Kevin Nolan’s close-range strike ensured that West Ham United enjoyed a successful return to the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. The West Ham captain turned in a low cross from Ricardo Vaz Te five minutes before half-time for the only goal of the game.
The game began to spark into some sort of life after 36 minutes when Cole was brought down on the edge of the Villa box by Ron Vlaar. Mark Noble touched the free-kick to Nolan, who drilled it low and through the wall but just wide of Shay Given’s right-hand post.
Four minutes later, West Ham had the lead. Noble’s lofted free-kick fell to Vaz Te, who pulled the ball back for Nolan to score from close range.
West Ham began to grow as the game went on and could have doubled their lead after 65 minutes, when Vaz Te skipped past Nathan Baker and cut a low cross back to Nolan, whose shot was blocked by Vlaar. The Villa defender then went up the other end and had a shot on goal from 35 yards as Villa sought in vain for an equaliser.
|06 Oct 2012||v Arsenal (H)|
|01 Dec 2012||v Chelsea (H)|
|16 Dec 2012||v West Brom (A)|
|20 Oct 2012||v Southampton (H)|
|11 Nov 2012||v Newcastle (A)|
|22 Sep 2012||v Sunderland (H)|