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Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Saturday, 14 August 2010 16:51 UK

Aston Villa   3 - 0   West Ham

Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing's early goal got Aston Villa's season off to the perfect start

By Kevin Darling

Aston Villa shrugged off the loss of manager Martin O'Neill with a vibrant display as Avram Grant's first game as West Ham boss ended in a dismal defeat.

The hosts dominated from the the start and Stewart Downing pounced on Robert Green's parry to secure an early lead.

Stiliyan Petrov's header from an Ashley Young cross made it 2-0 before Julien Faubert fluffed a rare Hammers chance.

James Milner, tipped to leave Villa, slammed home a third from 18 yards after a fine run from Marc Albrighton.

It was a dazzling end to a turbulent week at Villa Park, which saw Kevin MacDonald take charge of the team after O'Neill's shock exit five days ago.

606: DEBATE
AVFC-Stefan

The Northern Irishman reportedly walked out after a disagreement with Villa owner Randy Lerner - but it was the American's name the home fans were chanting at the end of an emphatic win.

While it was a fine day for the Midlands club, it was a dreadful start to the new job for Grant, whose side looked disjointed and toothless as they were outplayed for most of the game by a young and committed Villa side.

MacDonald's team showed no ill-effects from the events of the past week as they started the match in blistering fashion, with John Carew heading just wide from Downing's cross after three minutes.

They went even closer to an opening goal moments later after some calamitous defending by James Tomkins.

The young centre-back's woeful back pass allowed Carew a clear run at goal and after Green got a touch with his leg, the ball ricocheted off Tomkins and then bounced back off the post.

But the Hammers' good fortune quickly evaporated and it was goalkeeper Green, mercilessly booed throughout by the Villa fans after his unfortunate World Cup exploits, who was at the centre of the action.

The keeper's poor punch from a Young cross led to a shot from Albrighton and, although Green palmed it away, Downing followed up to tap in the rebound.

West Ham must learn from defeat - Grant

Referee Mike Dean waved away the protests from the Hammers defence, who thought Downing was in an offside position when the ball was fired in by Albrighton - with replays suggesting they had a case.

The busy West Ham keeper partially made amends when he acrobatically tipped over Young's clever lob.

But Villa continued to excel and they soon doubled their lead when Young dinked in a cross, and Petrov beat Faubert in the air to power a header past the helpless Green from eight yards out.

The goal roused the lethargic visitors into creating their only chance of the half as Luis Boa Morte cut inside and forced a good save from Brad Friedel.

Manager Grant signalled his desire for more attacking intent in the second half as he sent on new signings Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne.

Relieved MacDonald unsure over Villa future

The change almost paid off when the Frenchman teed up an unmarked Faubert in the box, only for the winger to scuff wide from 12 yards out.

The Hammers were left to rue the miss when Milner, possibly playing his last game for the club as he has been strongly linked with a big-money move to Manchester City, added an excellent third goal.

The 20-year-old Albrighton, who was outstanding on his first Premier League start, jinked past two defenders and cut the ball back for Milner, who swept the ball past Green from the edge of the box.

Villa should have extended their lead but Carew made a mess of a free header from six yards out and then saw a shot hit the inside of the post.

Milner, who had been booed by some supporters at the start of the game, received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the closing stages.

There was plenty here to suggest that if the midfielder does leave, Villa have the talent to thrive without him.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Aston Villa 3-0 West Ham FT
(HT 2-0)
  • Downing 15
  • Petrov 40
  • Milner 66

