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West Ham United
18 August 2012
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 34172
West Ham United
K. Nolan 40'
That's all from me, the football is back - rejoice!
West Ham will be on their road for their next match, a tricky looking tie to face Swansea City whilst Villa get their home campaign under way as they host Everton at Villa Park
West Ham also look to have done good business in the close season, with James Collins and Mo Diame particularly impressing. The Premier League experience of the likes of Kevin Nolan, Matt Taylor and Mark Noble might well see the Iron finish above fellow promoted teams Southampton and Reading
Both of these sides will be looking to reach the 'survival' mark of 40 points this season, and on this evidence, Villa will have to improve the attacking part of their game for them to do any better. They appear to have purchased well with Ron Vlaar a rock at the back today, but their inability to create chances for Darren Bent will be a concern for boss Paul Lambert
Sam Allardyce's men won't mind about the controversial nature of their winning goal, when the assistant flagged for offside but the referee overruled him, but Paul Lambert will not be impressed, his defence seemed to stop playing as soon as the flag was raised
It's a win for West Ham on their return to the Premier League, and it's hard to argue that they deserved the win more than their visitors
90' + 3'
Debutant Modiba broke clear and found himself one-on-one with Given and went wide around the Irishman which allowed Nathan Baker to cover and clear off the line
90' + 2'
Villa are showing some determination to grab an equaliser here but as leaving gaps at the back
90' + 1'
James Collins, on his second debut for West Ham is named their man of the match. For what its worth, I would have gone with Mo Diame - he looks like a fine signing
The board is up, and there will be four added minutes
Both sides look a little bit tired to me, the tempo has definitely dropped in the last quarter of an hour
The game is petering out here at the Boleyn Ground, and that will suit Sam Allardyce down to the ground
James Tomkins plays a wonderful ball out of defence that finds Vaz Te free on the right-flank but he is well tackled by Vlaar
Paul Lambert stands on the touchline stroking his chin, his side have looked OK today, but lacking the final pass. They will struggle to score goals this season unless they can address that
Villa counter-attack well and the ball is played out to right-back Mat Lowton, but his cross is poor and easily gathered by Jaaskelainen
Cole is replaced, and on comes debutant Madibo Maiga to try and finish this game off and ensure West Ham pick up the three points
Villa make their final change of the afternoon with Delph being replaced by Scottish youngster Barry Bannan. Paul Lambert must not share my praise for the former Leeds man!
Carlton Cole misses a great chance to double the Hammers' advantage as his effort from a Matt Taylor free-kick goes wide. That was poor, he was totally unmarked at the rear post
Vlaar lets fly with an effort from quite some distance, so far in fact that the West Ham defenders pretty much allow him to shoot. His effort is comfortably saved by Jaaskelainen.
Both sides opt for a change with Gary Gardner coming on for the largely anonymous N'Zogbia and James Tomkins replacing the goalscorer Nolan
Villa win another corner, but again, its pretty poor and is easily cleared
Allardyce makes his first change of the afternoon, as Joey O'Brien comes on for McCartney
Not much comes of it, and the ball is eventually cleared by Demel
Villa win their second corner, as a Delph shot takes a deflection
We have our first cramp sufferer of the day and it's triple debutant George McCartney who's gone down in pain. Pretty unsurprising occurance in this heat
The Hammers are still looking good to hold onto this lead, but Darren Bent may only need one chance to get Villa back into this...
