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Live Reporting

Mike Whalley

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    There's full post-match reaction in our main live text commentary, where we'll also have updates from Manchester United's visit to Crystal Palace. But that's all from me. Thanks for your company.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    David Cameron, I'm sure, will be celebrating tonight.

    Unless he really does support West Ham after all.

  3. Post-match reaction

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Some snap reaction from Villa's match-winner Tom Cleverley: "We've certainly given the fans value for money over the last 10 games. We don't make it easier for ourselves, but we've given ourselves a massive help in [our bid to] stay up. Our defence was magnificent today.

    "I think we've shown we've got Plan A and a Plan B in recent weeks. We need to keep it going now."

  4. The fight for survival

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham


    Here's the bottom six. If you support Villa, it makes great reading - because your team aren't in it.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    What a big win that is for Aston Villa - that has moved them four points clear of the bottom three.

    Hull have lost 1-0 at home to Burnley, Newcastle have drawn 1-1 at home to West Brom, and Leicester have beaten Southampton 2-0.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

  7. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    West Ham win a corner. Nene floats the ball in, but James Collins' header drops wide. Is that it?

  8. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    But suddenly, Villa find a way out - and it's Gabby Agbonlahor chasing on to a long pass and running clear of Aaron Cresswell.

    But the Villa man cannot keep his composure, and rolls a shot wide under pressure. Still 1-0. About two minutes of stoppage time left.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    West Ham enjoying most of the possession now. Tim Sherwood looks at his watch and asks the fourth official how long there is to go. The answer is four added minutes.

  10. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Carlton Cole tries to make a nuisance of himself inside the Villa penalty area, flicking on a cross into the area, but keeper Shay Given - 39 years young - sprints off his line to catch. There's more pressure to come, though...

  11. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Gabby Agbonlahor surges forward for Villa as the crowd roar him on. Villa have missed him during his time out injured. West Ham deal with the initial danger, but the ball runs loose to Ashley Westwood, who rolls a shot wide from just outside the area.

  12. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Jonathan, Peterborough: Aston Villa are playing great football under Tim Sherwood. Full credit to him. Great manager.

  13. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Inside the last 10 minutes. Nails are being bitten at Villa Park.

    By the home fans, obviously. I doubt West Ham's fans are getting too tense over the whole Europa League fair play thing.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    A change at the back for Villa as Tim Sherwood looks to secure victory. Alan Hutton comes on for Leandro Bacuna in a straight swap at right-back.

    West Ham have brought on one-time Villa striker Carlton Cole for midfielder Mark Noble. Cole hasn't scored in the league since 18 October. How about now?

  15. As it stands

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham


    As things stand, Burnley are still down.

    If Leicester City win against Southampton and Newcastle United avoid defeat by West Bromwich Albion, while Aston Villa do not lose to West Ham, it doesn't matter what the Clarets do. They will be relegated.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    A blow to West Ham's Europa League fair-play bid! Alex Song commits a foul for the third time in the half, this time tripping Jack Grealish, and the referee, Lee Mason, has seen enough. Song goes into the book.

    It is West Ham's first yellow card of the game, though - while Everton, rivals for a Europa League fair-play place, collected two against Sunderland. Someone, deep in a bunker at the Premier League, is no doubt working out the ramifications of all this as I type.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    A big roar from the Holte End as Gabby Agbonlahor makes his return from a hamstring injury to play the final 20 minutes. The Villa forward is on for Charles N'Zogbia.

  18. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Enner Valencia

    Nene is looking useful on the right for West Ham. This time he delivers a lovely cross for Enner Valencia to glance in, but the Ecuador international is flagged offside. Even after looking at a couple of replays, it's a very hard one to judge - but I think the linesman has probably got it right.

  19. Around the grounds

    Hull 0-1 Burnley

    A big goal at the KC Stadium, where Danny Ings has turned in a loose ball from close range to put bottom-of-the-table Burnley in front against Hull - who are in deep trouble themselves.

  20. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Former Aston Villa midfielder Steve Froggatt on BBC London: "West Ham look a totally different proposition in the second half. That raises questions about the team selection in the first."

