West Ham moved out of the relegation zone as Kevin Nolan scored twice for the second game on the trot to steer the Hammers to victory at Aston Villa.

Stewart Downing bamboozled Ryan Bertrand before crossing for Nolan to deftly flick the visitors in front.

Two minutes later Nolan dispossessed a hesitant Fabian Delph before sliding a low shot past keeper Brad Guzan.

'Fantastic win' for Sam Allardyce

In response, Villa struck the woodwork through a long range Marc Albrighton shot and Christian Benteke header.

The home side improved after the introduction of winger Albrighton but could not prevent an eighth home defeat of the season.

West Ham had failed in their determined efforts to overturn Andy Carroll's red card from the win over Swansea last week, but they shrugged off the striker's absence to register a third win from their past five Premier League outings.

The Hammers have improved as players have returned from injury, while Nolan coming back into the side following a four-game ban has also proved influential.

The visitors were unfortunate not to be ahead by half-time having had the better of the exchanges in the opening period.

Analysis

"Kevin Nolan is the West Ham hero for the second game running. Villa created a few chances in the second half but it came at a time when you knew they would have more of the game. When it was 0-0 West Ham were the better side."

Former Villa winger Downing failed to connect with a low Matt Jarvis cross to the far post, while Matt Taylor had an angled shot saved by Guzan.

Jarvis was then sent clean through on the Villa goal but, under pressure from defender Nathan Baker, the West Ham winger sent his shot wide.

Villa struggled to muster a threat until late in the first half when Hammers defender George McCartney's clearing header fell to Ashley Westwood and he powered a strike just wide.

The visitors were undeterred after the break and finally earned a reward for their efforts when Downing jinked his way past left-back Bertrand and crossed for Nolan to produce a clever finish.

Nolan, who scored twice against Swansea, extended his side's lead as he robbed Delph just outside the area before steering in a shot.

West Ham then allowed Villa to dominate possession and almost paid the price.

Albrighton, an influential second-half substitute, saw his 25-yard shot hit the post, while Villa forward Benteke hit the bar with a header and went close with an acrobatic overhead kick.

West Ham held on for their 12th clean sheet of the league campaign, the most in the top flight so far this season.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce:

Lambert: Villa defending unacceptable

"It was a thoroughly professional performance in the second half. In the first half in terms of attacking play, we were excellent but couldn't find a goal.

"Kevin came up with the goods again. That is four in two games and he showed he doesn't need Andy Carroll to score.

"It is a fantastic win at this stage of the season. For us to put back-to-back wins together is very important and really does build your confidence."

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert:

"Whether Andy Carroll was playing or not, we knew it was going to be a difficult game. The two goals we lost were really poor.

"There are a lot of teams in there [fighting for survival]. There is no panic, you just need to try to win more games than not.

"You cannot concede two goals like that and expect to win a game."

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Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Aston Villa

  • 01 Guzan
  • 34 Lowton (Albrighton - 56' )
  • 23 Bertrand (Bennett - 74' )
  • 15 Westwood
  • 06 Clark
  • 02 Baker
  • 07 Bacuna
  • 16 Delph
  • 20 Benteke
  • 10 Weimann (Holt - 71' )
  • 11 Agbonlahor

Substitutes

  • 03 Bennett
  • 08 El Ahmadi
  • 09 Helenius
  • 12 Albrighton
  • 13 Steer
  • 18 Sylla
  • 29 Holt

West Ham United

  • 13 Adrián
  • 20 Demel
  • 03 McCartney
  • 14 Taylor Booked
  • 19 Collins Booked
  • 05 Tomkins
  • 07 Jarvis (Reid - 74' )
  • 16 Noble
  • 24 Cole (Borriello - 45' )
  • 04 Nolan (Nocerino - 68' )
  • 23 Downing

Substitutes

  • 02 Reid
  • 08 Armero
  • 10 Collison
  • 22 Jääskeläinen
  • 28 Johnson
  • 46 Borriello
  • 47 Nocerino
Ref: Mike Dean
Att: 36,261

Match Stats

Shots

16 10

On target

1 2

Corners

8 10

Fouls

8 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Aston Villa 0, West Ham United 2.

90:00 +4:08 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, West Ham United 2.

