Aston Villa 2-1 West Ham United FT



Final score - Aston Villa 2-1 West Ham United

95 mins - The chance falls to Nolan from Diame's cross but Guzan blocks at his near post. The corner comes in from Joe Cole and Carlton wins the header at the near post. Guzan again makes the save and pushes the ball aside. Before the corner can be taken, Mr Clattenburg blowsm for full-time. Why on Earth did West Ham not play with that tempo and intensity in the opening 85 minutes? If they had, I'd venture they'd have won this game. Instead, they have lost. Join us again in 15 days for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur on Monday 25 February. Before then, the Development Squad host Southampton at Rush Green on Friday 15 February, with kick-off at 7pm.

94 mins - Into the final minute and time is running out. West Ham launch it forward one last time...

92 mins - Carroll wins another flick on and Clark handles. He is booked. Joe Cole lifts the free-kick in but it's too high and Guzan catches.

91 mins - Into four minutes of added time and Carroll is penalised for catching Sylla. It coms to nothing and West Ham break. Carlton Cole cuts inside and feeds it into Carroll, but his flick is through to Guzan.

89 mins - This would be a massive point if the Hammers can nick something here. Villa and their crowd are bound to be nervous. A long ball forward is flicked on by Carroll but Guzan is out smartly to collect ahead of Nolan. The wet turf didn't help there.

87 mins - GOAL! Out of nowhere, West Ham are back in it. Joe Cole crosses from the left and the ball flicks the head of Westwood and loops high and past Guzan's dive and into the far bottom corner.

87 mins - Bent is booked for leading with his arm.

85 mins - Before the corner, 'Zogbia needs to be replaced, with Sylla coming on. Cole's corner is flicked on by his namesake and cleared back to Joe. He crosses and Tomkins heads back in. Carroll is denied, then Demel's follow-up is deflected a yard wide. The next corner comes to nothing.

84 mins - Vaz Te's stooping header forces Guzan to push the ball away at the near post. There are 30,503 fans here today, and about 27,500 of them are going to head home happy in the rain.

83 mins - Pogatetz's low shot hits a heel and loops wide. Joe Cole's corner is headed clear. I am really not looking forward to the drive home.

82 mins - Goals change games and you can sense the massive frustration among the West Ham players. Dawkins goes down goalside of Reid but it's a blatant dive. Mr Clattenburg gives a free-kick, but no booking for Dawkins.

79 mins - GOAL! Two fouls and two goals for Villa. 'Zogbia steps up and curls a his free-kick into the net. It wasn't exactly in the corner, but Jaaskelainen could only watch it.

78 mins - Tomkins is penalised for a foul on Bent on the edge of the D. Reid hurls the ball into the turf in frustration and is booked for dissent.

77 mins - Carlton Cole has a chance straight away but he doesn't hit it first time. Instead, he tries to control as the cross comes in from the left and the chance is lost.

76 mins - Noble is replaced. Carlton Cole is coming on.

74 mins - GOAL! Benteke steps up and sends Jaaskelainen the wrong way as cool as you like. Collymore punches the air in front of me...

73 mins - Villa break and they have a penalty. Noble concedes it, bringing down 'Zogbia as he cuts around him. It's a penalty, no doubt about it.

73 mins - Cole curls the free-kick in and Nolan wins the header, but it's off-target, flying high and wide of the near post.

72 mins - Awful sliding tackle from Baker on Cole near the touchline. Why did he do that? Yellow card for the left-back. Free-kick for West Ham...

71 mins - West Ham escape. Benteke should keep himself onside as 'Zogbia brings the ball forward into space, but he doesn't. He collects and shoots wide anyway.

67 mins - Vaz Te on for Taylor. That is West Ham's second change, of course.

66 mins - Noble lifts a free-kick in from halfway and Baker can only head behind for another corner. Taylor lifts it high and the ball drops into the path of Carroll. He smashes a low left-foot shot that flashes past Guzan and is blocked a yard from the line by Bent, who had been manning the near post at the corner.

64 mins - Cole comes forward again down the right, where he is enjoying some luck, but Taylor mis-kicks. Nolan then loses possession and Villa break. 'Zogbia cuts inside Pogatetz and shoots powerfully, but the ball swings just wide of the far post. That would have been some goal.

