Aston Villa's hopes of Premier League survival received a major boost as two quick-fire goals saw off West Ham and moved them out of the bottom three.
After a poor first half, the hosts went ahead through Christian Benteke's penalty after Mark Noble clumsily fouled Charles N'Zogbia.
"A massive win for Aston Villa. Only their third win at home all season. And a win that carries them out of the relegation zone. But, boy, did they make hard work of it. West Ham pushed them all the way to the final whistle."
N'Zogbia doubled the lead moments later, curling in a 20-yard free-kick.
Ashley Westwood's late own goal set up a tense finale, but the hosts held on to the relief of the Villa Park crowd.
However, Paul Lambert's men needed two injury-time saves from goalkeeper Brad Guzan, denying Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole, before they could celebrate their first Premier League win since the 3-1 victory at Liverpool on 15 December.
With bottom six rivals Queens Park Rangers, Wigan, Reading and Newcastle all losing on Saturday, Villa knew they would climb up to 17th place with a first success in nine league games.
But they had to survive a nervy final few minutes as West Ham piled on the pressure against a team that surrendered a two-goal advantage at Everton last weekend.
Villa boss Lambert had sprung a surprise in his line-up as, with striker Gabriel Agbonlahor absent through illness, he handed a first Premier League start to 21-year-old Jordan Bowery, a £500,000 summer signing from League Two Chesterfield.
It meant £18m club record signing Darren Bent, who had only played 79 minutes of Premier League football since November, was again left on the bench.
Villa, who had only scored twice in their previous seven home Premier League games, would have been in front inside two minutes but for an horrendous miss by Andreas Weimann.
Benteke cut in from the left wing and saw a powerful shot parried by Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. The ball fell to the unmarked Weimann six yards out but the Austrian, who made his first start for his national side in the week, pushed his effort beyond the far post.
Consecutive seasons in the top-tier of English football
87 - Arsenal
59 - Everton
51 - Liverpool
38 - Manchester United
35 - Tottenham
25 - Aston Villa
24 - Chelsea
For a long time, it looked as though Weimann's miss could prove costly as West Ham upped the tempo in the second-half and posed a greater attacking threat.
Ciaran Clark and Ron Vlaar blocked goal-bound chances, before Lambert replaced the ineffective Bowery with Bent, who was immediately involved in the action.
It was not, however, in the manner expected as the Villa striker cleared Andy Carroll's attempt off the goal-line with his first touch of the match.
The hosts finally took hold of an ugly game when N'Zogbia was adjudged to have been fouled in the area by Noble.
Benteke kept his composure to send Jaaskelainen the wrong way with the spot-kick for his 15th goal of the season, and the home fans had barely stopped celebrating before Villa doubled their lead, N'Zogbia curling a wonderful free-kick into the top corner.
Aston Villa scored as many goals in this game as in their previous seven Premier League matches at Villa Park.
Villa, who also threw away a two-goal lead against West Brom last month, faced an anxious final five minutes after Joe Cole's cross looped off Westwood's head and over a backpedalling Guzan.
West Ham almost snatched a point at the death but Guzan made two crucial saves from Nolan and Cole as Villa held on for the victory.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce:
"Apart from the Aston Villa fans, anyone who watched this afternoon knows we deserved something.
"The sad thing is, after not converting our chances, we have paid the price by conceding from a free-kick and a penalty.
"Apart from Jussi Jaaskelainen spilling an early shot which fell to Weimann, Aston Villa created and contributed nothing.
"We were waiting to see what Villa had to throw at us in the first half and we coped with that. Then our plan was to go at them in the second half and we created chance after chance.
"We completely dominated the second half and we've ended up losing 2-1. Even at the end their goalkeeper was the hero."
