West Ham beat Aston Villa 1-0 thanks to a deflected Pablo Fornals strike.
It was a fortunate goal, cruelly looping up and over Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, but a vital one for the Hammers who claim their first Premier League points of the season.
West Ham entered the match as the only team in the top four divisions of English football without a goal this season, and on this evidence it is easy to see why.
The Hammers were remarkably passive, particularly in the first half when David Moyes set his team out with an unfamiliar back five.
Villa had been on top but largely ineffectual until Lucas Digne’s 14th-minute corner found Ezri Konsa.
VAR ruled out the goal – Digne’s corner crossed the byline before reaching Konsa – but it seemingly served to convince the Hammers to sit even deeper.
The introduction of Said Benrahma at half-time improved things somewhat, but West Ham still looked bereft of ideas.
Gianluca Scamacca was working hard, but his team could hardly get him the ball. He had just one touch in the opposition box in his 65 minutes on the pitch.
Aston Villa were little better than the visitors in terms of quality, but they were at least trying to make things happen.
Philippe Coutinho was heavily involved, making 40 touches in the opposition half. The Brazilian was constantly trying things.
Even if a lot of those things didn’t come off, he gave the home side direction, something the visitors lacked.
A match lacking in real quality always seemed likely to be decided by the odd goal and, after 55 minutes, it almost was.
Jarrod Bowen ran onto a long ball and was alone in the box. As he shaped to shoot, Lucas Digna arrived out of nowhere with a brilliant sliding tackle to dispossess the England winger.
Coutinho limped off after 65 minutes, replaced by Emiliano Buendia. At the same time Scamacca was replaced by Michail Antonio.
Pablo Fornals broke West Ham’s 343-minute goalless run in the 73rd minute when his shot from outside the box beat Martinez with assistance from a desperately lunging Konta’s leg.
It seemed especially cruel that it was Konta, who thought he’d opened the scoring an hour earlier, who would be the one to deflect the goal into his own net.
Ollie Watkins went down in the box in stoppage time, but the cries of the fans were more desperate than optimistic. The referee waved play on.
For all their possession, Villa created precious little in terms of quality chances and succumbed to a home defeat against a clearly vulnerable West Ham side.
Villa remain above West Ham, on goals scored, but have now lost three matches out of four and face early leaders Arsenal next before the visit of champions Manchester City. The Hammers face two London derbies against Tottenham and Chelsea.