West Ham and Aston Villa shared the points in the Premier League after an entertaining 0-0 draw at Upton Park.
The Hammers enjoyed large spells of possession but looked woefully short in attack without a recognised striker on the pitch.
A makeshift Villa backline was disciplined and resolute, helping their side pick up a third clean sheet of the season.
The two best chances fell to Villa’s top goalscorer Christian Benteke, who looked out of sorts all afternoon. The Belgian crashed a header off the crossbar from close range with 20 minutes remaining before forcing Jussi Jaaskelainen into a smart save at the death.
Joe and Carlton Cole were introduced late on for West Ham and though the striker’s physical presence made a difference, he was unable to convert one point into three.
Pre-match: With West Ham woefully short up front, re-signed striker Carlton Cole returns to the squad.
7’ – CHANCE: Weimann is sent through on goal and shrugs off the challenge of Tomkins but fails to beat Jaaskelainen from close range.
21’ – CHANCE: Collison plays in Jarvis who evades the challenge of Vlaar to go through one-on-one. The winger skips knocks the ball past Guzan but takes a heavy touch and the danger is cleared.
72’ – CROSSBAR: Villa go within inches of scoring the opener. Lowton's cross from the right lands on the head of Benteke, who sends his effort crashing off the underside of the crossbar.
79’ – CHANCE: J.Cole shoots from distance. The midfielder is hurried and harried by Sylla, but he shows strength and silky footwork to wriggle away from the challenge to send an effort into the hands of Guzan from 20 yards.
89’ – CHANCE: Benteke nearly nicks it at the death. Westwood lofts a ball over the top of the West Ham defence into the path of the Belgian, who drills a shot at goal from a tight angle. Jaaskelainen gets down well to tip the ball around the post.
90+3’ – CHANCE: Great stuff from J.Cole. The midfielder gambles at the front post, taking Diame's cross in his stride to shoot at goal. Guzan is placed well to beat it away to safety.
Villa failed to score for a fourth consecutive game. The last time they did that was nearly four years ago (v Arsenal twice, Liverpool and West Ham – Dec 2009-Jan 2010).
West Ham draw for the 16th time in the PL against Aston Villa, the most they have drawn with any PL opponent.
TALKING POINT: Hammers toothless? West Ham can play a free-flowing, smart style of football with Jarvis and Downing operating from the wings, but with a severe lack of striking options they'll struggle to score goals.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Stewart Downing, (West Ham): Former Villa player Downing gave the Villa full-backs a torrid time all afternoon. Switching between the left and right flanks, Downing was able to beat his man at will and deliver a number of crosses into the penalty area.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen 7, Demel 7, Reid 6, Tomkins 6, Rat 6, Nolan 6, Noble 7, Collison 6, Downing 8, Morrison 6, Jarvis 7. Subs: Diame 5, Carlton Cole 5, Joe Cole 7
Aston Villa: Guzan 6, Lowton 6, Vlaar 7, Clark 6, Baker 7, Bacuna 5, Westwood 7, El Ahmadi 6, Sylla 6, Benteke 6, Weimann 6. Subs: Kozak 4.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET