Premier League
West HamWest Ham United0Aston VillaAston Villa0

West Ham United 0-0 Aston Villa

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport
West Ham v Aston Villa

West Ham ended a run of three home Premier League defeats as they were held to a goalless draw by Aston Villa.

Christian Benteke came closest to scoring for the visitors when he headed Matthew Lowton's deep cross against the crossbar from six yards out.

Jack Collison shot wide from a quickly-taken free-kick for the hosts and Stewart Downing and substitute Joe Cole both had shots saved by Brad Guzan.

Allardyce wants more West Ham goals

But a draw was a fair result as both sides struggled to create chances.

Aston Villa have now failed to score a Premier League goal in six hours and 15 minutes, and this result leaves them 13th, only three points above the bottom three.

But of greater concern to Villa boss Paul Lambert will be the hamstring injury sustained by Andreas Weimann, who limped off early in the second half after he had been his side's most dangerous player.

West Ham, one place below Villa in the league table, also have attacking problems of their own and their failure to score was their sixth blank in 10 Premier League games.

Despite seeing more possession, especially down the wings through Matt Jarvis on the left and Downing on the right, the Hammers frustrated the fans at Upton Park with the final delivery often being disappointing.

With Andy Carroll still two weeks away from a return to training and Carlton Cole lacking match practice after he re-signed for the club, West Ham looked short of ideas up front as they started without a recognised centre-forward for the fourth successive Premier League game.

Aston Villa, operating in a 3-5-2 formation, were sitting deep and struggled to provide service for Benteke, but were still a threat on the counter-attack.

After six minutes, Weimann raced on to a long ball but Jussi Jaaskelainen was well positioned to block the Austrian's shot.

England winger Downing, who spent two seasons at Aston Villa, is yet to score for the Hammers following a £5m move from Liverpool in the summer and had the first clear opportunity for the hosts, but shot at Guzan from 20 yards.

But West Ham were nearly caught out when, from their own corner, Villa counter-attacked.

Weimann was through on goal but Ravel Morrison, the last home player back, recovered and referee Howard Webb decided the Hammers midfielder won the ball cleanly on the edge of the penalty area.

Massive point for Villa - Lambert

West Ham looked more likely to score after the restart but Morrison's 20-yard effort was well blocked by Villa defender Nathan Baker, with Kevin Nolan firing the rebound over.

Substitute Joe Cole shot straight at Guzan, before Benteke nearly won the points for Villa with his first opportunity but powered a header against the bar.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said:

"After three home defeats on the trot it was very important we didn't lose.

"We tried to win it but we didn't find the quality to put the ball into the net. We delivered 38 balls into the box, but it's a spell we are having where we can't find the net.

"In the last two home games we have conceded three in both so it was vital to get back to keeping clean sheets.

"There's only one thing missing, and that's scoring a goal or two, but we are only a small margin away from being a three-point team instead of a one-point team."

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert said:

"On balance we had the best clear-cut chances, with Christian hitting the bar and Andreas going through.

"It was always going to be hard here and it was a difficult, physical game, but we competed brilliantly.

"Our counter-attacking is a threat and I'm delighted with the lads' attitude and I thought our resilience was excellent."

To see a selection of photos from today's matches, visit the BBC Sport Facebook page.external-link

Line-ups

West Ham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Jääskeläinen
  • 20Demel
  • 8RatSubstituted forDiaméat 90'minutes
  • 10CollisonSubstituted forColeat 63'minutes
  • 5Tomkins
  • 2Reid
  • 23Downing
  • 16Noble
  • 4Nolan
  • 15Morrison
  • 7JarvisSubstituted forColeat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Maiga
  • 13Adrián
  • 17O'Brien
  • 21Diamé
  • 24Cole
  • 26Cole
  • 27Potts

Aston Villa

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Guzan
  • 34LowtonBooked at 57mins
  • 7BacunaBooked at 46mins
  • 6Clark
  • 2Baker
  • 4Vlaar
  • 18Sylla
  • 8El Ahmadi
  • 20Benteke
  • 10WeimannSubstituted forKozákat 57'minutes
  • 15Westwood

Substitutes

  • 9Helenius
  • 13Steer
  • 17Herd
  • 21Bowery
  • 24Tonev
  • 27Kozák
  • 36Johnson
Referee:
Howard Webb
Attendance:
34,977

Match Stats

Home TeamWest HamAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away1
Fouls
Home8
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, West Ham United 0, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, West Ham United 0, Aston Villa 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Joe Cole (West Ham United).

  4. Post update

    Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Cole (West Ham United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Guy Demel with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Guy Demel.

  7. Post update

    Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Mohamed Diamé replaces Razvan Rat.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ashley Westwood with a cross following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Jussi Jääskeläinen.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ron Vlaar.

  13. Post update

    Winston Reid (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Libor Kozák (Aston Villa).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Winston Reid (West Ham United).

  16. Post update

    Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Leandro Bacuna.

  18. Post update

    Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

  19. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  20. Post update

    Delay in match Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa) because of an injury.