Premier League
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace0Aston VillaAston Villa1

Crystal Palace 0-1 Aston Villa

By Andy CryerBBC Sport
Christian Benteke
Villa had not won at Crystal Palace since 1980, losing five and drawing six
  • Benteke scores first of season
  • Villa's goal just eighth of campaign
  • Palace two points above drop zone
  • Eagles have won two in nine league home games

Aston Villa ended their nine-match winless league run as they won at Crystal Palace to leave the Eagles two points above the relegation zone.

Christian Benteke curled home low into the net from 18 yards, after Scott Dann lost the ball, for Villa's opener and his first goal of the season.

The hosts enjoyed a lot of the ball but were let down by a poor final delivery.

Andreas Weimann was denied a second by Julian Speroni's block as Villa moved three points above their opponents.

Belgian striker Benteke, returning from suspension, was making just his fifth appearance of the season having missed the first three months of the campaign with a ruptured Achilles.

And his presence proved key as his strike from Villa's only real chance of the match showed Palace, who had 17 shots, the importance of being clinical.

Aston Villa
Aston Villa won their first Premier League match since manager Paul Lambert signed a new four-year deal on 27 September

Both sides went into the match anxiously looking over their shoulders, with just two points separating them and the Premier League bottom three.

But, while Palace had been buoyed by a win at home to Liverpool and a draw at Swansea in their last two games, Villa were on the back of a nine-match winless run - their worst in the league under boss Paul Lambert.

Three successive draws had at least ended a run of six straight defeats but, with just seven goals in 13 matches, the Premier League's lowest scorers desperately needed a result to lift the growing gloom around the club.

For a side so short of goals, it was a surprise to many to see their £18m striker Darren Bent loaned out to Brighton, while Roy Keane's midweek departure as Villa's assistant manager has also raised eyebrows.

Match facts
Christian Benteke scored his first goal in any competition since MarchVilla have scored in three successive matches for the first time since April
Crystal Palace have conceded at least once in each of their last eight matches in the top-flightPalace attempted 17 shots during this game; the most they have registered this season

Manchester United loanee Wilfried Zaha, making just his fourth league start of the season for the Eagles, looked like a man with a point to prove on the right wing as the visitors struggled to cope with a high-tempo start.

With Yannick Bolasie and Zaha on either flank and Dwight Gayle partnering Marouane Chamakh in attack, an adventurous Palace line-up looked more than capable of causing Villa's defence problems.

Crystal Palace need a Benteke - Warnock

A poor final ball was letting the hosts down though and Villa, who lost Joe Cole with a hamstring injury early on, took advantage with Christian Benteke's low curling opener after Scott Dann was dispossessed 45 yards from goal.

Palace, looking for back-to-back home wins for the first time since April, continued on the front foot after the break but were again let down in the final third as goalkeeper Brad Guzan was left relatively untroubled to allow Villa to hold on to an important win.

Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock: "I think if we had Christian Benteke we would have won comfortably and that is what we are looking for in January. We are just missing that quality at the front.

"I can't fault the lads and now we have to do it the difficult way and get points at some tough places. We didn't create enough in the box.

"Sometimes you have to make your own luck and we didn't do that, although we huffed and puffed. We are shooting ourselves in the foot."

Lambert delights in 'massive result'

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "We are unbeaten in four and have won at a difficult place. Coming here [and winning] was a massive result, but I thought it was well deserved.

"I thought it was a big, big performance. I have played with some world class strikers and Christian Benteke, if he keeps progressing, could be one of the best. The performance was massive for us.

"We are up to 12th, we have had a lot of players out, so the progress is there. I understand the disappointment because Aston Villa are a huge, huge football club."

Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke was making just his fifth Villa appearance of the season
Braz Guzan
Villa had failed to score in seven of their previous eight league visits at Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha has scored just one goal for Crystal Palace this season
Neil Warnock
Crystal Palace have not won back-to-back home league games since April
Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke scored 11 goals for Aston Villa last season


Crystal Palace

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Speroni
  • 34KellySubstituted forPuncheonat 89'minutes
  • 6Dann
  • 4Hangeland
  • 2Ward
  • 11Zaha
  • 15Jedinak
  • 18McArthur
  • 7BolasieBooked at 81mins
  • 29Chamakh
  • 16GayleSubstituted forCampbellat 45'minutesBooked at 57mins


  • 10Campbell
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14Thomas
  • 19Fryers
  • 25Bannan
  • 36Boateng
  • 42Puncheon

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Guzan
  • 21Hutton
  • 5Okore
  • 6ClarkBooked at 82mins
  • 23Cissokho
  • 8CleverleySubstituted forRichardsonat 89'minutes
  • 15Westwood
  • 12ColeSubstituted forC Sánchezat 9'minutes
  • 11Agbonlahor
  • 20Benteke
  • 10WeimannBooked at 90mins


  • 17Herd
  • 18Richardson
  • 24C Sánchez
  • 28N'Zogbia
  • 31Given
  • 34Lowton
  • 40Grealish
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamAston Villa
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Crystal Palace 0, Aston Villa 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 0, Aston Villa 1.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Brad Guzan tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

  4. Booking

    Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa).

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Kieran Richardson replaces Tom Cleverley.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jason Puncheon replaces Martin Kelly.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Alan Hutton.

  9. Post update

    Aly Cissokho (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Fraizer Campbell (Crystal Palace).

  11. Post update

    Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace).

  13. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Brad Guzan tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

  14. Booking

    Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

  16. Post update

    Fraizer Campbell (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Booking

    Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace).

  20. Post update

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.