Live Commentary: West Ham United 1-0 Aston Villa - as it happened

Paul Lambert
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of the Premier League clash between West Ham United and Aston Villa at Upton Park.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of the Premier League clash between West Ham United and Aston Villa at Upton Park.

It is the opening weekend of the 21st Premier League season and there are plenty of fresh faces on show following the summer's transfer dealings.

However, the biggest change for Aston Villa has arguably been in the dugout, as Paul Lambert will be taking charge of his first competitive game.

The Scot has replaced his countryman Alex McLeish at the helm after taking Norwich City from League Two to 12th in the Premier League in just three years.

West Ham United make their return to the top flight at home and Sam Allardyce will be desperate for a perfect start to the new campaign.


Full timeIt's over and it is West Ham who take the three points. It was an easy victory, in truth. Far easier than the scoreline suggests.

93 minsVilla launched the ball forward as they pushed forward in search of an equaliser. However, it eventually broke to Maiga, who ran at goal from inside his own half. He took the ball around Given, but his shot was cleared off the line. Unlucky.

93 minsOFF THE LINE! Maiga nearly opens his West Ham account!

92 minsTime is ticking away for Villa, who have been frustrating to watch this afternoon. West Ham look comfortable.

90 minsFour minutes of added time.

88 minsTwo minutes plus injury time to go, but still there is no urgency from Villa.

84 minsApologies - Gary Gardner replaced Charles N'Zogbia. Not Eric Lichaj.

82 minsLowton whips a ball into the box, but there is nobody there and Jaaskalainen is completely untroubled as he takes the ball.

80 minsModibo Maiga is about to come on for Carlton Cole. Not a bad shift from the big man, who has been a bit of a handful for the Villa defence.

77 minsCLOSE! Cole heads wide from Taylor's long free kick into the box. He should have done better.

76 minsLambert had made his final change. Barry Bannan comes on for Fabian Delph.

76 minsVlaar strolls forward but his shot, from all of 35 yards, is easily dealt with by Jaaskelainen.

75 minsVilla concede possession again. It has been a bad first day at the office but, while it remains 1-0, they are still in with a shout.

73 minsN'Zogbia comes off for Lichaj.

73 minsKevin Nolan is now making way and his replacement is James Tomkins. Is Allardyce shutting up shop?

71 minsWest Ham are defending rather astutely. Villa haven't had a sniff (commentator's curse?)

70 minsVilla have picked up the pace. They still can't find Bent, though. Sam Allardyce is going to make a change. George McCartney is coming off and will be replaced by Joey O'Brien.

65 minsCLOSE FOR WEST HAM! Vaz Te showed great feet to get past Clark and get to the byline, where he squared the ball back to McCartney. His right-footed shot was cleared off the line by Baker.

64 minsIreland is trying to pull the strings in midfield, but is not having much joy.

63 minsN'Zogbia fires at goal, but it is deflected for a corner. Vlaar gets his head on the cross, but it goes behind for a goal kick.

62 minsDespite clearly being the better side, West Ham have not really carved Villa open.

61 minsNothing comes of the free kick.

61 minsAston Villa have a free kick on the right. Meanwhile, Brett Holman has made way for Andreas Weimann.

60 minsDiame has been the best player on the field so far. He is working incredibly hard in the heat of west London.

59 minsDiame powers his way down the left and works the ball back to McCartney, whose cross finds Given.

56 minsReid is down. He fell awkwardly on his ankle.

55 minsAston Villa don't seem to be able to string a pass together. Bent looks lost in attack.

49 minsDiame tries to find Cole in the box, but the pass is over-hit and Given claims it.

47 minsDemel swings a ball into the box and Vlaar appears to foul Cole. However, the referee waves the protests away. It looked like a penalty...

46 minsNoble drifts in a corner, but it beats everyone. Vlaar shepherds the ball out of play.

45 minsIreland gets Villa's first shot on target. It was a fairly tame effort.

4.05pmThe second half is about to get underway...

4.03pmBent has been isolated up front. Delph and N'Zogbia are full of running, but have not managed to link the play with Bent.

3.58pmThe first half was a bit of a non-event. Villa started the brighter of the two teams, but West Ham gradually settled down and began to influence the game.

3.53pmReplays show that Vaz Te was marginally offside when he latched onto Collins's flick. A bit of early-season luck for Allardyce's men.

Half timethere's the half-time whistle. West Ham lead 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Kevin Nolan.

44 minsThe Frenchman is brought down once again, this time by McCartney. Villa will pump one into the box.

42 minsN'Zogbia makes a run down the right but is scythed down by Taylor, who gets a stern talking to from the referee.

41 minsIt's not clear whether Ciaran Clark got a touch after James Collins's flick, but Aston Villa were not very happy with the linesman.

