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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
8 February 2014
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 36261
West Ham United
K. Nolan 46', 48'
So a huge three points for West Ham as they escape the relegation zone and drag Villa into the relegation dogfight with that victory. Villa's terrible home form continues but they were perhaps unlucky given the number of chances they created after going behind. That's it for our coverage but do stick around the website for live coverage of the Welsh derby between Swansea and Cardiff. Bye for now.
90' + 4'
West Ham win a corner and waste time by keeping the ball near the corner flag. Villa try to force the pace but they are frustrated by the number of Hammers shirts at the back before Mike Dean blows the whistle for full time.
90' + 2'
Joe Bennett's pass is intercepted by Mark Noble and West Ham are able to run the clock down with a bit of keep-ball. Marco Borriello then does well to hold the ball up under pressure from Ciaran Clark.
West Ham are set to keep their third straight clean sheet as we enter four minutes of added time.
Marc Albrighton takes aim from distance but his effort is high and wide of goal. Two minutes to go.
Villa fans have seen enough and are heading for the exits in droves. West Ham look to run the clock down with a spell of possession.
CHANCE! That could have been game over but Matt Taylor's effort is brilliantly blocked by Leandro Bacuna with Brad Guzan nowhere to be seen.
OH! Another corner and another chance for Christian Benteke goes begging as his downward header misses the goal by a whisker. Still 2-0 to the visitors.
Villa up the ante as they force a couple of corners. The ball eventually breaks to Christian Benteke, whose spectacular overhead kick doesn't come off and flies wide of goal.
Villa have a free kick in a decent area and Marc Albrighton takes it. And what a ball that is from the substitute, as Guy Demel inadvertently pokes the ball out for a corner with Christian Benteke lurking.
Marc Albrighton has been a livewire since his introduction but his cross from the right finds a West Ham defender this time and is cleared.
West Ham make their final change as well with Matt Jarvis going off to be replaced by defender Winston Reid. The Hammers are lining up with five at the back now with just Marco Borriello up front.
OFF THE BAR AGAIN! Christian Benteke is so unlucky as his header off Marc Albrighton's cross bounces back off the crossbar. Paul Lambert then makes a couple of quickfire substitutions, with Grant Holt and Joe Bennett on for Andreas Weimann and Ryan Bertrand.
No hat-trick for Kevin Nolan today as he goes off to be replaced by Antonio Nocerino with what looks like a muscle injury. West Ham will hope the problem is not too serious.
OFF THE POST! Marc Albrighton's pile driver from 30 yards out takes a touch off the diving Adrian and crashes into the post. Great save by the Spaniard.
Villa force a corner and Stewart Downing takes it. The winger finds Nathan Baker, whose looping header is caught by Adrian. Matthew Taylor is then yellow carded for a poor challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Yellow Card Matthew Taylor
Villa playing with a lot more width now after Marc Albrighton's introduction. Leandro Bacuna finds Christian Benteke with a long throw-in but the striker cannot find a team-mate with his flick-on.
Fabian Delph looks to make up for his error in the build up to the second West Ham goal by looking to slip in Ashley Westwood with a well-weighted pass but the Hammers' defence is alert to the threat and cuts out the loose ball.
Marc Albrighton goes on a rampaging run down the right but Matt Jarvis drops back to force the ball out for a throw-in. Leandro Bacuna then horribly over hits his cross resulting in a West Ham goal kick.
OOH! Half chance for Christian Benteke as he stretches to meet an Ashley Westwood lofted pass but just misses. Decent little spell for Villa this.
Better from Villa as they keep the visitors hemmed in in their own penalty box until Andreas Weimann lumps the ball out of play with a terrible cross. The Villans then make their first change, bringing on Marc Albrighton for Matthew Lowton.
Christian Benteke goes down in a heap under pressure from James Collins but no free kick is awarded. Villa need to produce a strong response now if they are to avert another home defeat.
West Ham's opener came just 18 seconds after the restart. The visitors are climbing above the relegation zone as things stand.
Villa are shellshocked after that blistering start to the second half by the visitors. West Ham, meanwhile, have hooked Carlton Cole and brought on loan signing Marco Borriello for his Hammers debut.
Goal Kevin Nolan
UNBELIEVABLE! Kevin Nolan doubles West Ham's lead in no time after a horrible mistake from Fabian Delph allowed the Hammers captain to nick the ball and slide it past Brad Guzan for his second in about three minutes.
Assist Stewart Downing
Goal Kevin Nolan
GOAL! Super wing play from Stewart Downing as he bamboozles Ryan Bertrand and backheels a pass into the path of Kevin Nolan, who applies a simple tap-in. Incredible start to the second half.
West Ham get the ball rolling and we are underway again at a rain-drenched Villa Park.
This game is of huge significance to both these teams seeing as only five points separate them in the league table. A draw does neither side much favour, though, so we might see a more open game in the second half.
Not the greatest half of football at Villa Park, it has to be said. West Ham had a great chance through Stewart Downing but Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan hasn't had a save to make as yet. Let's hope there is more action to talk about in the second period.
