Once again, Villa started the game brightly, with Weimann missing a golden opportunity to score when Jaaskelainen failed to get a secure hold of Benteke’s shot and the rebound fell at Weimann’s feet, six yards out. However, he fired the ball wide of the far post.
He soon had a chance to make amends as he raced onto a flick from Benteke but Tomkins was wide awake and defended solidly.
Carroll lobbed the ball onto the roof on the net before clashing heads with Baker, which meant both players needed treatment.
O’Brien left the pitch, after a strong challenge from Baker, to be replaced by Demel.
Play continued, very much in the lower gears, until Vlaar shot over the bar at the near post after a Westwood corner.
After the break, the Hammers enjoyed more than their fair share of possession and had an appeal for a penalty turned down.
Clark then did well to clear a Diame ball after Guzan’s attempt to punch it failed.
N’Zogbia curled the ball just past the far post before Bent came to Villa’s rescue when he cleared a low shot from Carroll that seemed headed for the net.
In the 74th minute, Clattenburg pointed to the spot after Noble brought down N’Zogbia. Benteke sent Jaaskelainen the wrong way, bringing the home fans to life in the process.
Five minutes later, N’Zogbia doubled Villa’s lead with a top-notch free kick after Tomkins fouled Bent. His shot curled over the wall and past Jaaskelainen.
In typical Villa fashion, the solid lead didn’t last too long as Westwood headed Joe Cole’s shot past Guzan to set claret and blue nerves jangling.
The four minutes of injury time seemed more like a lifetime as Guzan blocked Nolan’s shot and turned Carlton Cole’s headed effort aside to ensure the home side earned all three, precious, points.
Delph was named man of the match, although in my opinion that honour went to N’Zogbia, who scored his first Premier League goal of the current campaign in spectacular style today.