    Yes, the introduction of Nene and Alex Song for Morgan Amalfitano and Kevin Nolan has given West Ham a livelier look.

  21. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Leandro Bacuna

    Villa deal with the corner, which eventually comes back to Nene - the kick-taker - who cuts in from the right but bends a shot well over.

  22. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    West Ham centre-back James Collins almost heads an equaliser against his former club, getting his head to a corner by outjumping Ron Vlaar - but Shay Given flips the ball over. Another corner. There's a delay now as Enner Valencia receives treatment.

  23. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Villa respond. Charles N'Zogbia turns past Aaron Cresswell, bursts in from the right and sends a shot into the side-netting.

    Cresswell falls to the ground in agony. There is concern here that he might have twisted his ankle. He is able to get to his feet, but he's hobbling.

  24. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Alex Song is a little too keen to put up a fight. The West Ham substitute gives Jack Grealish a shove to the floor, then indulges in some finger-wagging towards the Villa man. Song gets a talking to from Lee Mason, but nothing more.

  25. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Shay Given

    Better this, from West Ham. Nene collects possession 25 yards out, and unleashes a shot that flies over Shay Given's crossbar. The visitors, second best in the first half, are putting up a fight now.

  26. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Tim Sherwood
  27. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Paul Cate: Villa have gone from having one of the worst managers in the league to one of the best.

  28. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    West Ham striker Enner Valencia is immediately into the action at the start of the second half, tangling with Jores Okore and dropping to the ground inside the area. It's physical stuff, but it's fair, and referee Lee Mason rejects the muted Hammers penalty appeals.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Hammers manager Sam Allardyce has made two changes at the break. Alex Song and Nene are on, and Morgan Amalfitano has gone off, as has Kevin Nolan - who was given an utter verbal kicking by BBC London analyst Steve Froggatt during the first half. I've only managed to bring you a brief flavour of it on here - it was damning.

  30. KICK-OFF

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    The players are back with us, and the second half is under way.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Former Aston Villa midfielder Steve Froggatt on BBC London: "The general consensus in the media room at half-time was that Villa should be 3-0 up. West Ham have been given a second chance really."

  32. From the archives

    Aston Villa v West Ham: April 2009

    James Tomkins and Stiliyan Petrov

    In 2009, the two sides fought out an end-of-season 1-1 Premier League draw at Villa Park - in a game memorable chiefly for some curious interventions from referee Rob Styles.

    Styles rulesd that West Ham's blue change strip clashed with both Villa's home and away colours. As a result, Villa's kit man had to scrabble around for a white training kit, which he dug out at such short notice that there was no time to put the players' names on the back of the shirts. (This was done in time for the second half, with another set of shirts.)

    The referee then caused Villa further consternation by allowing Hammers centre-back James Collins to scoop the ball away with his hand unpunished as John Carew run through on goal. "The defender has moved in and he's almost caught it," said exasperated Villa boss Martin O'Neill afterwards.

  33. From the archives

    West Ham v Aston Villa: December 1999

    Manny Omoyinmi

    While we wait for the players to return, let's take a look back at a couple of the more curious past encounters between the clubs.

    In December 1999, the Hammers beat Villa on penalties in a League Cup quarter-final after a 2-2 draw - only to have to replay the game after it emerged that they had fielded an ineligible player.

    Manny Omoyinmi (pictured playing in an FA Cup tie against Swansea the previous season) had come on as a substitute during the match, but shouldn't have figured at all, as he had played in an earlier round for Gillingham. West Ham lost the replayed game 1-3. Villa went out to eventual winners Leicester in the semi-finals.

  34. Is the Europa League worth it?

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Europa League

    West Ham - with no bookings in that first half - are on course to win a place in next season's Europa League via the Uefa fair play standings - but will it be worth the bother?

    Many label the competition as a hindrance to their Premier League aspirations, but is there any substance to these claims?

    BBC Sport studied 10 seasons since the Europa League introduced group stages to find exactly what impact a campaign has on league performance.

    Have a look here.

