West Ham 0-1 Aston Villa Highlights
Aston Villa moved into third place in the Premier League after James Milner’s deflected late goal sank West Ham.
An open first half saw Ashley Young hit the post for Villa after running on to a poor Scott Parker back-pass but West Ham dominated after the break.
Carlton Cole headed an easy chance over and was denied twice from close range by Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
The visitors looked short of ideas until Milner’s 78th-minute cross looped off Lucas Neill and into the net.
The goal was harsh on the Hammers, who had looked by far the most likely to break the deadlock but instead saw their miserable home form continue.
Villa, meanwhile, move above Manchester United and are now only four points behind leaders Liverpool, although they have played more games than all of their title rivals.
Martin O’Neill’s men arrived at Upton Park having enjoyed the luxury of resting senior players in the midweek Uefa Cup defeat in Hamburg, their progress already sealed in that competition.
But, while the visitors may have been refreshed, it still took them time to get into the swing of things and it was the Hammers who began much the brighter.
Craig Bellamy had already seen one snap-shot saved by Friedel when he met Herita Ilunga’s long ball and fired in an angled effort that the goalkeeper did brilliantly to push away.
Neill should also have done far better when Calum Davenport headed a Mark Noble free-kick into his path, swinging at the ball as it flew invitingly across the six-yard box and seeing his mis-hit volley fly wide. An open first half saw Ashley Young hit the post for Villa after running on to a poor Scott Parker back-pass but West Ham dominated after the break.
LAST SEASON’S CORRESPONDING GAME
11 May 2008 – Ref: Mike Dean
West Ham scorers: Solano 8, Ashton 88
Villa scorers: Young 14, Barry 58