- 22 Guzan
- 04 Vlaar
- 06 Clark Booked
- 32 Baker Booked
- 34 Lowton
- 10 N'Zogbia (Sylla - 85' )
- 15 Westwood
- 16 Delph
- 20 Benteke
- 21 Bowery (Bent - 63' Booked )
- 26 Weimann (Dawkins - 64' )
- 01 Given
- 27 Bennett
- 18 Sylla
- 24 Dawkins
- 25 Bannan
- 09 Bent
- 14 Holman
West Ham United
- 22 Jaaskelainen
- 02 Reid Booked
- 05 Tomkins
- 17 O'Brien (Demel - 24' )
- 18 Pogatetz Booked
- 04 Nolan
- 14 Taylor (Vaz Te - 67' )
- 16 Noble (C Cole - 76' )
- 21 Diame
- 26 J Cole
- 08 Carroll
- 30 Spiegel
- 20 Demel
- 07 Jarvis
- 32 O'Neil
- 09 C Cole
- 12 Vaz Te
- 29 Chamakh
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +4:17
Corner taken by Joe Cole played to the near post, Carlton Cole takes a shot. Save by Bradley Guzan.90:00 +3:57
Kevin Nolan takes a shot. Bradley Guzan makes a save.90:00 +1:11
Carlton Cole restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +1:11 Booking
Booking Ciaran Clark is shown a yellow card.90:00 +0:59
Ciaran Clark handles the ball and concedes a free kick.89:47
Yacouba Sylla fouled by Andy Carroll, the ref awards a free kick. Ron Vlaar takes the free kick.86:58
Assist on the goal came from Joe Cole.86:58 Goal scored
Goal! - Ashley Westwood - A Villa 2 - 1 West Ham Own goal by Ashley Westwood. Aston Villa 2-1 West Ham.86:10
Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.86:10 Booking
Booking Darren Bent is given a yellow card.86:05
Foul by Darren Bent on Winston Reid, free kick awarded.85:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ciaran Clark by Mohamed Diame. Bradley Guzan restarts play with the free kick.84:49
Ricardo Vaz Te takes a shot. Ashley Westwood manages to make a clearance. Carlton Cole takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Ciaran Clark.82:46
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Carlton Cole played to the near post, clearance by Ciaran Clark.82:46 Substitution
Substitution Yacouba Sylla joins the action as a substitute, replacing Charles N'Zogbia.82:46
The ball is delivered by Emanuel Pogatetz, clearance by Ciaran Clark. Carlton Cole crosses the ball, Ricardo Vaz Te takes a shot. Save by Bradley Guzan.81:55
Inswinging corner taken by Joe Cole, Nathan Baker manages to make a clearance.81:38
Emanuel Pogatetz takes a shot. Ashley Westwood gets a block in.79:46
Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren Bent on Winston Reid. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
Ricardo Vaz Te is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Bradley Guzan.78:00
Assist by Darren Bent.78:00 Goal scored
Goal! - Charles N'Zogbia - A Villa 2 - 0 West Ham Charles N'Zogbia scores a goal direct from the free kick from outside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 2-0 West Ham.77:01 Booking
Booking Winston Reid is shown a yellow card.76:57
Free kick awarded for a foul by James Tomkins on Darren Bent.76:11
Mohamed Diame gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Simon Dawkins. Bradley Guzan takes the direct free kick.75:08
Direct free kick taken by Joe Cole.75:08 Substitution
Substitution Carlton Cole on for Mark Noble.75:08
Christian Benteke is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick.74:30
Christian Benteke concedes a free kick for a foul on Winston Reid. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.73:32
Assist on the goal came from Charles N'Zogbia.73:32 Goal scored
Goal! - Christian Benteke - A Villa 1 - 0 West Ham Christian Benteke scores a placed penalty. Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham.72:38
Mark Noble gives away a Penalty for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia.71:18
Joe Cole crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Kevin Nolan misses to the right of the goal.71:18 Booking
Booking Nathan Baker is shown a yellow card.71:14
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Cole by Nathan Baker.70:18
The referee blows for offside. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.69:50
The ball is crossed by Matthew Lowton, clearance by James Tomkins.66:36
Free kick taken by Bradley Guzan.66:36 Substitution
Substitution Matthew Taylor goes off and Ricardo Vaz Te comes on.66:36
Joe Cole is ruled offside.65:36
Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Taylor, Andy Carroll takes a shot. Darren Bent makes a clearance.64:55
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ciaran Clark on Andy Carroll. Free kick taken by Mark Noble.64:27
Effort from the edge of the area by Charles N'Zogbia goes wide of the left-hand upright.62:19 Substitution
Substitution Simon Dawkins comes on in place of Andreas Weimann.62:19 Substitution
Substitution (Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with Darren Bent coming on for Jordan Bowery.62:19
Centre by Guy Demel, save by Bradley Guzan. Kevin Nolan takes a shot. Ron Vlaar gets a block in.60:52
Mark Noble concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Westwood. Ashley Westwood takes the free kick.60:08
The ball is sent over by Joe Cole, Ron Vlaar manages to make a clearance.59:24
Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor from the right by-line, clearance made by Nathan Baker.59:06
