Braving the barrage

Aston Villa stood up to West Ham's aerial bombardment to secure a much-needed Premier League win.

Last Updated: 10/02/13 at 16:41 Post Comment

So says Joe Royle after watching Paul Lambert's side register their first victory in the top division for nine games - the Villans last took three points at Liverpool on December 15 - and shoot themselves out of the relegation zone.

Christian Benteke netted from the penalty spot (74) and Charles N'Zogbia whipped in a free-kick (78) as the Midlanders downed the Hammers 2-1 at Villa Park.

Read our match report here

But former Man City and Everton boss Royle told Sky Sports HD that he was most impressed by the hosts' defensive solidity - despite Ashley Westwood scoring a late own goal (87).

"They didn't get the clean sheet they wanted but they defended better," Royle said of Aston Villa, who slipped out of the Capital One and FA Cups to lower-league opposition in January.

Inspired

"It was last-ditch defending rather than sophisticated defending because West Ham didn't offer a sophisticated threat as everything was directed to Andy Carroll - but Villa defended well and they will take great pleasure from that.

"It was inspired from Lambert to bring on Darren Bent as a substitute - not because of what he did going forward but because he kicked one off the line when it was 0-0.

"And (Villa goalkeeper) Brad Guzan did well again; he is a good shot-stopper and not afraid to come for a cross, either."

Meanwhile, on the performance of Villa midfielder N'Zogbia, Sky Sports pundit Ray Wilkins added: "He did some good things.

"He was fouled by Mark Noble for the penalty and scored a well-taken free-kick, although I think Jussi Jaaskelainen was probably too far over to his right-hand side in the West Ham goal."

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Premier League: Roberto Martinez hails Everton players after win over Manchester United

Roberto Martinez saluted the focus and adaptability of his Everton squad after a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.

Transfer news: Atletico Mineiro to take Nicolas Anelka to FIFA

Atletico Mineiro president Alexandre Kalil has said that he is considering taking Nicolas Anelka to FIFA.

Premier League: David Moyes admits defensive errors cost Manchester United at Everton

David Moyes feels Man Utd conceded 'terrible goals' on his return to Everton and says missing out on the top four hurts.

Mail Box

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property