West Ham 1 Aston Villa 2
The first half started so well for West Ham. In the second minute Villa failed to effectively clear a West Ham corner. The ball was knocked back to Keane to turn and score from 7 yards. However, in the 14th minute Da Costa was forced off and, with no Tomkins on the bench, West Ham were forced to bring on Gabbidon.
In the 24th minute Villa thought they had grabbed an equaliser when Bent scored with his head from 6 yards. The ref however decided Bent had used his arms to climb above Jacobsen. West Ham were not so lucky in the 36th minute when Noble decided to try and dribble out of the penalty area rather than hoof the ball clear. Noble was robbed by Heskey, Young crossed to Bent and Bent headed in from 8 yards.
West Ham's luck was no better at the other end of the pitch. In the 16th minute Cole was clean through on goal and Dunne clearly fouled the striker just outside the area. Instead of giving the foul and sending Dunne off Halsey allowed play to continue. In the 40th minute a Villa defender passed back to Friedel from just five yards out. West Ham should have been given a freekick but again Halsey pretended that he was blind.
The only real surprise in the second half was that it took Villa until injury time to get their winner. From the restart West Ham were on the back foot. In the first 3 minutes of the second half Green was forced to save from Bent and Young.
Throughout the half Villa dominated possession and territory. Young in particular had a number of opportunities on goal. Ironically in the last ten minutes of the game West Ham actually managed a couple of chances. Hitzlsperger shot wide from 25 yards, Cole missed just wide from 8 yards and Ba shot a freekick under the wall but straight at Friedel.
Then in the 91st minute Downing shot from wide right, Green saved but the ball was knocked back into the box and Agbonlahor headed in from close range.
I have to say again West Ham look like a side destined for relegation. It isn't just the tactical ineffectiveness of the team and the lack of quality, at the moment this looks like a side with no fight and no desire to win.