    Aston Villa

    Substitutes

    West Ham

    Substitutes

    Ref: DeanAtt: 36,604
    ASTON VILLA
    WEST HAM

    Possession

    • Aston Villa 59%
    • West Ham 41%

    Attempts on target

    • Aston Villa 11
    • West Ham 2

    Attempts off target

    • Aston Villa 12
    • West Ham 10

    Corners

    • Aston Villa 16
    • West Ham 7

    Fouls

    • Aston Villa 14
    • West Ham 15
    • Final Result
    • 93:16 The game gets underway.
    • 93:16 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+2:38 Shot from just outside the box by Mark Noble misses to the left of the goal.
    • 90:00+1:20 Effort from 18 yards by Herita Ilunga. Clearance by Stephen Warnock. Corner taken by Pablo Barrera, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Alessandro Diamanti.
    • 89:55 John Carew has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 88:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andreas Weimann on Alessandro Diamanti. Herita Ilunga takes the free kick.
    • 88:44 Goal kick taken long by Brad Friedel (Aston Villa).
    • 88:05 Substitution Marc Albrighton goes off and Barry Bannan comes on.
    • 87:49 Pablo Barrera produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.
    • 87:37 The ball is delivered by Mark Noble.
    • 86:57 Drilled right-footed shot by Alessandro Diamanti. Blocked by Stephen Warnock. Corner taken left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti from the left by-line, John Carew makes a clearance.
    • 85:55 Substitution Andreas Weimann joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ashley Young.
    • 85:00 Attacking throw-in by Carlton Cole (West Ham).
    • 84:02 Substitution Nigel Reo-Coker is brought on as a substitute for James Milner.
    • 83:50 Shot from just outside the area by Scott Parker goes over the bar.
    • 83:03 Corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Carlton Cole.
    • 81:42 Centre by Stewart Downing, clearance by Julien Faubert. Corner taken by Ashley Young. The referee penalises James Milner for handball. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
    • 80:49 Ashley Young challenges Matthew Upson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Herita Ilunga takes the direct free kick.
    • 80:25 James Milner takes the chance to get an effort at goal.
    • 80:07 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stewart Downing.
    • 79:46 Ashley Young delivers the ball. The ball is sent over by Marc Albrighton, Matthew Upson makes a clearance.
    • 79:17 Defending throw-in by Herita Ilunga (West Ham).
    • 78:58 Defending throw-in by Herita Ilunga (West Ham).
    • 78:32 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Carew by Julien Faubert. Stephen Warnock takes the free kick.
    • 77:38 Shot from inside the six-yard box by John Carew hits the post.
    • 77:24 The ball is delivered by Stewart Downing, Julien Faubert manages to make a clearance.
    • 77:13 James Milner produces a cross, Herita Ilunga makes a clearance.
    • 77:02 Drilled right-footed shot by Marc Albrighton. Blocked by Winston Reid.
    • 76:36 Pablo Barrera produces a cross, Ciaran Clark makes a clearance.
    • 75:37 The ball is crossed by Stiliyan Petrov, Header from close range by John Carew misses to the right of the target.
    • 74:22 Defending throw-in by Herita Ilunga (West Ham).
    • 73:47 Attacking throw-in by Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).
    • 72:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alessandro Diamanti on James Milner. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.
    • 71:51 Mark Noble takes the inswinging corner, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
    • 71:51 Substitution Alessandro Diamanti comes on in place of James Tomkins.
    • 70:32 The ball is swung over by Stewart Downing, clearance by Matthew Upson.
    • 70:06 Shot by Marc Albrighton. James Tomkins gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stewart Downing.
    • 70:00 Luke Young produces a cross, James Tomkins makes a clearance.
    • 69:24 Pablo Barrera gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luke Young. Ashley Young takes the direct free kick.
    • 68:48 Stewart Downing takes a shot. John Carew produces a cross, clearance made by Matthew Upson.
    • 68:26 Free kick awarded for a foul by Herita Ilunga on Marc Albrighton. Ashley Young takes the direct free kick.
    • 67:41 Ashley Young is flagged offside by the assistant referee. James Tomkins takes the direct free kick.
    • 66:51 Defending throw-in by Winston Reid (West Ham).
    • 65:19 Assist on the goal came from Marc Albrighton.
    • 65:19 GOAL - James MilnerAston Villa 3 - 0 West Ham James Milner scores a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 3-0 West Ham.
    • 65:03 James Tomkins gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stewart Downing. Richard Dunne restarts play with the free kick.
    • 64:50 Attacking throw-in by Winston Reid (West Ham).
    • 63:19 The ball is delivered by Pablo Barrera.
    • 62:22 The ball is delivered by Marc Albrighton, drilled right-footed shot by Stewart Downing. Herita Ilunga gets a block in.
    • 62:04 Attacking throw-in by Luke Young (Aston Villa).
