For match photos, scroll to photostream above left. Click on the statistics tab for match stats. Manager reactions and press conferences to follow below.
West Ham United were held to a goalless draw by Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.
Visiting striker Christian Benteke came closest to preventing a stalemate when he cannoned an effort off the crossbar after the break, but ultimately neither side could find the breakthrough.
Lambert sent his Villa side out in a changed 3-5-2 formation, while Sam Allardyce persisted with his strikerless 4-6-0 set-up.
The game started at a swift pace and Andreas Weimann got in behind James Tomkins and raced through on goal after six minutes, but the 38-year-old Jussi Jaaskelainen made himself big and blocked the shot.
West Ham responded immediately. Mark Noble's knock-back seemed destined to present Jack Collison with a glaring opportunity, only for Yacouba Sylla to make an impressive interception.
Matt Jarvis then did well to play in Kevin Nolan, who swivelled neatly, but the midfielder mis-hit his shot from 10 yards, before Stewart Downing, who spent two seasons at Villa before leaving for Liverpool in 2011, cut in from the right and forced Brad Guzan into a save.
Against the run of play, Weimann got in behind the Villa defence after 17 minutes. Ravel Morrison, more obviously in the side for his attacking qualities, sprinted back to make a challenge, with referee Howard Webb waving away the young Austria international Weimann's firm appeals for a foul.
Wingers Jarvis and Downing continued to thrive for West Ham, and the latter's excellent cross on the half-hour mark set up Collison, who failed to get his header on target.
The lively Weimann hobbled off with a suspected hamstring injury after 56 minutes, being replaced by former Lazio forward Libor Kozak.
Villa captain Ron Vlaar made a fine sliding challenge to stop a Morrison through-ball sending Jarvis clear just past the hour mark, and that proved to be the former Wolves player's last action, as Jarvis and Collison went off for Joe Cole and Carlton Cole, the latter handed his first home appearance since returning to the club after being released at the end of last season.
An action-shy second half burst into life after 71 minutes when, first, Benteke's powerful header from Matthew Lowton's high cross from the right came back off the crossbar, and, then, the Hammers raced up the other end whereupon Downing's clever reverse pass set up Nolan, who, from eight yards, dragged his shot wide.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "The amount of dominating play we had, you are disappointed you didn’t get three points in terms of territorial advantage and opportunities in the Aston Villa box. We have completely dominated that area but we haven’t converted one of those opportunities into goals so we are disappointed from that point of view.
"But on a positive note we have got back to our clean sheet mentality at home because we had conceded three goals in the last two games at home. I thought we were going to score today. I thought we had a shaky start but after that we looked in the mood to get one or two and certainly had the opportunities to do that.
"We have to take the positives - we stopped the defeats and are getting points on board and we have to try to move on from there in the hope that the way we are playing home and away it will convert draws into three points.
"Last year everybody would pop up with a goal or two when we needed it – at the moment that is eluding us."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "On chances created I thought we had better of them. This is a difficult place to come but I thought we had the best clear- cut chances - one hit the bar and the keeper made a fantastic save.
"I thought we might have sneaked it but it was a battling performance and was great considering we lost a few players before the match.
"The thing about it is this is a big point for us. Last year we might have lost this one but our resilience and attitude - I have no problem with that."
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|22 Mar 2014||v Man Utd (H)|
|08 Feb 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|
|14 Dec 2013||v Sunderland (H)|
|19 Apr 2014||v Crystal Palace (H)|
|22 Feb 2014||v Southampton (H)|