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West Ham United
November 2, 2013
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 34977
West Ham United
So a frustrating afternoon for the home crowd - with some boos sounding at the full-time whistle. The Hammers really struggled to find a focal point without an out-and-out striker, with Carlton Cole also offering little when he came on, so there's plenty of work for Allardyce. Aston Villa, meanwhile, will probably be pretty happy with a point but today's game did highlight how little threat they can offer when Benteke isn't firing. Thanks for joining us.
The full-time whistle goes and it ends 0-0. Both sides had chances to win it late on, Jaaskelainen denying Benteke and Guzan keeping out Joe Cole, but a draw is probably about fair with neither side really doing enough to win the game. There were moments of quality from the likes of Jarvis and Downing for the hosts, but they failed to create enough against a pretty solid Villa defence.
The full-time whistle goes and it ends 0-0.
90' + 2'
SAVE! It's Guzan's turn to deny a late winner as he bats away an effort from West Ham's Joe Cole, who turns neatly in the box to work the chance.
We're going to have a minimum of four added minutes at Upton Park.
SAVE! Benteke almost steals a victory for Villa but Jaaskelainen makes a superb save to tip it round the post! The big striker was played in over the top and brought the ball down expertly, but the keeper was equal to his strike that looked destined for the far corner.
Demel crosses from the right but Carlton Cole can't quite bring it down. The Hammers are pinning Villa back just now.
Benteke misplaces an attempted through ball. Apart from that header which he crashed against the crossbar, he really hasn't been at the races today.
Downing delivers again from the right, this time from open play, but there's just too much on it for the men at the back post.
Downing whips in yet another corner for the Hammers but Guzan punches it away from underneath his crossbar.
Lowson is just down and receiving some treatment - but it looks as if he'll be okay to carry on.
Demel crosses from the right but it's behind everyone in the box. Joe Cole picks up the ball, though, but his shot is straight at Guzan. The attacker should have probably looked for a team-mate too.
As you were; after that flurry of action we're now back to the scrappy midfield battle, Villa enjoying a good spell of possession.
CHANCE! Back come West Ham with Nolan who shoots narrowly wide after Downing's through ball. This is more like it!
CROSSBAR!! Out of nowhere Benteke crashes a header against the woodwork after a ball in from the right.
Downing works some space on the right before shifting the ball to Demel, but the full-back's cross is really poor and Guzan claims it.
Just over 20 minutes left at Upton Park and, still, neither side looks like scoring. To be honest, they both look content with a point just now.
Joe Cole has looked lively since coming onto the field. The former Chelsea & Liverpool man has whipped a couple of decent balls into the box already.
Here come the two Coles for West Ham - Carlton and Joe. Maybe they can add that little bit of quality that's just lacking at the moment.
We've arrived at the hour mark and Villa forward Benteke is still yet to make any kind of mark on this match. The visitors need to get hold of the ball and get it to their main man.
Noble's ball into the box is headed away to the edge, it falls to Morrison but he sends a volley off-target.
Yellow Card Matthew Lowton
Jarvis gets in behind Lowson and forces another free-kick in a dangerous area. Can they do more with this one?
West Ham have a free-kick on the left flank but Noble's delivery is poor and fails to beat the first man. It's rightly met with groans as this game becomes increasingly sub-standard.
Oh my. Sylla shoots from range but it ends up in row Z of Upton Park - both sides are in need of some shooting serious practice in the coming week.
The ball breaks to Nolan on the edge of the box after Morrison has a shot blocked, but the Hammers midfielder lashes it miles over the bar.
Nolan steams into the Villa box but his head is down and runs straight into a defender. The Hammers man had options there, but just needed to look up.
Yellow Card Leandro Bacuna
And we're back underway.
So, while it's been largely disappointing at Upton Park, there have been sparks of quality from both sides. Let's hope for more of the latter when we return.
Looking at the half-time stats, West Ham's slight dominance is evident from their majority 60% share of possession. They've also managed nine shots, but many have been from range (and just two have been on target) largely thanks to some solid Villa defending.
And there goes the half-time whistle, bringing an end to a fairly uninspiring 45 minutes of football. West Ham have probably edged it in terms of general play, but the two best chances of the game have both fallen to Villa. Firstly Jaaskelainen saved from Weimann in a one-on-one situation, before later in the half the attacker was denied by a last-ditch Morrison challenge as he raced away. The Austrian wanted a foul, and thus a red card for the last Hammers defender, but the referee said no to both.
There'll be a minimum of one minute added on at Upton Park.
Downing chips another cross into the Villa box but, yet again, it's headed away. The visitors are defending very well here.