    • 61:01 Stephen Warnock takes the direct free kick. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Winston Reid. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.
    • 61:01 Booking Booking for Julien Faubert for unsporting behaviour.
    • 60:52 Julien Faubert gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ciaran Clark.
    • 60:02 Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
    • 60:02 Booking The referee shows James Tomkins a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 59:55 Foul by James Tomkins on John Carew, free kick awarded.
    • 59:02 Ashley Young gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Tomkins. Free kick taken by James Tomkins.
    • 57:16 Foul by Stiliyan Petrov (Aston Villa) on Carlton Cole (West Ham). Attacking throw-in by Luke Young (Aston Villa).
    • 56:55 Foul by Stephen Warnock on Julien Faubert, free kick awarded. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
    • 55:54 Corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line, Shot by James Milner. Blocked by James Tomkins.
    • 54:27 Julien Faubert produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 53:54 Goal kick taken long by Brad Friedel (Aston Villa).
    • 53:36 James Tomkins has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 52:41 Effort on goal by James Milner from 20 yards. Blocked by James Tomkins. Ciaran Clark gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Frederic Piquionne. Julien Faubert crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Richard Dunne makes a clearance.
    • 51:23 Defending throw-in by James Tomkins (West Ham).
    • 50:41 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Mark Noble.
    • 49:57 Direct free kick taken by Matthew Upson.
    • 49:57 Booking The referee shows Marc Albrighton a yellow card.
    • 49:54 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marc Albrighton on Pablo Barrera.
    • 49:48 The ball is crossed by Stewart Downing, Robert Green makes a comfortable save.
    • 48:11 Corner taken right-footed by Mark Noble, James Tomkins has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.
    • 48:02 The ball is swung over by Frederic Piquionne, clearance made by Ciaran Clark.
    • 46:31 Unfair challenge on Luke Young by Pablo Barrera results in a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Stewart Downing from the free kick,
    • 46:26 A cross is delivered by Ashley Young, clearance by Scott Parker.
    • 46:02 John Carew fouled by Mark Noble, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Young takes the free kick.
    • 45:22 Frederic Piquionne has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.
    • 45:01 Substitution Pablo Barrera is brought on as a substitute for Luis Boa Morte.
    • 45:01 Substitution Frederic Piquionne joins the action as a substitute, replacing Radoslav Kovac.
    • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:53 Richard Dunne gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luis Boa Morte. Free kick taken by James Tomkins.
    • 45:00+0:51 James Tomkins fouled by John Carew, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by James Tomkins.
    • 45:00+0:23 Goal kick taken long by Brad Friedel (Aston Villa).
    • 45:00 The referee calls an end to the first half.
    • 44:26 Mark Noble fouled by John Carew, the ref awards a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Mark Noble from the free kick.
    • 43:50 Defending throw-in by Herita Ilunga (West Ham).
    • 42:38 Luis Boa Morte takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
    • 41:45 Foul by John Carew on James Tomkins, free kick awarded. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
    • 39:29 Centre by Ashley Young,
    • 39:27 Assist by Ashley Young.
    • 39:27 GOAL - Stiliyan PetrovAston Villa 2 - 0 West Ham Stiliyan Petrov finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Aston Villa 2-0 West Ham.
    • 37:58 Defending throw-in by Winston Reid (West Ham).
    • 37:18 Defending throw-in by Luke Young (Aston Villa).
    • 35:42 Defending throw-in by Luke Young (Aston Villa).
    • 34:50 Ciaran Clark gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Carlton Cole. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Mark Noble from right channel, John Carew makes a clearance.
    • 34:08 Corner taken by Ashley Young. James Milner sends in a cross, Close range header by John Carew misses to the right of the goal.
    • 33:46 The ball is crossed by Stephen Warnock, Radoslav Kovac manages to make a clearance.
    • 33:39 The ball is sent over by Stephen Warnock, James Tomkins makes a clearance.
    • 33:25 Marc Albrighton produces a cross.
    • 33:21 Stewart Downing delivers the ball, clearance made by James Tomkins.
    • 32:58 The ball is crossed by Marc Albrighton, clearance by Matthew Upson.
    • 31:25 Goal kick taken long by Robert Green (West Ham). Defending throw-in by Luke Young (Aston Villa).
    • 31:09 The ball is delivered by Luis Boa Morte, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
    • 30:37 The ball is swung over by Julien Faubert, clearance by Richard Dunne. Corner taken by Luis Boa Morte from the right by-line.
