Aston Villa flopped in their first outing under new manager Paul Lambert, but West Ham United will be thrilled to mark their return to the top flight with three points. Villa were by and large the better side, dominating possession at Upton Park and generating most of the (few) chances, but all it took was a ricochet off Ciaran Clark and a Kevin Nolan tap-in to secure the win for the Hammers.
Villa can't feel too hard done by. They had plenty of the ball but didn't do very much of it, and with their most creative presence in Barry Bannan confined to the bench for much of the match it's not really very hard to see why. Compared to the dark days of Alex McLeish, however, this wasn't a terrible performance. They've at least learned how to pass the ball. All that remains for them to do is figure out how to score more goals than the opposition. Expect slow and steady progress.