Premier League
Aston Villa0Crystal Palace1

Aston Villa 0-1 Crystal Palace

Dwight Gayle's injury-time winner moved Crystal Palace out of the Premier League bottom three as Aston Villa slumped to a fourth straight loss.

Substitute Gayle, who was introduced after 72 minutes, curled beyond Villa keeper Brad Guzan into the top corner.

Ex-Villa midfielder Barry Bannan had a sweeping left-foot shot pushed onto the post by the American.

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Lambert vows not to give up on Villa

Palace winger Jason Puncheon's low effort was also saved by Guzan as Villa struggled to find an attacking spark.

The match looked destined to be a goalless draw until striker Gayle, a £6m summer signing from League One side Peterborough United, produced a moment of brilliance to continue Palace's revival under recently installed boss Tony Pulis.

Since the ex-Stoke manager was appointed as Ian Holloway's successor, the Eagles have won three of six Premier League matches. Gayle's strike moved them above London rivals West Ham and Fulham on goal difference.

But the pressure continues to mount on Villa boss Paul Lambert, whose walk towards the Villa Park tunnel at the final whistle was met by a chorus of boos from frustrated home fans.

Lambert's side are 13th in the table after successive defeats by Fulham, Manchester United, Stoke and now Palace.

Worryingly, Villa are the lowest home goalscorers in the English top-flight, mustering just six goals in eight games. They have not scored a first-half Premier League goal at Villa Park this season.

Their best chance fell to £7m summer signing Libor Kozak but his header was hacked off the line in first-half stoppage time.

The Czech striker, who had scored twice in his previous three games, saw Eagles defender Adrian Mariappa clear from under his own crossbar, with Villa skipper Gabby Agbonlahor ready to pounce.

It was the best chance of a dire first half where Villa controlled possession and patiently probed for an opening. But, without injured Belgium striker Christian Benteke, they were unable to unpick a sturdy Palace side looking to break on the counter attack.

However, the match livened up after the interval as play became stretched.

Palace started the second half confidently, utilising the pace and trickery of Yannick Bolasie on the right flank.

All of their attacking play went through the DR Congo international, who created the chance which forced Villa goalkeeper Guzan into the first serious save of the match after 48 minutes.

He shrugged off the challenge of Villa left-back Antonio Luna, before cleverly pulling back to Puncheon who poked goalwards, after initially seeming to clumsily lose the ball under his feet.

The visitors continued to look menacing and Bannan, who left Villa Park for Palace in the summer, was denied a memorable goal on his return when he was stopped by a combination of Guzan and the woodwork.

The game began to switch quickly from end to end, with Agbonlahor's surging run through the Palace defence ending in an angled shot that lacked power; and Puncheon again shooting straight at Guzan after being picked out by Bolasie's dangerous cutback.

Eagles boss Pulis replaced Cameron Jerome with Gayle in an attacking move - and the substitution paid dividends.

The 23-year-old latched onto a through ball and, as he ran at last Villa defender Fabian Delph, curled in a delightful winner to spark pandemonium in the away end.

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Palace 'pace and power' pleases Pulis

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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:

"It's tough to take. There was a lot of endeavour, a lot of hard work, but not much creativity and we were hit with a classic counter-attack.

"We had most of the game - Crystal Palace might have had the clear-cut chances, and the goal from their point of view was a terrific strike.

"The home form isn't good enough and lack of goals is contributing to not winning games. We have to stand up and be counted and try to go on that front foot. We have to create more when we have most of the ball."

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis:

"It was a fantastic strike by Dwight. He can do that and there was no one more pleased than myself to see it go in.

"I'm a manager that picks a team and, if you're in that team, it's more difficult to get out of the team, that's the way I've always managed.

"Sometimes for the people who haven't started like Dwight, it's difficult to get that run of games, especially if the team does all right. Apart from the Newcastle game, the team has done exceptionally well."

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 34Lowton
  • 14LunaSubstituted forBacunaat 67'minutes
  • 8El AhmadiBooked at 72mins
  • 6Clark
  • 2BakerBooked at 35mins
  • 12Albrighton
  • 16Delph
  • 11Agbonlahor
  • 27KozákSubstituted forBoweryat 77'minutes
  • 10WeimannSubstituted forTonevat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Bacuna
  • 9Helenius
  • 13Steer
  • 18Sylla
  • 21Bowery
  • 22Gardner
  • 24Tonev

Crystal Palace

  • 1Speroni
  • 3Mariappa
  • 4Parr
  • 15Jedinak
  • 19Gabbidon
  • 27Delaney
  • 7Bolasie
  • 2Ward
  • 30JeromeBooked at 67minsSubstituted forGayleat 72'minutes
  • 46BannanBooked at 37minsSubstituted forMoxeyat 86'minutes
  • 13PuncheonSubstituted forWilliamsat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Campaña
  • 9Phillips
  • 16Gayle
  • 20Williams
  • 21Moxey
  • 34Price
  • 38Boateng
Referee:
Howard Webb
Attendance:
37,752

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home10
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home7
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Crystal Palace 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Crystal Palace 1.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.

Goal!

Goal! Aston Villa 0, Crystal Palace 1. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Dean Moxey following a fast break.
Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).
Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Julian Speroni.
Attempt saved. Jordan Bowery (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Matthew Lowton.
Foul by Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa).
Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Aleksandar Tonev replaces Andreas Weimann.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Dean Moxey replaces Barry Bannan.
Foul by Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa).
Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Jordan Bowery replaces Libor Kozák.
Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Offside, Aston Villa. Nathan Baker tries a through ball, but Gabriel Agbonlahor is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Dwight Gayle replaces Cameron Jerome.

Booking

Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa).
Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Leandro Bacuna replaces Antonio Luna.
Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Joel Ward (Crystal Palace).
Offside, Crystal Palace. Mile Jedinak tries a through ball, but Yannick Bolasie is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jonathan Williams replaces Jason Puncheon.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Brad Guzan.
Attempt saved. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Yannick Bolasie with a cross.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Damien Delaney.
Attempt missed. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Matthew Lowton.
Attempt saved. Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fabian Delph.
Attempt saved. Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cameron Jerome with a headed pass.
Foul by Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa).
Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa).
Foul by Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace).
Attempt missed. Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross following a corner.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal1812331839
2Man City1812243238
3Chelsea1811431537
4Liverpool1811342236
5Everton189721234
6Newcastle181035633
7Man Utd18945931
8Tottenham18945-531
9Southampton18765727
10Stoke18567-821
11Swansea18558-120
12Hull18558-720
13Aston Villa18549-719
14Norwich18549-1519
15West Brom18387-517
16Cardiff18459-1517
17Crystal Palace185112-1516
18Fulham185112-1616
19West Ham183510-1014
20Sunderland183411-1713
View full Premier League table

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