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

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Liverpool's Europa League exit a boost to top-four chances ahead of Manchester City showdown, says Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher looks ahead to Liverpool v Manchester City and reckons the Reds might find it easier to bounce back.

Arsenal announce £11m profit and £138.8m cash reserve

Arsenal have returned robust financial results, with turnover increased to £148.5m and an overall profit before tax of £11.1m.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal eyes 'luck'

Louis van Gaal claims the most important factor in Manchester United's pursuit of a top-four place is 'luck'.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company