destruct button. Ever so briefly, ever so tantalisingly, Rémi Garde's side had West Ham United on the ropes, and Jordan Ayew will struggle to explain what was going through his head when he jabbed his arm into Aaron Cresswell's face and forced his team-mates to play for the next 73 minutes a man down.
The Sun: It may have been Aaron Cresswell on the end of Jordan Ayew's elbow. But the Aston Villa forward might as well have smacked boss Rémi Garde, his team-mates and the travelling fans in the face as his disgraceful indiscipline cost his club on another desperate day. If Garde was close to the edge after failing to sign a single reinforcement in the winter transfer window, he must have felt like jumping off a cliff when Ayew was sent off inside 17 minutes. If not at that precise moment, then maybe when a borderline offside Michail Antonio broke his ten men's brave resistance just before the hour. Or he may have held out until Cheikhou Kouyate rounded off a demoralising evening late on.
Daily Star: Jordan Ayew's soft red card dropped rockbottom Aston Villa right in it as Michail Antonio and Cheikhou Kouyate made them pay. Ayew got himself sent off in disgrace for a foolish 17th-minute elbow on Aaron Cresswell before second-half strikes from Antonio and Kouyate piled more misery on under-pressure Villa boss Rémi Garde.
Daily Express: Michail Antonio and Cheikhou Kouyate sealed the points for West Ham against ten-man Aston Villa. Antonio scored after 58 minutes as he met a cross from Mark Noble before Kouyate finished high into the roof of the net with five minutes to go. Jordan Ayew was sent off for the visitors in the first half for a naughty elbow on Aaron Creswell. Villa remain rock bottom on just 13 points from 24 games while West Ham stay sixth.
Daily Telegraph: Never mind the claret and blue, Aston Villa appear to have hoisted the white flag. After yet another dispiriting defeat, played for 73 minutes with ten men, they are now ten points off safety with 14 games left.
Birmingham Mail: When the dust has settled on this latest defeat Jordan Ayew will be once again greeted by his team-mates. Until then, the Ghanaian has some serious grovelling to do after his stupidity saw Aston Villa drop more points in this most depressing of Premier League seasons. Ayew was sent off in the 16th minute for an inexcusable swing of the arm at Aaron Cresswell and with his dismissal went Villa's chances of getting anything from the game.
Best of the Rest
Sky Sports: Jurgen Klopp admitted he nearly clapped Jamie Vardy after the Leicester striker scored twice against Liverpool to keep the Foxes top of the Premier League. Vardy's double earned Claudio Ranieri's side a 2-0 win at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night, taking his goal tally in the league to 18.
BBC Sport: Manchester City players "love" having Manuel Pellegrini as their manager, says goalkeeper Joe Hart. The 62-year-old Chilean will be replaced by Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, despite his team still being in contention to win four trophies.
Sky Sports: Guus Hiddink says he was 'surprised' by John Terry's announcement that he will definitely be leaving Chelsea. And the interim manager says the Blues captain may yet be offered a new deal by the club.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.