The delivery is headed behind for a corner which comes out to Jarvis on the edge of the box - he shoots at goal but there's a foul on the keeper and the danger passes.
Bacuna brings down Demel and West Ham have another promising free-kick ...
Jarvis almost gets away from Vlaar deep in the Villa half but the defender gets back and makes a fine tackle. The Hammers winger is causing a few problems for the visitors, though.
West Ham play it short and attempt an intricate training-ground move but get it all wrong and concede a free-kick instead. What a waste.
Baker fouls Noble on the edge of the box and West Ham have a free-kick in a good position ...
It's safe to say West Ham are suffering from the absence of a fully fit striker. They have put some nice passages of play together but are lacking that final but of penetration an Andy Carroll or fit Carlton Cole could offer.
Morrison looks to beat his man and work a yard of space for a shot just outside the Villa box, but he's crowded out and loses possession.
Credit has to go to Villa's defensive organisation, here. West Ham continue to knock the ball around but can't find any ways through.
Downing crosses from the right but it's too close to Guzan who claims the ball with ease.
West Ham are enjoying all of the ball at Upton Park, as they knock it around midfield under little pressure from Villa. No more chances to report as of yet.
It's all got a bit scrappy now, with both sides unable to keep hold of the ball. Sometime needs to take control in midfield.
It's still an open game at Upton Park but the hosts are just starting to dominate proceedings a little bit.
CHANCE! A mix-up between Guzan and his defence allows Jarvis to pounce on a neat through ball from Nolan - but the keeper gets back in position to block the eventual shot.
Jarvis gets a cross in from the left after some nice footwork, but it's too high for Downing and Villa clear the danger.
CONTROVERSY! Weimann tumbles under pressure from Morrison, who is West Ham's last line of defence. The Villa man wants a foul, and potentially a red card, but the referee tells him to get to his feet. He did go down a bit easily, perhaps, but there was certainly some shirt tugging.
Downing, who has started fairly impressively, has the pace to get away from El Ahmadi but can't find a team-mate with the cross from the right.
Downing cuts in from the right and unleashes a left-footed shot at goal, but it's straight at Guzan who saves with ease.
Benteke looks for Weimann but misplaces the simple short pass - the big Belgium international hasn't really got himself into this game yet.
Jarvis crosses from the left and finds Nolan - the Englishman is allowed to turn in the penalty area but shoots woefully wide. He should have done much better there.
Back come West Ham as Jarvis heads a cross down to Collison, but the midfielder can't quite get the ball under control in the opponents' box and the chance goes begging.
SAVE! Jaaskelainen does well to stand-up and deny Weimann after he gets in behind the West Ham defence. The Villa attacker's shot is straight at the hosts' keeper, though.
El Ahmadi shoots at goal but Noble gets back to make the block - the Villa midfielder had plenty of other options and should really have passed there.
It looks as if Villa are actually lining up with a back three here, where we've had a quiet start, while Weimann is partnering Benteke up front.
And we're off.
The players are out on the pitch and we are moments away from kick-off at Upton Park ...
Ravel Morrison has just been announced as West Ham's player of the month - looking at the Hammers' striker-less line-up, he certainly is one player that could cause Aston Villa some trouble today.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, come into this one on a run of three games without victory since their dramatic 3-2 win over Manchester City. They'll be hoping to rediscover that kind of form which also saw them beat Arsenal 3-1 earlier in the season.
West Ham have been poor at home so far this season, losing their last three matches at Upton Park. They haven't lost four in a row since the 2005/06 campaign, though, and their fans will be hoping that does not change this afternoon.
Aston Villa starting line-up: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker; Bacuna, Sylla, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Weimann; Benteke. Subs: Steer, Helenius, Herd, Bowery, Tonev, Kozak, Johnson.
West Ham starting line-up: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Rat; Noble, Collison, Nolan; Downing, Jarvis, Morrison. Subs: Adrian, O'Brien, Potts, J.Cole, Diame, Maiga, C.Cole.
Sam Allardyce has, once again, named a starting line-up without an out-and-out striker with Carlton Cole only fit enough for the bench. Paul Lambert, meanwhile, is unable to call on the injured Gabriel Agbonlahor but has Christian Benteke raring to go. Teams in full to follow ...
Hello and welcome to live play-by-play coverage of the Premier League clash between West Ham and Aston Villa. It's been a fairly disappointing start to the season for these two, who both sit in the bottom half of the table and are dangerously close to the relegation zone, but they have also recorded some eye-catching wins. Let's hope they both turn up this afternoon.
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