  35. As it stands

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

  36. Around the grounds

    Newcastle 1-1 West Brom

    Ayoze Perez struck an equaliser just before half-time to give Newcastle a much-needed lift against West Brom. As it stands, Newcastle will be out of the bottom three this evening.

    Leicester lead Southampton 2-0 at the break, while Hull's game against Burnley is goalless.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Aston Villa v West Ham

    Yes, Villa are good value for their half-time lead - as the possession stats suggest.

  38. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Shohidur Rahman: Cleverley has scored three games in a row. Tim Sherwood is undoubtedly a miracle worker.


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Simon Brotherton

    Match of the Day commentator at Villa Park

    "The game got a bit niggly in the latter stages of the first half, but on the balance of play, Aston Villa are worthy of a half-time lead."


    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    In fact, the game's first booking goes to Villa. Charles N'Zogbia stops Cheikhou Kouyate's run from midfield with a tug of the shirt and referee Lee Mason steps in.

  41. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Terry Lambert: Are West Ham trying to lose the Europa League fair play spot with their constant fouling and moaning at Villa?

    Well, they've had no bookings so far.

  42. As it stands

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Premier League

    The good news for Villa is that if they can keep it like this, they will climb out of the bottom six.

  43. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    A couple more West Ham set-pieces, and Villa do not look comfortable here at all. Keeper Shay Given scrambles a Cheikhou Kouyate header around the post from Aaron Cresswell's free-kick. From Amalfitano's resulting corner, Kevin Nolan fouls Given just as the visitors are appealing for a penalty as Enner Valencia goes down inside the area under Leandro Bacuna's challenge. Decent game, this.

  44. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    Morgan Amalfitano

    It looks as if a set-piece offers West Ham's best hope of a way back at the moment. Morgan Amalfitano floats in a corner that causes consternation in the home defence before they clear.

    Amalfitano, who used to play not far from here at West Brom, then aims a naughty kick at Tom Cleverley off the ball. Referee Lee Mason doesn't see it.

  45. Post update

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham

    BBC Final Score

    Former England striker James Beattie on BBC Final Score: "You have seen it with Christian Benteke and now you are seeing it with Tom Cleverley. Tim Sherwood has given the players confidence and told them they are good players.

    "If you give the players freedom to express themselves on the pitch this is what you get. Tim has gone in there and done a fantastic man-management job. A few weeks ago Aston Villa were clearly in a false position."

  46. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Tom Broughton: Is Cameron celebrating that goal?

  47. Around the grounds

    Newcastle 0-1 West Brom

    Some more good news for Villa. Relegation rivals Newcastle, who have lost eight league games in a row, are behind again. Victor Anichebe has given West Brom the lead at St James' Park.

  48. GOAL

    Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham - Tom Cleverley

    Tom Cleverley

    What a run Tom Cleverley is on at the moment - that's three goals in three games for the Aston Villa midfielder. Jack Grealish gets clear down the left to square across the six-yard box, and it's an easy finish for Cleverley. West Ham dozing, Villa possibly taking a big step towards safety.

  49. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Former Aston Villa midfielder Steven Froggatt on BBC London: "West Ham, to me, look as if they're carrying one player. The way Kevin Nolan's breathing, he looks like he's played 180 minutes already. He doesn't look fit enough to play at this level."

  50. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    West Ham continue to spend more time near their own goal. Now Christian Benteke controls a cross and lays it off for Fabian Delph to shoot straight at Adrian from the edge of the area.

    If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I know where I'd be putting my money for the first goal, and it wouldn't be with West Ham.

  51. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Jack Grealish

    No doubt that Villa are pushing for an opening here. Fabian Delph has half a sight of goal, but James Collins and Reece Burke do enough between them to clear.

    Sam Allardyce, seated in the West Ham dugout, looks calm enough at the moment - he's presumably content that his defenders can handle the pressure.

  52. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Former Aston Villa midfielder Steve Froggatt on BBC London: "Villa have played so many diagonal balls up towards Christian Benteke that it has to be a tactic. They're looking to stretch the two centre-halves, particularly with young Reece Burke's lack of experience."

  53. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    The Heed Saddler: Sherwood: Villa have the "best midfielder in the country" - Delph - and "best striker in Europe" - Benteke. Yet still near bottom?

  54. 'Benteke best in Europe'

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Christian Benteke

    Villa's revival has been built on the goals of Christian Benteke, who has scored 10 times in his last eight matches - and was named Premier League player of the month for April.

    "I don't know if there's a better striker in Europe right now," Sherwood said yesterday. "He's the best."

    A bold claim. But then Benteke was good enough to make Garth Crooks' team of the week last weekend.

  55. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Again Christian Benteke gets in behind the West Ham defence, but this time fractionally mistimes the run and is flagged offside. In any case, he hits the post.

  56. CLOSE!

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    As if to prove Steve Froggatt's point, Benteke immediately gets on to a Jores Okore knock down from a free-kick and has a sight of goal, but slices wide of the near post as Collins tries to close him down.

  57. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Former Aston Villa midfielder Steve Froggatt on BBC London: "Villa have dominated the early possession and chances. West Ham are showing Christian Benteke far too much respect. James Collins needs to get closer to him."


    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Adrian has had a superb season in West Ham's goal, and he's alert here to beat away Tom Cleverley's bouncing right-foot volley from Fabian Delph's left-wing cross.

  59. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Jores Okore

    First West Ham attack of note. Well, I say of note. Morgan Amalfitano tries to combine with Aaron Cresswell down the left, but the Jores Okorepass is overhit and the ball rolls out of play.

  60. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Baz Saikia: For me Villa won't compete in the top half of the table as they are too direct in playing to Benteke.

  61. Around the grounds

    Leicester 1-0 Southampton

    Some early news from the King Power Stadium, and it's not good for Villa fans. Leicester, a point behind Tim Sherwood's side at the start of play, lead Southampton 1-0 with a goal from Riyad Mahrez.

  62. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Villa looking lively. Jack Grealish breaks down the left after Mark Noble gives the ball away and wins a corner, from which Charles N'Zogbia has a stab at goal which is blocked. The home side are on top early on.

  63. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    The energetic Jack Grealish wins a free-kick as he is brought down by Mark Noble around 30 yards from goal...

    Leandro Bacuna takes the responsibility. It's a decent effort, but it floats over and wide.

  64. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Sam Allardyce
  65. Post update

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Nice early move down the left by Villa, but Kieran Richardson plays in a poor cross from the left, and Kevin Nolan clears comfortably.

  66. KICK-OFF

    Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

    Away we go.

  67. Post update

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    Simon Brotherton

    Match of the Day commentator

    "Aston Villa have looked like a completely different team in the last few weeks, such has been the improvement so far under Tim Sherwood. It's hard to believe it's the same group of players who laboured for so long under the previous regime.

    "They've played well and, after struggling in front of goal for most of the season, have scored 17 times in the last 10 games. So positivity is in the air in B6 and there's the FA Cup final to come but Villa are still only a point above the relegation zone.

    "West Ham's season started brightly, leading to talk of challenging for a European place, but that seems a long time ago now.

    "It's five months since they won back-to-back games in the league, and last week's narrow win over Burnley was only their third victory in 18 matches."

  68. Post update

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    The players are in the tunnel. West Ham captain Kevin Nolan embraces Villa keeper Shay Given, before taking a swig from a bottle of water.

    Now they emerge on to the field...

  69. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Ross, Kent: I wouldn't be surprised if West Ham beat Villa today, Tim Sherwood had a bad record vs them last season as Spurs manager.

  70. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Now, I don't want to have to write this text commentary on my own because, to be quite frank, I'd like to watch a bit of the game too.

    So I'd like you to chip in with your thoughts. Would a Europa League place for West Ham via the fair play route be an honour or a hindrance? Will Benteke's goals keep Villa up? Who should David Cameron be cheering for?

    Thoughts, please, via Twitter (#bbcfootball), text on 81111, or via the BBC Sport Facebook or Google+ pages. I thank you.