63 mins - A double-change from Villa, with Bowery being replaced by Bent and Simon Dawkins on for Weimann. Dawkins is on loan from Spurs.

62 mins - Noble fouls Westwood on halfway. The free-kick is headed out by Reid and Pogatetz forces Vlaar wide before conceding a throw. West Ham stand firm and Noble brings the ball clear. The Hammers work it well and the cross comes in from the right. Guzan punches clear to Nolan, who takes a touch and sees his low shot blocked.

60 mins - Cole shoved to the floor by Baker near the left touchline. Demel gets forward and wins another corner off Clark. Taylor takes in front of the Hammers fans and curls it to the far post. Carroll challenges but Baker wins the header and the ball skips away for a throw in front of us. The rain continues to fall...

58 mins - Weimann and Lowton combine and Reid has to concede a corner. Westwood takes it but the ball clears Benteke, despite a giant leap from the Belgian. Two more crosses come in but both are too strong and Demel allows the ball to run out for a throw on the far side.

55 mins - The ball comes back in low from Diame and Clark gets back to hack clear inside his own six-yard box. West Ham cranking up the pressure on the hosts. Can they find a goal while they are on top?

53 mins - Villa looking a bit nervous at the back and Diame steals the ball 30 yards out. He beats one man and wins a corner off Vlaar. Noble takes and it's cleared, but West Ham are soon coming forward again. Taylor gets in behind and his pull-back is cleared. The ball falls back to Cole, whose driven cross is sliced behind for another corner. Guzan claws it away.

52 mins - Cole picks up possession and crosses left-footed. Bowery heads behind for another corner. Cole's kick is low and cleared for a throw at the near post.

51 mins - Demel gets a knock in the face from Benteke and needs a few seconds to recover. The referee calls Benteke over and gives him a lecture, but no card. Mr Clattenburg appears to be telling the Belgian not to lead with his arm when going for a header.

50 mins - Demel attacks down the right and swaps passes with Cole before swinging over a cross towards the penalty spot. Vlaar and Carroll jostle for the ball and both go to ground. Nothing given by referee Mr Clattenburg.

49 mins - West Ham have looked more confident in possession since the break.

47 mins - The corner is headed out back to Cole. He delivers a superb second ball and it drops to Tomkins, whose volley is blocked by Lowton. Was that goalbound? Tomkins has his head in his hands. Villa clear.

46 mins - West Ham get the game back underway... Forty seconds in and Carroll forces Vlaar to head behind for a corner from a high ball forward. Joe Cole to take it...

Half-time score - Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham United

50 mins - A long clearance bounces away for a West Ham goal kick but before it can be taken the half-time whistle is blown. Weimann's early chance aside, Jaaskelainen has not had a real save to make. That said, the Austrian should have scored. Anyway, it's goalless at the break.

48 mins - Diame finds Taylor in space on the left. He cuts inside Lowton and shoots right-footed. The ball takes a deflection and loops high into the arms of Guzan. The Hammers are finishing the half strongly.

47 mins - Joe Cole has space down the left, but his cross is just behind Carroll. He tries to find Nolan, but cannot. Moments later, the No8 makes a chance for himself and wins the ball back 25 yards out. He shoots left-footed, but slices high and wide. Ironic cheers from the Holte End.

45 mins - Pogatetz is booked now as a loose pass back to him allows 'Zogbia to streak away. The Austrian fouls him and the yellow card is shown by Mark Clattenburg. The free-kick is cleared and we're into four minutes of added time.

43 mins - Nolan gives the ball away after Pogatetz is caught in possession. Weimann should benefit as he collects goalside of the West Ham back four, but he checks instead of going on and the chance is lost as Taylor's clearance is charged down and bounces away for a goal kick.

40 mins - Benteke's pass takes a touch off Diame and rolls out for a corner. Westwood takes it to the near post and Vlaar half-volleys into the ground and the ball bounces a yard past the angle of post and crossbar.

38 mins - Demel is penalised for a foul about 35 yards out. The ball is rolled by 'Zogbia to Vlaar, who drags a shot about ten yards wide of the left-hand post.

37 mins - Better play. A pass from Reid splits the Villa midfield and Diame and Carroll combine to find Demel in space on the right. He slides the cross in low and Clark stretches to get a toe to the ball. It rolls to Guzan, but it's not a backpass.

