Match ends, West Ham United 2, Aston Villa 0.
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.
Villa will feel hard done by as they had a strong penalty appeal when striker Gabriel Agbonlahor's cross hit Antonio's arm before Ayew's dismissal.
However, defeat was Villa's first in four games and leaves them 10 points from safety.
'Stupid' sending-off costs Villa
Villa, who need wins to stand any chance of getting out of their predicament, had plenty of attacking intent to keep the Hammers on the back foot early on.
But after 17 minutes, Ayew recklessly lashed out at Cresswell, and his dismissal forced Villa to change their tactics by dropping back into defence.
Although a disciplined Villa frustrated West Ham, the home side dominated possession with their extra man and it proved a matter of time before they broke the deadlock.
"We were denied a penalty," said Villa boss Remi Garde. "I'm sorry for the referee but it was a clear penalty.
"We started well. Then after this penalty and this stupid red card, the game was over.
"The first goal, I'm not sure it wasn't offside. I feel very sorry for the guys to be beaten after the bravery they showed."
Patience pays off for Hammers
West Ham forward Enner Valencia put a header over from four yards when a James Tomkins shot fizzed across the Villa box as the home side tried to capitalise on their numerical advantage.
But Slaven Bilic's side struggled to get their attacking game going in the first half as they were limited to long-range shots.
The second half was a different story as West Ham showed more urgency, with Mark Noble's passing and the way he dictated play key to their victory.
"I've seen many times that a team that has one player more can't find a solution, are more nervous and concede a goal," said Bilic.
"It wasn't the case this time. In the second half we played the way a team should against 10 men."
Man of the match - Mark Noble
The stats you need to know
- There have been nine red cards in West Ham games this season - four for the Hammers, five for the opposition
- West Ham had 25 efforts against Villa and it took them 15 to open the scoring
- Villa have won only one of their past 23 Premier League games
- No team with 13 points or fewer from 24 games (based on three points for a win) have avoided relegation
On Saturday, Aston Villa face relegation rivals Norwich, while West Ham travel to Southampton.
- 19CollinsBooked at 67mins
- 8KouyatéSubstituted forObiangat 90+3'minutes
- 4SongBooked at 48mins
- 16NobleBooked at 69mins
- 30AntonioSubstituted forJelavicat 89'minutes
- 11E ValenciaSubstituted forMosesat 86'minutes
- 25GilSubstituted forRichardsonat 71'minutes
- 19J AyewBooked at 17mins
- 11AgbonlahorSubstituted forSinclairat 80'minutes
- Jonathan Moss
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, West Ham United 2, Aston Villa 0.
Substitution, West Ham United. Pedro Obiang replaces Cheikhou Kouyaté.
Attempt missed. Nikica Jelavic (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mark Noble.
Attempt blocked. Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexandre Song.
Substitution, West Ham United. Nikica Jelavic replaces Michail Antonio.
Attempt saved. Jordan Veretout (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Idrissa Gueye.
Substitution, West Ham United. Victor Moses replaces Enner Valencia.
Goal! West Ham United 2, Aston Villa 0. Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Enner Valencia following a fast break.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by James Tomkins.
Attempt saved. Dimitri Payet (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Michail Antonio.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Scott Sinclair replaces Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Winston Reid (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).
Attempt blocked. Kieran Richardson (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Attempt missed. Kieran Richardson (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt blocked. Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Attempt missed. Mark Noble (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Enner Valencia.
Attempt blocked. Enner Valencia (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Dimitri Payet.