Wednesday, January 13, 2016 12:57 am
Aston Villa earned their first win in 20 Barclays Premier League matches after goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey fumbled Joleon Lescott’s header over the line to hand Remi Garde’s men a 1-0 home victory at Villa Park.
Villa had not tasted success in the Premier League since beating AFC Bournemouth on the opening day of the season, but the league’s bottom club held on for a narrow win on Tuesday.
Wilfried Zaha had hit the outside of the post in the opening minute of the match after swapping passes with Jason Puncheon but both teams struggled for a cutting edge in the final third.
And it was a mistake from Hennessey that gifted Villa the lead on 58 minutes. Lescott’s header had power but was straight at the goalkeeper, who contrived to bundle the ball over the line via his left knee and right ankle.
Palace’s woes in front of goal continued, with Alan Pardew’s men now having failed to score in four successive Premier League fixtures.The win means Villa are eight points from safety at the foot of the table, while Palace remain seventh.
Garde dropped goalkeeper Brad Guzan and handed Mark Bunn his first Premier League start in over two years, while captain Micah Richards was fit only for the bench due to a foot injury.
And it was almost a nightmare start for Bunn as Palace went close after just 42 seconds. Zaha played a one-two with Puncheon that split the Villa defence with ease, but Zaha’s shot clipped the outside of the post.
In the end, Villa held their nerves to seal their second victory of the season.
Said an excited and relieved Coach Garde: “I think tonight we deserved that win. It was a lucky goal that we scored but I think we deeply deserved that win. It was a great feeling, a great attitude of the fans of course, we have to keep the intensity of the game today. I’m very pleased the way we’ve played football tonight, it was very entertaining for everybody.”
*With reports by www.premierleague.com