Nathan Baker challenges Joe Cole unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Noble takes the direct free kick.58:38
A cross is delivered by Andreas Weimann, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.57:46
The assistant referee signals for offside against Christian Benteke. Indirect free kick taken by James Tomkins.57:18
The ball is swung over by Ashley Westwood.56:34
Centre by Jordan Bowery, clearance made by Winston Reid. Outswinging corner taken by Ashley Westwood.54:21
The assistant referee signals for offside against Joe Cole. Bradley Guzan restarts play with the free kick.53:36
Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor from the right by-line, save made by Bradley Guzan.52:35
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Noble, clearance by Nathan Baker.51:55
A cross is delivered by Matthew Taylor, clearance made by Ron Vlaar.51:04
Joe Cole produces a cross, clearance made by Jordan Bowery. Corner taken by Joe Cole from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Fabian Delph.50:32
Free kick awarded for a foul by Christian Benteke on Guy Demel. Direct free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.49:13
Free kick awarded for a foul by Charles N'Zogbia on Winston Reid. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.48:57
Centre by Guy Demel.46:25
Joe Cole crosses the ball, James Tomkins takes a shot. Blocked by Ciaran Clark.45:32
Inswinging corner taken by Joe Cole from the left by-line played to the near post, Christian Benteke makes a clearance.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +3:57 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.45:00 +1:14
Long range shot from Andy Carroll misses to the left of the target.45:00 +0:34
Guy Demel crosses the ball.44:03
Ashley Westwood takes the direct free kick.44:03 Booking
Booking Caution for Emanuel Pogatetz.43:56
Emanuel Pogatetz gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia.41:49
Guy Demel sends in a cross.40:32
The assistant referee flags for offside against Andreas Weimann. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.39:50
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Westwood on Winston Reid. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the direct free kick.38:22
Corner taken right-footed by Ashley Westwood to the near post, Shot from deep inside the area by Ron Vlaar clears the bar.37:25
Ron Vlaar produces a right-footed shot from 35 yards and missed to the left of the net.36:41
Foul by Guy Demel on Andreas Weimann, free kick awarded. Charles N'Zogbia restarts play with the free kick.36:01
The ball is swung over by Guy Demel, blocked by Ron Vlaar.34:29
Foul by Jordan Bowery on Matthew Taylor, free kick awarded. Emanuel Pogatetz takes the direct free kick.32:57
Nathan Baker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Carroll. James Tomkins takes the free kick.32:28
The ball is crossed by Charles N'Zogbia, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.31:44
The offside flag is raised against Christian Benteke. Indirect free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.30:49
Kevin Nolan produces a cross, Andy Carroll takes a shot. Save by Bradley Guzan.29:53
Close range shot by Mohamed Diame goes wide of the left-hand post.26:16
The referee gives a free kick against Mark Noble for handball. Ciaran Clark takes the direct free kick.23:45 Substitution
Substitution Joey O'Brien goes off and Guy Demel comes on.18:19
Charles N'Zogbia challenges Mark Noble unfairly and gives away a free kick. James Tomkins takes the direct free kick.17:30
Mohamed Diame challenges Ashley Westwood unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ron Vlaar takes the direct free kick.16:54
Christian Benteke produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.16:19
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fabian Delph by Emanuel Pogatetz. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Westwood.14:54
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Fabian Delph. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.14:02
Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Cole on Fabian Delph. Bradley Guzan takes the free kick.11:37
Nathan Baker concedes a free kick for a foul on Andy Carroll. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.9:30
Charles N'Zogbia takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Andy Carroll manages to make a clearance.8:54
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia from the left by-line, Matthew Taylor makes a clearance.8:01
The offside flag is raised against Christian Benteke. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.5:22
Kevin Nolan concedes a free kick for a foul on Nathan Baker. Nathan Baker restarts play with the free kick.4:37
Shot from deep inside the area by Andy Carroll clears the bar.4:03
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Westwood on Mohamed Diame. Free kick taken by James Tomkins.1:25
Christian Benteke takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen. Andreas Weimann has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the goal.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
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