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August 11, 2012 5:00 PM BST
 

Werder Bremen 3-3 Aston Villa: Bent bags a double in six-goal friendly thriller

Paul Lambert's men secured a draw at the Weserstadion in Germany against their Bundesliga opponents, with Ciaran Clark also on the scoresheet for the Premier League outfit

By Hayden Gribble

 Darren Bent
Getty Images
Darren Bent struck twice to help Aston Villa to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion in Germany.

Niclas Fullkrug gave the home side the lead before goals from Bent and Ciaran Clark put Villa in front.

After Eljero Elia had levelled, the England striker popped up with a header from a Charles N'Zogbia corner to put the Premier League side 3-2 up on 68 minutes.

However, Bremen would not lie down and striker Aaron Hunt equalised with a powerful left footed drive which screamed into the net on 71 minutes.

New manager Paul Lambert decided to start the match with Bent wearing the captain's armband and Republic of Ireland international Shay Given between the sticks as he pushed for a strong end to Villa's pre-season.

It was Bremen, though, who took the lead after 11 minutes when Fullkrug rose highest to head past Given in the Villa goal to give the home side an early advantage.

Bent equalised for the visitors five minutes later after good work from Andreas Weimann left the England striker with a simple tap-in.

The Villains went ahead on the 22 minute mark when the Bremen defence failed to clear N'Zogbia's cross and the ball fell to Clark, who fired home shot to make it 2-1.

Bremen equalised after the break when Elia's left-wing cross evaded everyone in the penalty area and went straight into the back of the net with 52 minutes on the clock.

Villa rang the changes after the interval, bringing Barry Bannan and Stephen Ireland on for Enda Stephens and Brett Holman.

Lambert's team needed to hold on for 20 minutes when Bent converted N'Zogbia's corner, but the German club replied almost immediately.

Given was left beaten as Hunt fired a low shot into the back of the net to level the score, which would not change before full-time.

With both sides looking for a winner N'Zogbia gave way to youngster Gary Gardner on the 77 minute mark, but England Under-21 international Fabian Delph was left on the bench.

The Midlands outfit will be looking to improve on last season’s flirtation with relegation and overall 16th postion on the Premier League.

The real business starts on August 18, when they play West Ham, but Lambert will take many positives away from his side's final friendly contest.


Results
January Friendlies
Times In GMT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Jonathan Jonathan
Striker
Salzburg
1 1
Marco Reus Marco Reus
Midfielder
Borussia Dortmund
1 1
Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
Striker
Borussia Dortmund
1 0
Jakub Blaszczykowski Jakub Blaszczykowski
Midfielder
Borussia Dortmund
1 0
Marcel Gaus Marcel Gaus
Striker
Kaiserslautern
1 0