  71. 'Keeping 11 men on the pitch is important'

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    West Ham boss Sam Allardyce on the prospect of a fair play route into Europe: "We've known for a few weeks. We've been planning the two scenarios.

    We'll know by the end of the season if we've clinched that place. If we do, it'll be an honour for the club.

    "We don't talk about the disciplinary angle with the players. You can't take the physicality out of the game. But we do talk about being responsible.

    "Keeping 11 men on the pitch is very important, as is competing against a Villa side who need the points."

  72. Europe for West Ham?

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    Fairplay table

    How do you fancy some trips round Europe next season then, Hammers fans?

    West Ham, Everton or Burnley could play in next season's Europa League after the Premier League was granted an extra place because of fair play.

    England finished second in Uefa's Fair Play table, earning an extra spot in the first qualifying round. That place will go to the team that tops the Premier League's fair play rankings, which is currently Liverpool.

    The Reds could reach Europe via their league placing so the second, third or fifth-placed teams could join them.

    Above is the Fair Play table as it stood before today's games. Everton picked up two bookings against Sunderland - Seamus Coleman and Luke Garbutt. We'll see how that affects the numbers...

  73. 'Villa are weak defensively'

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "I think Villa are defensively a little weak, and they have conceded goals in recent games. But Christian Benteke is in great form.

    "We had 28 attempts on goal against Burnley last week and only scored one penalty. We need to be more clinical."

    Indeed. Big Sam's side may be seeking a third straight clean sheet, but Mark Noble's penalty against Burnley is the only goal they have scored in three matches.

    And yet, they are on course for a place in Europe...

  74. 'Gabby's ready to cause mayhem'

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood on the decision to start with Gabby Agbonlahor on the bench: "The team's been playing really well, so they deserve to keep the shirt. It's up to the other boys to get it off them. Gabby's had a week's training and he's ready to cause mayhem.

    "The players know we're in a serious situation. They don't need reminding, although I've reminded them."

  75. Post update

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    Let's bring you the team news. Gabby Agbonlahor is fit after almost a month out with a hamstring injury, but is only on the bench as manager Tim Sherwood names the same Aston Villa starting line-up who beat Everton last Saturday.

    James Collins has passed a fitness test on a back problem, and so retains his place at centre-back alongside 18-year-old Reece Burke in a West Ham side who are also unchanged.

    Aston Villa XI: Given; Bacuna, Vlaar, Okore, Richardson; Cleverley, Westwood, Delph; N'Zogbia, Grealish; Benteke.

    West Ham XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Burke, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate; Downing, Nolan, Amalfitano; Valencia.

  76. As it stands

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    Villa still have much work to do to stay up - especially with relegation rivals Sunderland winning 2-0 at Everton in the 12:45 BST kick-off.

    That win moves Dick Advocaat's side out of the bottom three to 14th place. Villa drop back into the bottom six.

    Premier League bottom six
  77. Post update

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    Tim Sherwood

    Like Cameron, Aston Villa are enjoying something of a late surge after their Premier League future had been looking decidedly uncertain.

    Six points from the last nine available have lifted Tim Sherwood's side clear of the bottom three, while there's also an FA Cup final appearance to look forward to after last month's semi-final win over Liverpool.

    But with just three league matches left before the final results come in, Villa are far from safe.

  78. Post update

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    "David Cameron's claims to have supported West Ham might have been a crucial factor in winning the election," a reporter suggested to West Ham manager Sam Allardyce at a press conference yesterday.

    "Does this mean that, having won the World Cup in 1966, West Ham can now claim to have won the General Election?"

    Allardyce laughed. "Good question," he replied. "Who knows? Wait and see."

  79. Post update

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    David Cameron is settling in to a second term as Prime Minister after winning an overall majority of 12 seats in Thursday's General Election - and it would seem that a football-related slip of the tongue a fortnight ago didn't cause him too much harm.

    Cameron - an Aston Villa fan - suggested during a speech in south London two weeks ago that he actually supported West Ham.

    West Ham

    Rumours that this is a photo of the back of the PM's wardrobe are totally untrue.