    • 29:24 The ball is delivered by Marc Albrighton, save by Robert Green. Ashley Young takes a inswinging corner. James Milner crosses the ball, Matthew Upson makes a clearance.
    • 28:25 Attacking throw-in by Winston Reid (West Ham).
    • 27:53 Goal kick taken long by Robert Green (West Ham).
    • 27:38 Luke Young takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.
    • 26:54 Marc Albrighton produces a cross, blocked by Herita Ilunga. Ashley Young takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Winston Reid.
    • 26:25 Defending throw-in by Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).
    • 25:35 Attacking throw-in by Winston Reid (West Ham).
    • 25:26 Goal kick taken long by Brad Friedel (Aston Villa). Attacking throw-in by Mark Noble (West Ham).
    • 25:00 Effort from deep inside the area by Carlton Cole misses to the right of the goal.
    • 22:49 Goal kick taken long by Robert Green (West Ham).
    • 21:48 Corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line, Scott Parker makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line, Richard Dunne produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 21:23 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing, Robert Green makes a save.
    • 20:59 Short corner taken by Stewart Downing.
    • 20:33 Shot by Ashley Young from 12 yards. Save by Robert Green.
    • 19:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young by James Tomkins. Ashley Young takes the direct free kick.
    • 18:42 John Carew gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Upson. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
    • 18:25 Attacking throw-in by Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa).
    • 17:38 Defending throw-in by Herita Ilunga (West Ham).
    • 17:05 The ball is crossed by Luke Young, clearance made by Robert Green.
    • 16:05 John Carew concedes a free kick for a foul on Winston Reid. Robert Green takes the free kick.
    • 14:02 The assist for the goal came from Marc Albrighton.
    • 14:02 GOAL - Stewart DowningAston Villa 1 - 0 West Ham Stewart Downing fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham.
    • 13:58 Cross by Ashley Young (Aston Villa), save (punched) by Robert Green (West Ham).
    • 13:40 Marc Albrighton takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green.
    • 13:37 The ball is sent over by Ashley Young, save by Robert Green.
    • Correction - 13:35 Centre by Ashley Young, save by Robert Green.
    • 12:46 The assistant referee signals for offside against Julien Faubert. Stephen Warnock restarts play with the free kick.
    • 11:40 Unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Mark Noble results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Stephen Warnock.
    • 11:22 Goal kick taken long by Robert Green (West Ham).
    • 9:41 Herita Ilunga challenges Marc Albrighton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stewart Downing delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, Carlton Cole makes a clearance.
    • 7:59 Corner taken right-footed by Marc Albrighton, John Carew has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.
    • Correction - 7:46 Shot by James Milner from 25 yards. Matthew Upson gets a block in.
    • 7:46 Shot by James Milner (Aston Villa) drilled right-footed from right channel (25 yards), blocked by Scott Parker (West Ham).
    • 7:39 The ball is delivered by Stewart Downing, clearance made by James Tomkins.
    • 7:01 Marc Albrighton sends in a cross, Robert Green makes a comfortable save.
    • 6:23 Attacking throw-in by Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).
    • 5:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Upson by John Carew. Robert Green takes the free kick.
    • 5:10 Goal kick taken long by Robert Green (West Ham).
    • 4:50 Headed effort from close range by John Carew goes wide left of the goal.
    • 4:08 Winston Reid gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stewart Downing. Ashley Young takes the free kick.
    • 1:36 Stewart Downing takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Robert Green makes a save. Inswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line played to the near post, Richard Dunne has a headed effort from close range and clears the crossbar.
    • 1:30 The ball is sent over by Marc Albrighton.
    • 1:22 The ball is swung over by Stewart Downing, clearance made by Matthew Upson.
    • 0:41 Ashley Young takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Winston Reid makes a clearance.
    • 0:12 James Milner fouled by Luis Boa Morte, the ref awards a free kick. Luke Young takes the direct free kick.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 14 Aug 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 1 6 3
    2 Blackpool 1 4 3
    3 Aston Villa 1 3 3
    4 Wolves 1 1 3
    5 Blackburn 1 1 3
    6 Birmingham 1 0 1
    7 Sunderland 1 0 1
    8 Bolton 1 0 1
    9 Fulham 1 0 1
    10 Man City 1 0 1
    11 Tottenham 1 0 1
    12 Arsenal 0 0 0
    13 Liverpool 0 0 0
    14 Man Utd 0 0 0
    15 Newcastle 0 0 0
    16 Stoke 1 -1 0
    17 Everton 1 -1 0
    18 West Ham 1 -3 0
    19 Wigan 1 -4 0
    20 West Brom 1 -6 0

    see also
    MacDonald defends Milner choice
    14 Aug 10 |  Aston Villa



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