45' + 1'
Stewart Downing is in the thick of things here as he tries to pick out Carlton Cole but Ryan Bertrand cuts it out behind to concede another corner. Downing's delivery is cleared by Villa and that will be half time.
Stewart Downing has another chance to score after a Matt Jarvis cross breaks to the England winger at the far post but he waits too long to take his shot allowing Villa to get in the block.
OOH! Ashley Westwood thumps a volley just wide of the post after a poor headed clearance from James Tomkins. Decent hit.
James Collins is the first into the referee's book for a crunching tackle on Christian Benteke. This game desperately needs a goal to liven it up.
Yellow Card James Collins
Christian Benteke gets into the action at last and is not pleased when a free kick is awarded against him. Matt Jarvis is then found by Mark Noble but the winger had strayed into an offside position.
Andreas Weimann closes down Adrian forcing the West Ham goalkeeper to make a rushed clearance. I'm not sure if Christian Benteke has had a touch of the ball yet.
George McCartney has a chance to produce a long throw-in but Villa hold firm. Villa looking solid at the back but their strikers have hardly seen the ball so far.
Fabian Delph runs in on goal and lets fly from 25 yards out but it goes wide of goal. The midfielder thinks it took a deflection off a West Ham player but referee Mike Dean awards a goal kick.
Mark Noble releases Kevin Nolan this time, whose cross from the right is cut out behind for a corner. Stewart Downing's delivery is headed clear by Nathan Baker.
OH! Matt Jarvis is played in on goal but Nathan Baker gets back brilliantly and puts Jarvis off just enough for the winger to fire into the side-netting. Excellent defending on that occasion but West Ham are growing into the game.
What an astonishing miss that was from Stewart Downing. That really should have been the opening goal but the winger somehow contrived to fluff his tap-in. Anyway Ryan Bertrand is able to continue.
CHANCE! West Ham create the first real opening of the game with Stewart Downing guilty of squandering a glorious chance at the far post, missing Matt Jarvis' low cross with the goal at his mercy. Ryan Bertrand collided with a post in the process and needs a spot of treatment.
It's been a rather uneventful opening quarter to this game. Villa have seen much of the ball but neither goalkeeper has been tested as yet.
Great work from Andreas Weimann as he picks out Gabriel Agbonlahor with a raking cross-field pass. Agbonlahor's first-touch is poor, though, and he cannot make the most of the opportunity.
West Ham have another corner as Fabian Delph makes a hash of his clearance under little pressure. Downing's cross is again cut out as Villa hold firm.
Mark Noble looks to slip in Stewart Downing with a reverse pass but Ryan Bertrand plays it behind for a corner. Downing's delivery from the set piece is poor, though, and is cleared easily.
Stewart Downing cuts inside to evade Ryan Bertrand and lets fly but that was always going wide. Leandro Bacuna then fouls Kevin Nolan near the centre circle resulting in a West Ham free kick.
Nathan Baker does well to win the ball back of Carlton Cole on the run. Villa are seeing a lot of the ball in these early stages.
Villa look to build patiently with plenty of possession in the middle of the park. Ashley Westwood tries to shift the gears with a first-time ball out of Gabriel Agbonlahor but the pass is intercepted by George McCartney.
Ciaran Clark has to be alert to cut out a Kevin Nolan through pass with Carlton Cole lurking. The West Ham striker then runs into Clark resulting in a goal kick being awarded to Villa.
Villa win a couple of back-to-back corners through good work from Gabriel Agbonlahor but they are well defended by the visitors. The conditions are proving testy with plenty of wind and rain around at Villa Park.
Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood are seeing a lot of the ball in the early stages for Aston Villa and the latter tries to pick out Carlton Cole with a lofted pass but it files over the touchline for a West Ham throw-in.
Stewart Downing has the first chance to throw in a cross but it takes a deflection off Matthew Lowton for a West Ham corner. Downing takes the set piece but it is straight into the arms of Brad Guzan.
Mike Dean is the referee for today and he gets us underway at Villa Park.
West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney; Noble, Taylor; Downing, Nolan, Jarvis; C Cole. Subs: Jaaskelainen, Armero, Reid, Nocerino, Collison, Johnson, J Cole.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Clark, Baker, Bertrand; Bacuna, Delph, Westwood; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor. Subs: Steer, Holt, Sylla, El Ahmadi, Bennett, Helenius, Albrighton.
TEAM NEWS: Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar is out with a hamstring problem but striker Gabriel Agbonlahor (foot) starts after a two-match absence, while West Ham bring in Carlton Cole in place of the suspended Andy Carroll. Full line-ups to follow.
West Ham’s build-up to this fixture has been dominated by the three-game suspension meted out to Andy Carroll following a red card the striker received last weekend against Swansea City. The big Geordie’s absence throws a wrench into manager Sam Allardyce’s plans with a run of important games coming up for the club over the next couple of weeks.
Villa ended a six-match winless run in the league with a dramatic 4-3 victory over local rivals West Bromwich Albion last week and, with just five points separating the Villans from the relegation places, manager Paul Lambert will hope his side can build on that result and improve on a home record that remains the second worst in the top division.
Afternoon all and welcome to live text coverage of the Premier League encounter between Aston Villa and West Ham United from Villa Park, Birmingham.
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