36 mins - Good news elsewhere. West Ham United Ladies are 6-0 up after 28 minutes of their Essex FA County Cup tie with Witham Town!

34 mins - Carroll works hard to win two headers before collecting a pass from Noble and bring fouled by Clark, who has blood on his head from that earlier clash with Carroll. The free-kick is floated in and Guzan confidently catches.

31 mins - Taylor pops up on the right this time and crosses. Carroll rises against two defenders and wins the header and it loops into the arms of Guzan.

30 mins - Taylor gets forward and plays a give-and-go with Diame. He could look for Cole or Carroll in the box but instead tries to shoot from an acute angle. The ball hits the post holding the net up. A few team-mates look at him with confused looks on their faces.

30 mins - The Hammers seem to be having issues keeping the ball in midfield, despite having three men in there. This formation needs the wing-backs to contribute going forward, but they are being penned back by Weimann and Bowery at present.

27 mins - West Ham are struggling to maintain possession. Carroll collects a ball and finds Joe Cole, who feeds Demel, but his pass inside is between Nolan and Noble and the ball is lost again.

25 mins - Some neat one-touch stuff after Benteke had been robbed of possession by the corner flag. Two Villa players then tackle one another and Carroll can try to find Diame, but his pass skims away on the wet surface. Villa look the more threatening, I must admit.

24 mins - Before West Ham can get back up to eleven men, Tomkins also needs the physio on after receiving a kick in the mouth from Delph as he makes a sliding challenge. It was a great tackle and there was certainly no malice from Delph. Completely accidental. Demel is on for O'Brien.

23 mins - O'Brien is walking gingerly along the touchline and he's going to need to be replaced. Demel is called back to the dugout by Neil McDonald.

20 mins - The Villa crowd clap as one for Stiliyan Petrov, who is currently receiving treatment for leukaemia. The Villa captain wears the No19 shirt, so the 19th minute at every game is marked by a minute of applause. It perks up the players too as O'Brien and Tomkins have to make strong challenges to repel a home attack. The ball finally hits Baker and goes behind for a goal kick. O'Brien needs the physio on as that was a really big impact with the left-back.

17 mins - Delph gets his own back, beating Diame before being fouled by Pogatetz about 35 yards out. Lowton's free-kick finds the head of Benteke, but the Belgian was stretching and could only head high and wide.

16 mins - O'Brien keeps his eye on the ball to rob Benteke near the touchline. Diame then embarrasses Delph with fantastic quick feet. The midfielder responds by pulling Diame back and he goes to ground. Talking-to but no card for the Villa No16.

15 mins - Nolan and Carroll combine to win a throw inside the Villa half. Unfortunately, Joe Cole is penalised for fouling Lowton and Villa have a free-kick.

12 mins - Carroll is the first up on his feet and gets a cheer from the Hammers fans. Baker is also up a few seconds later. Carlton Cole had been out warming-up, but he is now back in his seat on the bench. West Ham resume with a free-kick. Jaaskelainen hoofs the ball upfield and Carroll is back on and immediately wins the header. Good, brave play from the big man.

10 mins - Benteke wins a flick-on that leaves Reid out of position. Weimann takes on Tomkins. The No5 keeps his eye on the ball and slides it out for a corner. Taylor initially heads it away but when the cross comes back in, O'Brien can take no chances and concedes another corner. The 'Zogbia corner comes in and Carroll heads clear. Baker collides with the striker and there is an nasty clash of heads. Both physios race on to tend to the players.

7 mins - Carroll is getting himself more involved in the game. He wins a throw on the far side and West Ham are getting a foothold in the game. How important will Weimann's early miss turn out to be?

5 mins - Diame is fouled in midfield. The free-kick is launched up to the edge of the box. Carroll wins the flick-on and then the ball is half-cleared back into the path of the No8. He has no time to adjust and his shot loops onto the top of the net. 'Oooohs' from the travelling fans.

3 mins - Villa have started with some real purpose. They got a 3-3 draw at Everton last weekend and know they can score goals. West Ham, meanwhile, are trying to sort themselves out as they are employing a 3-5-2 formation with O'Brien and Taylor in the wing-back positions. Pogatetz is playing as the left centre-back.

