Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

17 January 2010 03:49
Struggling West Ham clinched a vital away point as they frustrated Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa in an uninspiring draw at Villa Park.Villa were stifled by West Ham's five-man midfield, and the visitors could have taken an early lead only for Frank Nouble to fire over from 12 yards. [LNB]After the break, Villa's James Milner clipped the post with a 20-yard drive and James Collins volleyed wide. [LNB]Villa applied late pressure but were denied by a resolute Hammers defence. [LNB]Martin O'Neill's Villa side have gone about their pursuit of the top four in comparatively low-key fashion, certainly in comparison to some of their rivals for a place in Europe. [LNB]But they came into this match having lost their two previous Premier League matches - to Liverpool and Arsenal - and the draw will do little to make up the ground they lost as a result as they stay in sixth place. [LNB]They had the best of a largely poor game, but were unable to break down an impressive West Ham backline. [LNB]Be it takeover talks off the pitch or a relegation battle on it, the Hammers are rarely out of the media limelight at present. [LNB]Negotiations with a quartet of suitors interested in a buyout rumble on with no resolution in sight, but a repeat of this hard-working and committed performance could see them avoid their battle with relegation becoming a similarly protracted affair. [LNB]As a result of this point they have climbed to 16th place in the league and even if Bolton win later on Sunday to overtake them they will end the weekend out of the relegation zone. [LNB]They have struggled all season with injuries, particularly in attack, and although they were able to welcome back both Mark Noble and Scott Parker in midfield, they lack a cutting edge without leading scorers Carlton Cole and Guillermo Franco. [LNB]As a statement of their ambition at Villa Park, they dropped striker Alessandro Diamanti to the bench and replaced him with Jack Collison in a reinforced midfield designed to suffocate the home side. [LNB]For much of the first half they did just that as Villa were stifled, and harried into a series of misplaced passes.[LNB] West Ham have just parked the bus for 90 minutes and we don't have the players to break through jollydavros With their stall set out, the visitors created the first chance of the match. [LNB]Nouble collected on the half way line and scythed through the Villa defence and into the box but his shot was woefully high, affected partly by the sliding challenge of Carlos Cuellar. [LNB]On the 25-minute mark, Villa finally found some cohesion in the final third and but for Robert Green in the West Ham goal would have taken the lead.[LNB] [LNB][LNB]O'Neill predicts tight battle for top four spot[LNB]Ashley Young found space on the left and his cross come shot was looping into the far corner until Green palmed away and then a minute later Gabriel Agbonlahor was allowed to swivel and shoot in the box only for the England keeper to parry to safety. [LNB]Villa continued to apply pressure for the rest of the half but had only a Collins header, put over from a Young corner, to show for it. [LNB]The home side started the second half with purpose and were almost rewarded when Emile Heskey teed up Milner to shoot from 25 yards but his effort grazed the outside of Green's left-hand post and went wide. [LNB]Minutes later, Villa floated over a free-kick and from Matthew Upson's defensive header Collins volleyed just wide. [LNB]Villa briefly thought they had broken the deadlock on the hour when substitute John Carew bundled in after Green had saved from Stewart Downing but referee Mike Jones ruled that the striker had kicked the ball out of the keeper's hands.[LNB] [LNB][LNB]Zola proud of 'unbelievable' West Ham[LNB]West Ham could have stolen a much-needed win late on when the ball found its way to substitute Junior Stanislas, who drove in a cross that was fortuitously cleared over his own bar by Collins. [LNB]The final chance of the match fell to Agbonlahor, who broke free of his marker inside the box but Green was quick out to block before the striker could pull the trigger. [LNB][LNB]Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:[LNB]"We're disappointed we didn't win the game but I'm delighted with the effort of the side. [LNB]"We've not had much time to prepare but once we got into it I thought we dominated. [LNB]"The team has been doing well and we're still fighting on all fronts." [LNB]West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola:[LNB]"The performance of the players was unbelievable. I'm really proud of them. [LNB]"The