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Premier League

  • March 9, 2013
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire
  • Referee: J. Moss
  • • Attendance: 24102

Reading 1-2 Aston Villa: Benteke and Agbonlahor lift Lambert's men out of bottom three

The Royals' lead barely lasted a minute, as the Belgian cancelled out Baker's own goal, with Villa striking again just before the half to earn a huge win in the relegation battle

Aston Villa came from behind away from home to bag a vital 2-1 win over fellow struggler Reading on Saturday.

The hosts started well and took the lead through an own goal, however it didn't last long with Christian Benteke levelling the scores a minute later. And things went from bad to worse for the Royals just before the break, with Gabriel Agbonlahor securing the points for Villa.

The hosts were quickest out of the blocks and almost took the lead with about a minute played, however Brad Guzan made a superb acrobatic save to tip Le Fondre's header wide of the post.

Villa responded well, though, as it managed to slow the Royals play down before its own striker forced the opposition keeper into an equally good save, Taylor palming Benteke's headed effort onto the bar at full stretch.

Back came the Royals, with Hal Robson-Kanu sending a low effort just wide of the post, but it was Paul Lambert's men who should have took the lead when Andreas Weimann dragged a shot wide.

With around 10 minutes to go until halftime Reading managed to find a breakthrough, albeit with some fortune. Jobi McAnuff crossed low from the left, with Hope Akpan flicking the ball on neatly before Nathan Baker embarrassingly sliced the ball into his own net.

A minute later, however, and again with an element of luck, Villa was level. Weimann broke free on the right before pulling the ball back for Benteke, whose shot deflected off Stephen Kelly and past Taylor.

And it was the visiting side that then took the initiative and went in front right before halftime. Weimann was involved again on the right before his cross was thrice unsuccessfully dealt with by the Royals defense, leaving Gabriel Agbonlahor to slam the ball home.

The action continued after the break with Baker, Sylla and Benteke all going close for Villa, before Reading forward Noel Hunt had the ball in the net after McAnuff's low-driven cross, however it was correctly ruled out for offside.

The hosts should have been level soon after, however, with substitute Nick Blackman's fine chest control giving him a fantastic chance just yards out, however he shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

Robson-Kanu, who was the Royals brightest spark by a long way, nearly grabbed a late equalizer with a fine curling effort, however it was the Villans who held on for what could be their biggest win all season.

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