Benteke strike sinks Royals

Christian Benteke fired Aston Villa out of the relegation zone with a late winning goal in a 1-0 Villa Park victory over Reading.

Last Updated: 28/11/12 at 08:08 Post Comment

Christian Benteke: The striker secured three vital points for Aston Villa

Christian Benteke: The striker secured three vital points for Aston Villa

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The striker rose highest with 10 minutes remaining to power his fifth goal for the club and secure a much-needed three points in the basement battle at Villa Park.

Up until that point Reading had produced a hard working performance and looked on course for a point in a game void of any quality in front of Villa's lowest home league gate - 28,692 - for six years.

Benteke and Andreas Weimann failed to take the hosts' best opportunities while Adam Le Fondre should have scored for the Royals.

Villa started the game on the front foot, keeping hold of the ball without really penetrating the Reading backline.

They were very nearly punished when Mikele Leigertwood's teasing cross from the right was deflected up into the air, but Le Fondre was unable to find the back of the net with his acrobatic overhead kick attempt.

The hosts were next to go close as Brett Holman's daisy cutter of a cross was well controlled by Benteke, but his effort towards goal was tame, allowing Adam Federici to make an easy save.

Soon after Villa should have taken the lead as Benteke's clever pull-back was smashed over the crossbar from Weimann.

Nathan Baker then headed over the crossbar from Barry Bannan's corner and Benteke's curler was easily held by the busy Federici as the sides went into the interval with the game finely balanced.

Following a scrappy opening to the second period the Royals should have broken the deadlock just before the hour mark as Le Fondre somehow managed to head over the bar from Nicky Shorey's corner.

At the other end, Villa squandered another opportunity from a corner of their own as Ciaran Clark headed inches wide.

The hard working Jason Roberts then cut inside before his shot was cleared to safety by the right-boot of Brad Guzan.

Just as the game was heading for a dull goalless draw, Villa broke the deadlock with 10 minutes remaining.

And it was Benteke who found the target as he climbed above Sean Morrison to meet Ashley Westwood's corner to send the ball into the far corner to seal the three points for Paul Lambert's side.


Aston VillaTeam StatisticsReading
1Goals0
01st Half Goals0
5Shots on Target3
6Shots off Target6
6Blocked Shots4
8Corners3
11Fouls6
2Offsides3
1Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
74.7Passing Success65.8
22Tackles10
68.2Tackles Success30
55.1Possession44.9
53.5Territorial Advantage46.5
371Total Passes292
29Total Crosses25
181Lost Balls200
51Recoveries54
60.31st Half Poss.39.7
51.42nd Half Poss.48.6

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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