commitment despite the difficulties was outstanding. I'm fortunate to have players like them. [LNB]"We have a young side and players who can improve. It makes me optimistic if we can learn to handle games like this we can stay in the league." [LNB][LNB] Live text and stats  [LNB] Sunday, 17 January 2010[LNB] Premier League[LNB] Home Team Score Away Team Time Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham R (HT 0-0) Aston Villa 01 Friedel 05 Dunne 24 Cuellar 25 Warnock 29 Collins 06 Downing 07 A Young 08 Milner 19 Petrov yellow card 11 Agbonlahor 18 Heskey (Carew 57) Substitutes 22 Guzan, 02 L Young, 23 Beye, 04 Sidwell, 16 Delph, 10 Carew, 14 Delfouneso West Ham 01 Green 15 Upson 18 Spector 30 Tomkins 08 Parker (Alessandro Diamanti 57) 14 Kovac yellow card (Stanislas 62 yellow card) 16 Noble 20 Faubert 21 Behrami 31 Collison yellow card 24 Nouble (Da Costa 90+4) Substitutes 28 Kurucz, 22 Da Costa, 33 Daprela, 17 Jimenez, 46 Stanislas, 19 Sears, 32 Alessandro Diamanti Ref: JonesAtt: 35,646 ASTON VILLA WEST HAM Possession Aston Villa 56% West Ham 44% Attempts on target Aston Villa 10 West Ham 3 Attempts off target Aston Villa 7 West Ham 5 Corners Aston Villa 16 West Ham 4 Fouls Aston Villa 7 West Ham 12 Final Result Full Time 90:00+5:59 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle. 90:00+4:00 Substitution Manuel Da Costa comes on in place of Frank Nouble. 90:00+1:36 The assistant referee flags for offside against Alessandro Diamanti. Brad Friedel takes the indirect free kick. 89:54 Junior Stanislas concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Young. Stewart Downing crosses the ball in from the free kick. 89:00 Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick. 89:00 Booking Booking for Stiliyan Petrov. 88:55 Booking Booking for Junior Stanislas. 88:26 Stiliyan Petrov fouled by Junior Stanislas, the ref awards a free kick. 87:44 Corner taken by Junior Stanislas. 87:11 Stewart Downing takes a shot. Robert Green makes a save. 86:23 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ashley Young, clearance made by Matthew Upson. 86:15 A cross is delivered by Stephen Warnock, James Tomkins gets a block in. 84:06 Alessandro Diamanti takes a shot. Stephen Warnock gets a block in. 80:43 Effort from long distance by Mark Noble goes wide right of the target. 79:55 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Frank Nouble by Carlos Cuellar. Free kick crossed left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti from left wing, clearance made by John Carew. 77:58 Ashley Young takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Valon Behrami. 77:30 Stewart Downing takes a shot. James Tomkins gets a block in. 76:56 The free kick is swung in left-footed by Stewart Downing. 76:56 Booking Jack Collison goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour. 75:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Jack Collison. Correction - 74:11 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing from the left by-line, James Collins produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar. 74:11 Corner from left by-line taken by Stewart Downing. 73:51 Shot by Stiliyan Petrov. James Tomkins gets a block in. Correction - 72:53 Junior Stanislas takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Upson. 72:53 Junior Stanislas produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left. 72:29 Short corner taken by Alessandro Diamanti. 70:59 Corner taken by Alessandro Diamanti. 69:19 Shot by Alessandro Diamanti missed to the right of the target. 66:29 The referee penalises Julien Faubert for handball. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ashley Young from left wing. 64:51 Richard Dunne concedes a free kick for a foul on Alessandro Diamanti. Mark Noble crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, James Collins makes a clearance. 64:32 Jonathan Spector fouled by Gabriel Agbonlahor, the ref awards a free kick. Robert Green takes the direct free kick. 63:13 Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar. 62:47 Frank Nouble takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. 61:26 James Tomkins takes the direct free kick. 61:26 Substitution Radoslav Kovac leaves the field to be replaced by Junior Stanislas. 61:26 Radoslav Kovac fouled by Stiliyan Petrov, the ref awards a free kick. 60:35 The referee blows for offside. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick. 60:16 Stewart Downing takes a shot. Save by Robert Green. 59:33 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the right by-line. 59:28 The ball is swung over by Ashley Young, blocked by Jonathan Spector. 