40 minsA long free kick was launched into the box and was flicked on by Collins. The ball fell to the feet of Ricardo Vaz Te, who cut the ball back to Nolan. The captain then rolled it into an empty net. Suspicions of offside.

39 minsGOAL! Kevin Nolan has scored for West Ham!

38 minsWest Ham have settled down a bit now. They are seeing more of the ball than Villa, but are not very incisive up front. Clarke gives away another free kick and receives a booking to boot.

36 minsClark gives away yet another free kick inside the Villa half. I can't imagine Lambert will be too happy about this. West Ham waste another opportunity.

35 minsCLOSE! Nolan thrashes a free kick that just whistles past Given's right-hand post.

33 minsVlaar is back on with a tennis-style headband.

32 minsMeanwhile, West Ham have a free kick in Matt Taylor range...

32 minsVlaar has left the field to receives treatment for a cut to his eye. He's dripping with claret...

30 minsIt's a waste. Couldn't get it past the first man.

30 minsCorner to West Ham. Taylor is stepping up to take it.

29 minsReid launches the ball into the area and Vaz Te gets his head to it. However, he cannot find a teammate and Given clears up.

28 minsTaylor nearly latches onto a ball down the left but Delph covers well and concedes a throw.

27 minsWinston Reid brings down N'Zogbia, who weaved his way across the field.

26 minsGiven comfortbaly takes the ball in his gloves.

25 minsNolan finds Taylor in the Villa half, but he is blocked by Lowton. Free kick.

23 minsCarlton Cole bundles Delph over to concede a needless free kick just inside his own half.

21 minsIreland sets Bent free inside the box, but his shot is blocked.

20 minsDelph bursts through the midfield and plays a give-and-go with Steven Ireland. He finds Ciaran Clark down the left, but his cross iss too deep.

19 minsDelph is caught in possession in midfield. Taylor finds Cole, but the danger is cleared by Vlaar.

18 minsAston Villa have had the better of the early exchanges, but neither team has threatened the goal.

16 minsCarlton Cole finds himself with some space in the Villa box, but his cross/shot was blocked easily.

15 minsSo far, El Ahmadi has looked fairly tidy. Composed on the ball and doesn't try to do too much with it. You can tell he loves a biting tackle, as well...

12 minsBoth teams are struggling to get the ball down in play here. There is plenty of fire in bellies.

10 minsN'Zogbia jinks down the left and looks to be causing Demel a few problems. He lays it back to Holman, whose cross is too long.

8 minsApologies - we have a few gremlins in the system but we are all good to go now. We are eight minutes in, but in truth you haven't missed much...

3.01pmIt's about to get underway at Upton Park. Here we go!

2.58pmAnd, of course, Matt Lowton impressed at full-back for Sheffield United last season and has got his shot in the Premier League.

2.56pmKarim El Ahmadi follows Vlaar from Feyenoord to complete a trio of signings from the Eredivisie. He is a defensive midfielder who has made 17 appearances for Morocco.

2.55pmRon Vlaar joins from Feyenoord. He was a part of Holland's disastrous Euro 2012 campaign, though he might not like to admit it...

2.54pmBrett Holman joins from AZ Alkmaar, and you will have seen him playing for Australia in World Cups 2006 and 2010.

2.52pmWe already know quite a bit about West Ham's two debutants Jussi Jaaskelainen and Mohamed Diame. However, Ron Vlaar, Brett Holman and Karim El Ahmadi are making their bows in England.

2.47pmIs there anything better than the opening day of the Premier League? Some might say the closing day of the Premier League, but those people don't know what they're talking about... right?

2.40pmDarren Bent returns from injury and has been made captain.

2.31pmPaul Lambert has replaced Alex McLeish in charge of Aston Villa. There is renewed optimism around Villa Park following his arrival. Taking Norwich up from League Two to a mid-table Premier League finish in three years has certainly impressed Villa owner Randy Lerner.

2.28pmSo Sam Allardyce secured promotion for the Hammers in his first season in charge. Ricardo Vaz Te was the man who scored the winner in the playoff final against Blackpool.

2.20pmPaul Lambert, himself making his Aston Villa managerial debut, starts with all four of his new signings for the opening game.


Aston Villa:
Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Holman, Delph, El Ahmadi, N'Zogbia, Ireland, Bent

Subs: Guzan, Herd, Weimann, Bannan, Lichaj, Burke, Gardner

2.15pmSam Allardyce has handed debuts to Jussi Jaaskelainen and Mohamed Diame. There are no places for Alou Diarra or Modibo Maiga, who will both start from the bench. James Collins will also start on his return to the club from today's opponents.


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

2.13pmWhat's that? You want some team news? Well, okay... I guess so...

2.07pmEuro 2012 and the Olympics have been and gone, but the 21st season of the Premier League is under an hour away from kickoff. Nine months or joy/torture ensue...

2.03pmIt's the opening day of the Premier League season!


Paul Lambert
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