A lovely bit of skill see's Ricardo Vaz Te skip by his marker and his cross across the area comes to Matt Taylor, but his effort is blocked by Vlaar
It's wasted though, and it's a goal kick for the Iron
That change seems to have sparked a bit of life into Villa. N'Zogbia lets fly from deep on the right and his deflected shot see's his side win their first corner of the game
Darren Bent does well to win his side a free-kick near the corner flag in the West Ham half. It allows Paul Lambert to make a change bringing on striker Weimann for the debutant Holman
A cross from Hammers full-back George McCartney is easily gathered by Villa keeper Shay Given
Brett Holman is doing well for Villa, but his run is well stopped by a horde of West Ham defenders
The former Sunderland and Tottenham man will put his chances away, but Villa are finding it hard to break through the home side, and for all their nice passing are not moving the ball in the right areas to hurt West Ham
It seems to be much of the same as the first half for Aston Villa here, as they struggle to fashion clear cut chances for Darren Bent
As impressive as Delph has been, the outstanding midfielder so far has been West Ham's new recruit Mo Diame - he has been a menace in midfield today and a real powerful threat
Vlaar lines up a free-kick that must be some 40 yards from goal, and his wild smash at the ball is unimpressive, as his shot doesn't threaten the Villa goal
Delph is continuing to impress however. He is slick on the ball and links play well
West Ham have settled the better here in the second half, and Darren Bent has hardly had a kick for Villa today
Mike Dean was no interested, but it did seem to be a clumsy tackle by the ex-Feyenoord man
Carlton Cole feels he should have a penalty after being shoved over by Vlaar in the penalty area after a great pass from Guy Demel
The Hammers go straight up the other end and win a corner, but once again it is poor from the home side
Villa immediately do more in a minute than they did in the whole first - have a shot on goal! Ireland has a half-volley from the edge of the area but Jaaskelainen is fully behind it
West Ham get the second period underway
The players are on the pitch, and 'I'm forever blowing bubbles is ringing out around the ground'. We must be ready for the second half!
On that note, Hammers chairman David Gold said earlier this morning that he is expecting to find out whether his club have been successful in their bid to play at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in the next 4 to 6 weeks
The players are back out in the soaring heat here in East London, why wasn't the weather this good during the Olympic Games?
The Iron have played in much the same way as expected and their direct diagonal approach up to Carlton Cole has had some success. Their certainly is a wonderful tussle between the striker and Villa's new centre half Ron Vlaar
Villa will feel aggrieved to be going in behind, and they have perhaps played the prettier football, but they have been unable to create any out-and-out opportunities
Well, its been a bit of tepid first-half here in the baking heat in East London but West Ham will be delighted to be going in at the break with a 1-0 lead
45' + 2'
The half time whistle sounds at the Boleyn Ground
N'Zogbia does well down the Villa right and cuts the ball back for Holman who is in a great scoring position, but he is tackled well
There will be two minutes of added time
Villa have a period of excellent ball retention, but they are doing it mostly in their own area and not penetrating the Iron defence
Taylor brings down Charles N'Zogbia as the Frenchman breaks forward, and he gets a stern warning - but no yellow card
Assist Ricardo Vaz Te
Ricardo Vaz Te picked up the lose ball after Mark Noble lofted the ball into the Villa area and panic ensued, and he passed to Nolan who tapped in
Goal Kevin Nolan
Captain Nolan is the scorer of the goal, which was awarded after the referee and his assistant discussed the situation
Vaz Te appeared to be in an offside position when the assistant raised his flag, but referee Mike Dean disagreed and awarded the goal
Once that flag went up it seemed that a few Villa defenders stopped, but the referee never blew his whistle and Nolan capitlised from all the confusion to put the Hammers ahead
Yellow Card Ciaran Clark
Diame picks up the ball in midfield and drives forward, and is cynically brought down by Villa youngster Ciaran Clark, who picks up a caution
GOAL!!!: Controversy here, the linesman flag is up, but the referee has given the goal!
Cole is having more-and-more of an impact as the half wears on, the direct route has been implemented a fair bit by Allardyce's men today
A deep free-kick from Noble again finds Cole, and he wins his side a corner
Noble touches the ball across to Nolan who belts it towards Shay Given's near post but the ball goes flying wide. Good chance wasted, that was right on the edge of the Villa area
A diagonal from McCartney up to Cole see's West Ham win a free-kick right on the edge of the area after the big forward was fouled. Great chance here...
