Villa 2 West Ham 1
Our poor away form continued as West Ham slipped to a defeat up at Villa Park.
For the trip to Villa Park, Big Sam shuffled his pack. Pogatetz was given his debut in a back three with the two full-backs pushed on into the midfield. Joe Cole was also given a starting berth with Matt Jarvis dropping to the bench.
At a damp Villa Park, the home side had a glorious chance, very early on, to open the scoring when Jaaskelainen spilled a long range shot from Christian Benteke and with the goal gaping Weimann somehow slid his shot wide of the far post.
Andy Carroll, leading the Hammers attack, saw a looping effort land on the roof of the net although, admittedly, Brad Guzan was never in trouble with the effort.
The game was the held up when following a Villa corner Nathan Baker and Andy Carroll clashed heads with the Villa defender coming off worse.
James Tomkins the produced a perfect block to thwart the home side before an injury to Joey O`Brien saw the defender replaced by Guy Demel. Tomkins picked up a facial injury in an accidental clash with Delph but the game was now starting to become devoid of clear-cut chances in what was becoming a scrappy affair.
Diame, when well place, drove a shot into the side-netting when a better option was to square the ball into the danger area before Vlaar twice went close, the first effort being a shot from a free kick that went wide and then an effort from a corner that bounced down and then up and over the bar..
Pogatetz then received a yellow card for fouling Charles N`Zogbia, after Carroll`s weak ball had seen Villa launch a counter-attack before, in the four minutes of stoppage time, Carroll lashed a shot high, wide and handsome.
Half Time - Aston Villa 0 West Ham 0
Big Sam made no changes at half time, other than switching back to 4-4-2. The Hammers started the half well. An early corner from Joe Cole saw a shot from Tomkins blocked by Vlaar before appeals for a penalty, when Carroll was pushed over by Vlaar, were ignored by the referee.
A couple of corners were forced, earned by Joe Cole and Diame but both were comfortably dealt with by the home defence. Demel, proving to be influential pushing forward down that right flank, saw a dangerous looking cross in cleared before Paul Lambert made two substitutions bring on Darren Bent and Simon Dawkins.
Villa, saw N`Zogbia flash a shot wide before Bent, in an unaccustomed role, cleared a goal bound shot off the line from Carroll. But with 73 minutes gone Villa went ahead. Noble was adjudge dto have fouled N`Zogbia in the area and Benteke coolly sent Jaaskelainen the wrong way.
Big Sam responded by bringing on Carlton Cole but three minutes after the first goal Villa doubled the lead. Tomkins fouled N`Zogbia on the edge of the area and N`Zogbia got up to flight a free kick over the wall and into the net.
West Ham tried to get back into the game and a Vaz Te shot, from a Joe Cole cross, was saved by Guzan. Vaz Te then flashed a shot wide as the pressure started to increase. With two minutes of normal time remaining the arrears were reduced when Westwood deflected a Joe Cole cross past Guzan.
But any hopes of snatching a draw were dampened when Guzan, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, saved a point blank shot from Nolan.
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.