West Ham held Aston Villa to a draw

Aston Villa were left to settle for an Intertoto Cup place after drawing an entertaining game at West Ham, as Everton won to claim fifth place.

Ex-Villa winger Nolberto Solano put the Hammers ahead against his old club with a free kick from the edge of the box.

The visitors soon hit back when Nigel Reo-Coker fed Ashley Young, who slotted past Robert Green to equalise.

Gareth Barry then put Villa ahead after Reo-Coker's shot was parried, but Dean Ashton ensured honours finished even.

Only an Everton defeat, coupled with a Villa victory, would have lifted Martin O'Neill's side above the Toffees - but both sides here contributed to a game packed with chances.

It was also a swansong for Juventus-bound defender Olof Mellberg, whose parting gift was to buy a Villa shirt for each of the 3,200 travelling fans, emblazoned "Mellberg - Thanks 4 Your Support" - while some away fans donned Swedish colours in his honour, and others basked, shirtless, in the heat.

Interview: Martin O'Neill

After the kick-off was delayed as a number of balloons on the pitch needed to be burst, the Hammers soon won the first corner - but Villa broke quickly and Gabriel Agbonlahor crossed for Young to rattle the post as the visitors served early notice of their intentions.