Saturday, 4 May 2013

Benteke hat-trick inspires Villa - match report:

Both sides knew that only a win would boost their survival hopes in this dramatic climax to the EPL season. 

QPR and Reading both got relegated on Sunday afternoon, and there is still a good chance that 4 teams could join them in the Npower Championship next season, with 1 spot left in the drop zone.

This match was at Villa Park, as Villa hosted a rejuvenated Sunderland side who had won 2 out of their last 3 matches under new controversial manager Paulo Di Canio. 

That was definitely not the case for the visitors, who started slowly and conceded due to a vicious piledriver into the bottom corner of the net by Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar.

Captain fantastic: Ron Vlaar celebrates his powerful strike to give Villa the lead at home.
Despite an equaliser a minute later thanks to loanee (from Tottenham) full-back Danny Rose with his first goal of the season, they were dominated throughout and punished on the counter attack. 

First of the season: Danny Rose hits a strike inside the box after a pass by Danny Graham to equalise.

If only: Rose celebrates scoring Sunderland's only goal of the match in the 6-1 rout.

Young striker Andreas Weimann made it 2-1 in the 38th minute, before Benteke got a beastly brace within 5 minutes (55th and 60th) in the second half to make it 4-1 and virtually seal the home victory for Villa. 

Back in-front: Andreas Weimann makes it 2-1 to Aston Villa after some poor Sunderland defending.

Important: Weimann celebrates his finish in-front of the home Villa fans.

Towering header: Benteke scores his second of the night with a header past Mignolet.

Stephane Sessegnon was given a straight red card for a late challenge in the 70th minute, and Sunderland crumbled even more after this

Bad to worse: Stephane Sessegnon was given a straight red card after a dangerous tackle.

Benteke completed his hat-trick for the night 2 minutes later, before Gabriel Agbonlahor added to Villa's goal-difference with a sixth goal in the 88th minute, casually going around Mignolet for pace before stroking the ball into the net to cap off a horrible night for Sunderland in their survival hopes.  

At the far post: Benteke completes his hat-trick with a near post strike past Mignolet.
Belgian beast: Benteke celebrates his hat-trick with the home fans to make it 5-1 before Agbonlahor made it 6.
Aston Villa are now level on points with 18th placed Sunderland, with the relegation fight hotting up with just 3 matches to play.