90:00 +3:45

Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +3:45

Foul by Antonio Nocerino (West Ham United).

90:00 +2:09

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Nathan Baker.

90:00 +0:28

Attempt blocked. Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Baker.

90:00 +0:02

Grant Holt (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:02

Foul by Guy Demel (West Ham United).

88:32

Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Christian Benteke with a headed pass.

86:51

Attempt missed. Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.

85:00

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

85:00

Marco Borriello (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

83:59

Attempt missed. Joe Bennett (Aston Villa) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

82:27

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Leandro Bacuna.

82:26

Attempt blocked. Matthew Taylor (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

81:05

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross following a corner.

80:42

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by James Tomkins.

80:40

Attempt blocked. Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Grant Holt with a headed pass.

79:50

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ciaran Clark with a headed pass following a corner.

79:28

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by James Tomkins.

78:26

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross following a corner.

78:09

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Guy Demel.

77:31

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

77:31

Foul by Guy Demel (West Ham United).

76:31

Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:31

Foul by Marco Borriello (West Ham United).

73:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Winston Reid replaces Matthew Jarvis.

73:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Joe Bennett replaces Ryan Bertrand.

71:28

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.

71:06

Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:06

Foul by Marco Borriello (West Ham United).

70:41 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Grant Holt replaces Andreas Weimann.

67:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Antonio Nocerino replaces Kevin Nolan because of an injury.

66:23

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Adrián.

66:20

Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Fabian Delph.

64:40 Booking

Booking Matthew Taylor (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

64:33

Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

64:33

Foul by Matthew Taylor (West Ham United).

63:51

Attempt saved. Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.

63:29

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by George McCartney.

55:51 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Marc Albrighton replaces Matthew Lowton.

47:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aston Villa 0, West Ham United 2. Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

45:17 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aston Villa 0, West Ham United 1. Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Stewart Downing.

45:00

Second Half begins Aston Villa 0, West Ham United 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Marco Borriello replaces Carlton Cole.

45:00 +1:32 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Aston Villa 0, West Ham United 0.

45:00 +1:21

Attempt blocked. James Collins (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross.

45:00 +1:02

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

44:06

Attempt blocked. Stewart Downing (West Ham United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

43:13

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

43:13

Guy Demel (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:12

Attempt missed. Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

39:17 Booking

Booking James Collins (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card.

39:11

Attempt blocked. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

38:24

Offside, West Ham United. Mark Noble tries a through ball, but Matthew Jarvis is caught offside.

37:40

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

37:40

Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:42

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

33:42

Carlton Cole (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:47

Attempt missed. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Leandro Bacuna.

30:57

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

29:50

Hand ball by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

28:50

Attempt missed. Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kevin Nolan.

28:37

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

28:37

Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:04

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Matthew Taylor.

27:48

Attempt blocked. George McCartney (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mark Noble.

27:16

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

27:14

Attempt blocked. Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mark Noble with a through ball.

26:39

Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:39

Foul by Carlton Cole (West Ham United).

24:53

Offside, Aston Villa. Brad Guzan tries a through ball, but Gabriel Agbonlahor is caught offside.

24:24

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

23:57

Delay in match Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

20:52

Offside, Aston Villa. Christian Benteke tries a through ball, but Gabriel Agbonlahor is caught offside.

20:38

Offside, West Ham United. Mark Noble tries a through ball, but Carlton Cole is caught offside.

18:31

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

17:47

Offside, West Ham United. George McCartney tries a through ball, but Stewart Downing is caught offside.

17:16

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Fabian Delph.

16:16

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Fabian Delph.

15:37

Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).

15:37

Carlton Cole (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

14:35

Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).

14:35

Carlton Cole (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:46

Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Kevin Nolan.

12:17

Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:17

Foul by Guy Demel (West Ham United).

11:38

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Nathan Baker.

8:48

Attempt blocked. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

5:51

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

5:51

Matthew Taylor (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:29

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Guy Demel.

4:57

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Guy Demel.

3:05

Attempt blocked. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

2:23

Attempt missed. James Tomkins (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matthew Jarvis with a cross following a corner.

1:54

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Matthew Lowton.

0:59

Offside, West Ham United. Stewart Downing tries a through ball, but Kevin Nolan is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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