58:30 Foul by Radoslav Kovac on Stiliyan Petrov, free kick awarded. Richard Dunne restarts play with the free kick. 57:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Noble on Stiliyan Petrov. Stiliyan Petrov crosses the ball, Effort from outside the box by James Collins goes wide right of the target. 56:40 Substitution (West Ham) makes a substitution, with Alessandro Diamanti coming on for Scott Parker. 56:15 Substitution John Carew comes on in place of Emile Heskey. 55:50 Shot on goal by Carlos Cuellar from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target. 55:33 Corner taken by Ashley Young. 55:06 Stewart Downing takes a shot. Radoslav Kovac gets a block in. 54:59 The ball is delivered by Ashley Young, clearance by Matthew Upson. 54:29 Ashley Young takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Radoslav Kovac makes a clearance. 53:02 Gabriel Agbonlahor is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Robert Green takes the free kick. 50:40 Jonathan Spector challenges Ashley Young unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ashley Young crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing. 49:12 Shot from outside the box by James Milner goes wide right of the target. 48:09 Corner taken by Ashley Young. 47:15 Outswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the left by-line, Matthew Upson makes a clearance. 45:01 The referee gets the second half started. Half Time 45:00+1:00 The ref blows to signal half-time. 43:40 Ashley Young takes the inswinging corner, save by Robert Green. 42:07 James Tomkins gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ashley Young from left wing, Robert Green makes a save. 40:52 A cross is delivered by Stephen Warnock. 40:03 Unfair challenge on Radoslav Kovac by Stiliyan Petrov results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Scott Parker. 36:06 Emile Heskey produces a mishit right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post. 34:46 Inswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing, Header from deep inside the area by James Collins goes harmlessly over the crossbar. 34:24 Outswinging corner taken by Ashley Young from the right by-line played to the near post, Radoslav Kovac makes a clearance. 34:16 The ball is crossed by Stephen Warnock, Jonathan Spector makes a clearance. 34:09 Ashley Young crosses the ball, save by Robert Green. 33:30 Unfair challenge on James Milner by Valon Behrami results in a free kick. Stephen Warnock takes the free kick. 31:43 Shot from just outside the box by Valon Behrami goes over the bar. 31:08 Outswinging corner taken by Mark Noble from the right by-line. 30:20 The ball is swung over by Stewart Downing, Matthew Upson manages to make a clearance. 29:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Noble on Ashley Young. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Warnock. 28:55 Stephen Warnock crosses the ball, save made by Robert Green. 27:06 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ashley Young. 26:45 Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green. 26:11 Ashley Young takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green. 25:10 Inswinging corner taken by Ashley Young. 21:03 Corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young, clearance made by Matthew Upson. 20:54 Emile Heskey takes a shot. Blocked by James Tomkins. 20:26 Stewart Downing decides to take the corner short. 19:51 Foul by Matthew Upson on Gabriel Agbonlahor, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ashley Young, clearance by Julien Faubert. 16:51 Direct effort from the free kick comes in from James Milner. 16:51 Booking Booking for Radoslav Kovac for unsporting behaviour. 16:40 Radoslav Kovac concedes a free kick for a foul on Emile Heskey. 15:25 The ball is swung over by Ashley Young, Stewart Downing takes a shot. Save by Robert Green. 11:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Spector by Emile Heskey. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Mark Noble from left channel, clearance by Carlos Cuellar. 10:50 Ashley Young takes the inswinging corner, save by Robert Green. 10:03 Scott Parker has an effort at goal from a long way out that goes wide left. 6:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Radoslav Kovac. Stephen Warnock crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Matthew Upson. 5:23 Frank Nouble produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar. 2:53 James Milner gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker. James Tomkins takes the free kick. 0:18 Gabriel Agbonlahor is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Robert Green. 0:00 The game begins. Live text and data provided by The Press Association.[LNB]

Source: BBC_Sport