Brad Guzan starred as Aston Villa brought their six-game Barclays Premier League losing streak to an end with a 0-0 draw at West Ham on Saturday.
Villa produced a more disciplined defensive performance than their previous outing against Tottenham Hotspur to claim a first point since their 1-0 win at Liverpool on September 13.
High-flying West Ham side were buoyed by Diafra Sakho's recovery from a shoulder injury however Andy Carroll did make his long-awaited return as a late substitute.
The hosts always looked the most likely to score, but were frustrated by an impressive display from Villa goalkeeper Guzan.
Guzan pulled off a string of saves, including a late one-handed stop to deny Carroll after the striker had headed goalwards following his stoppage-time introduction.
The draw - a repeat of last season's result in the corresponding fixture - sees Sam Allardyce’s side extend their unbeaten Barclays Premier League run to five games and move up to fourth in the top flight, while Paul Lambert’s side remain dangerously close to the bottom three.
Gabriel Agbonlahor - restored to Villa's starting XI in place of the suspended Benteke who was sent off against Spurs - crafted the game's first real opportunity against the run of play in the 13th minute when he fired over the crossbar at the end of a surging run into the Hammers’ box.
The home side responded well to that scare and tested Guzan on numerous occasions, defender James Collins seeing his near-post header saved before Mark Noble stung the American's palms with a fierce drive.
However, the best opportunity of the opening period fell to midfielder Stewart Downing, who went close only for his powerful shot from the edge of the area to be kept out following a well-worked move.
Lambert’s side grew into the game as the contest meandered towards the interval and Andreas Weimann saw an effort punched away by Adrian.
Yet the visitors' defensive frailties were exposed in first-half injury time when Downing wastefully lashed high and wide at the far post following clever build-up play from Alex Song.
Midfielder Tom Cleverley curled narrowly over the crossbar as the away side emerged from the break with renewed confidence.
The West Midlands side showed improvement in the second period but, for all their endeavour, they found themselves hanging on in the closing stages.
The Villans would have fallen behind had Sakho not displayed surprising profligacy from substitute Carlton Cole's cross, placing a free header wide.
Nathan Baker was taken off on a stretcher following an attempted tackle on Cole, yet Villa were able to hold on as Carl Jenkinson directed a late header straight at Guzan prior to the goalkeeper springing to his right to deny Carroll a dream return.
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce: "I think that the amount of chances that we created today was excellent. The quality of finishing on occasions was exceptionally good but unfortunately the goalkeeper of Aston Villa [Brad Guzan] was in a fantastic mood for not letting any goals in today. For us it's so disappointing after creating so many chances at home and I think our downfall was our cutting edge in front of goal - that was all that was missing."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "We were excellent, resolute, everything you need to get anything from here. West Ham have been on a rich vein of form. They beat Man City and Liverpool here not so long ago. They have been playing really well. So to come here and get something is a big result for us. It's a great point, a really great point.
"To come here and play the way we did and be resolute the way we were, I thought we were first class. It was a massive point for us. In the second half we looked comfortable up until the last five minutes or so when they put their big lads on. [Brad] Guzan has made a world-class save towards the end. We spoke about the need to get a foothold in the game and defend really strongly.
"West Ham are a really big side and a good side but all credit to my team. We defended resolutely and played when we had it. I thought we looked a threat. Gabby [Agbonlahor] had a great chance to put us one up in the first half and Andi [Weimann] had a chance as well so we had chances. Credit to them today. They've taken a lot of flak."
West Ham have won five of the last 28 Barclays Premier League meetings with Aston Villa (W5 D14 L9).
West Ham have played 37 times against Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League without ever earning a red card, the most matches by a team who has not picked up a dismissal against a certain opponent.
Paul Lambert’s side have won none of their last eight Barclays Premier League away trips to London (D2 L6).
With 18 points and a goal difference of +5, West Ham have equalled their best ever start to a Premier League season (2005/06).
Aston Villa have only scored one goal in their last seven league matches combined (D1 L6).
Diafra Sakho started a Barclays Premier League match and didn’t score for the first time.
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