2 mins - Horrific all round. Benteke cuts inside Reid and shoots low. Jaaskelainen spills a routine catch and Weimann somehow slots the follow-up wide of the gaping net. That is one of the misses of the season. Jaaskelainen should have held that.

1.30pm - Villa to kick-off and we're underway...

1.25pm - The two teams are in the tunnel and we're nearly ready for the big entrance. There are quite a few empty seats inside the ground, which is huge. Suffice to say, the travelling West Ham fans are making all the noise! Here come the players, led by captains Nolan and Vlaar... West Ham are in sky blue shirts and shorts and claret socks. Villa are in claret and blue shirts and socks and white shorts.

1.20pm - The West Ham substitutes are out there in the rain, but the starting XI are already back in the warm and dry Away dressing room. The Villa players are just wandering past us in the Press Box heading for the tunnel. Remember 23 April 2006? That was the date of West Ham's most-recent win on this ground, when Marlon Harewood fired the Hammers to an FA Cup semi-final victory over Middlesbrough at Villa Park. Four months earlier, Harewood was also on target in a 2-1 Premier League win here - West Ham's most-recent league win at Aston Villa.

1.15pm - The rain is still bucketing down here in the West Midlands. The playing surface is certainly greasy and the ball should move quickly around the pitch. I am sat directly behind Villa fan and Southend United legend Stan Collymore. I am assured the big man will be remaining impartial during his talkSPORT commentary...

1.10pm - First-team coach Ian Hendon has told me that he made his senior debut for Tottenham Hotspur at Aston Villa back in 1990. David Platt scored a hat-trick for Villa to put them 3-0 up before Hendon's introduction. Spurs, who included Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker in their side, were inspired by Hendon's arrival and battled back to lose 3-2.

1.05pm - If you want to get an exclusive insight in to today's goings-on at Villa Park, visit our Official Twitter page now @whufc_official, where you can view exclusive video clips of the players arriving and going out to warm-up on the pitch. Meanwhile, on our Official Facebook page, we have an exclusive photo gallery.

12.45pm - The team news is in. Pogatetz does indeed make his full debut, while Joe Cole is also re-called to the starting XI. Jarvis and Vaz Te drop to the bench.

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, J.Cole, Taylor, Carroll
Subs: Spiegel, Demel, O'Neil, Jarvis, Vaz Te, C.Cole, Chamakh

Aston Villa: Guzan, Baker, Clark, Vlaar, Lowton, Bowery, Westwood, Delph, 'Zogbia, Weimann, Benteke
Subs: Given, Sylla, Bent, Bannan, Holman, Dawkins, Bennett

Good morning and welcome to a soaking wet Villa Park for this afternoon's Barclays Premier League fixture between Aston Villa and West Ham United.

Without being over-dramatic about things, this is a BIG match for both clubs. If the Hammers can triumph in the West Midlands, they will go 12 points clear of the relegation zone with 12 matches remaining. If Villa win, they leap out of the relegation zone and the gap between Sam Allardyce's team and the bottom three is reduced to seven points.

However, as Big Sam and his players have been saying in recent weeks, West Ham should be looking up rather than down. Indeed, a win today would close the gap to seventh-place Swansea City to just four points. A top-half finish certainly is not out of the question.

Following last Saturday's 1-0 home win over Swansea City, West Ham begin the day where they started the weekend in eleventh, albeit now three points behind tenth-place Stoke City. A three-goal triumph at Villa Park would see the Hammers leapfrog the Potters into the top half.

Villa start the day in 19th place and are on an eight-match winless run in the league, having collected 21 points from 25 matches and with a goal difference of -26 - the worst in the division. However, Paul Lambert's team have scored goals in recent weeks, netting in each of their previous five games in all competitions, including three in a draw at Everton eight days ago.

Team news-wise, Big Sam has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal, with only George McCartney (knee) and James Collins (hamstring) sidelined and Modibo Maiga away at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. The manager could hand a full debut to Emanuel Pogatetz, but is perhaps more likely to stick with the starting XI who beat Swansea last weekend.

For Aston Villa, midfielder Ashley Westwood has a virus and could miss out. Midfielders Karim El Ahmadi and Fabian Delph have overcome knee injuries, while January signing Yacouba Sylla could make his first start.