West Ham United 0 Aston Villa 0 match report: Toothless Hammers end their losing streak but Villa’s drought continues

Villa striker Christian Benteke came closest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the post

Upton Park

Enough of false nines – not that the real ones did much better. West Ham’s strikerless formation failed to break down a packed defence, while Aston Villa’s counter-attacking plan failed because Christian Benteke, the closest thing to an old-fashioned number nine on view, squandered a chance that any self-respecting centre-forward would have devoured.

Villa’s scoreless streak thus reached 375 minutes, but they remain a point ahead of West Ham, who have still not won a Premier League game at Upton Park since the opening day of season. On this showing they may not do so again until Andy Carroll returns from injury.

The 4-6-0 system that has been forced on them surprised Tottenham three games ago, but Villa were prepared.

Kevin Nolan, usually the furthest forward of West Ham’s midfield sextet, worked hard but although he has been a valuable source of goals in the past, he lacks a striker’s instinct. Carlton Cole – re-signed last month after being released in the summer – was introduced as a late substitute, but Matt Jarvis, surely the man most likely to supply him with the ball, was taken off at the same time.

Villa, already without Gabriel Agbonlahor because of an ankle injury, were further hampered when Andreas Weimann limped off in the second half. The Austrian forward had forced a save from Jussi Jaaskelainen early on and was denied in the 16th minute when Ravel Morrison pulled him back with both hands, unaccountably escaping a red card or even a free kick from Howard Webb. Yet Villa still could have won it. Benteke, unchallenged after escaping the marking of Tomkins, headed Matthew Lowton’s centre against the crossbar after 71 minutes.

“We had the best chances of the game,” Paul Lambert, the Villa manager, said. “Another day they go in. I’d be worried if we weren’t creating them. I had a word with Howard [about the penalty] and expressed my views. I thought from my angle it might have been.”

Sam Allardyce, the West Ham manager, said: “After three home defeats on the trot it was very important we didn’t lose. We tried to win it but didn’t find the quality to put the ball into the net.”

Line-ups:

West Ham (4-6-0): Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Rat; Jarvis (J Cole, 63), Morrison, Collison (C Cole, 63), Nolan, Noble, Downing.

Aston Villa (5-3-2): Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Clark, Bacuna; Sylla, Westwood, El Ahmadi; Weimann (Kozak, 57), Benteke.

Referee: Howard Webb.

Man of the match: Vlaar (Aston Villa)

Match rating: 3/10

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power