West Ham sink to ninth away league defeat

Julian Harris
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WEST Ham manager Sam Allardyce insisted his team deserved to come away with all three points from Villa Park yesterday, despite succumbing to their ninth Premier League defeat on the road.

A penalty from Christian Benteke and a free-kick by Charles N’Zogbia earned Aston Villa their first win in nine league games, although a late Ashley Westwood own goal resulted in a nervous final few minutes.

“If we didn’t have [their] keeper in such brilliant form again, I think we’d have won,” Allardyce said.

“Our creative play in the second half particularly was great, outstanding, apart from the ultimate clinical finish.”

The Hammers have won only two of 13 league away games this season, yet remain 11th in the table.

A 73rd minute penalty saw Benteke send Jussi Jaaskelainen the wrong way, and five minutes later N’Zogbia doubled Villa’s lead, curling a free-kick over the wall.

On 87 minutes Westwood flicked an inswinging Joe Cole cross into his own net, but it proved too little, too late for the east Londoners.