Vlaar is back on sporting a 'Terry Butcher' head bandage
Matt Taylor lets fly from about 35 yards, but his effort is deflected out for a throw-in
Vlaar has a cut to his eye and is bleeding, although he doesn't look to concerned
But Taylor's delivery is awful, it's cleared at the front post
That said, West Ham win a corner from one!
The visitors are dealing well with West Ham's direct approach. They are hitting a lot of diagonal balls up to Cole
The Iron win a throw-in high up the field but the ball is cleared easily
Fabian Delph is everywhere for Villa in midfield today, he's been good both in attack and in tracking the runs of the home side's attackers
West Ham look a bit more comfortable now, but are struggling to create clear-cut chances
The resultant free-kick goes sailing into Given's hands. Chance wasted.
After a game of head-tennis, West Ham get the ball down and Matt Taylor wins a foul on the left hand side of the Villa area
Ron Vlaar shows he is tough as old boots, with a no-nonsense tackle on Diame. The ball goes flying around 40 yards from the tackle
Villa are passing the ball around with ease and El Ahmadi is played in, only for his shot to be blocked by Iron defender Guy Demel
West Ham have a spell with the ball, with Diame looking a real physical threat in the middle of the park
Villa youngster Fabian Delph powers forward well with the ball and plays the ball wide, but Holman's cross is poor
The visitors seem content to slow the pace down, and are keeping the ball in their own half
The Hammers are responding well here, and the crowd are appreciative of their attacking intent
Vaz Te drives well down the left-hand side, but his cross is dealt with comfortably by Villa
El Ahmadi has a shot after good link-up play from Holman and Bent, his shot is tame though.
Villa are in control here, and West Ham try to deal with that by making a few strong tackles.
Villa are looking comfortable on the ball, and are looking the more threatening in the opening stages.
West Ham have gone for the same formation to suited them well in the Championship last season with Mark Noble sitting at the base of a midfield 3, with captain Kevin Nolan and Diame in advance of him. Ricardo Vaz Te and Matty Taylor are playing off Carlton Cole.
Villa force the first chance of the game with debutant Brett Holman dragging a shot wide from the edge of the Hammers penalty area
Villa get the game underway in full of a near-full house today. And it's hot, with most estimates suggesting 30 degrees...
We're underway at the Boleyn Ground...
The teams are out, and we're seconds away from the start of another Premier League season in East London...
How do goal.com readers think these two sides are going to fare this season? Can West Ham stabilise in the top flight, will 'Big Sam' last the season? And Can Villa get back on track after two years of drifting? Has Paul Lambert made the choice in jumping ship from Norwich?...
We're 10 minutes away from kick-off at the Boleyn ground...
No such quirky facts about Villa today, although they will no doubt be delighted to see Darren Bent returning to the starting XI after an ankle injury ruined the latter half of his 2011-12 season.
Having said that about the West Ham debutants, its probably worth noting the 'second coming' of Wales international James Collins at Upton Park following his summer move from Villa, and full-back George McCartney who is making his 'third debut' for the Hammers.
Paul Lambert meanwhile has handed debut's to former Feyenoord pair Ron Vlaar and Karim El Ahmadi, along with former Sheffield United defender Matthew Lowton and Australia international Brett Holman.
So West Ham boss 'Big' Sam Allardyce has given debut's to two of his summer signings, with former Wigan man Mohammed Diame and ex-Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen making their first starts for the Iron.
Aston Villa: Given, Baker, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, El Ahmadi, Delph, Ireland, N'Zogboa, Holman, Bent Subs: Guzan, Lichaj, Herd, Gardner, Bannan, Weimann, Burke
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Collins, Reid, McCartney, Diame, Noble, Nolan, Vaz Te, Taylor, Cole Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, O'Brien, Diarra, O'Neil, Maiga, Maynard
Without further delay, here are today's teams...
I'm Rhys Turrell, and I'll be taking you through the Hammers first game back in the Premier League following their promotion through the play-offs last season as they come up against Aston Villa, playing in their first competitive match under new boss Paul Lambert.
Good afternoon and welcome to goal.com's coverage of this afternoon's match between West Ham and Aston Villa
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