Aston Villa 3 Hull City 1 match report: Andreas Weimann goals keep Villa alive but still fearful

Weimann struck twice in four minutes to give Villa a lead they never looked like relinquishing

Villa Park

Normal service has been resumed; Aston Villa are staying up with something to spare. By a week and perhaps six points but the lap of appreciation around Villa Park at the end of this comfortable victory felt rather hollow as once again a club that claimed three successive top-six finishes at the end of the last decade did just enough to maintain their place in the Barclays Premier League.

Andreas Weimann scored twice at the end of the first half, after Jordan Bowery’s own goal negated Ashley Westwood’s first-minute opener, to earn Villa the breathing space they required after their last home game of the season. Barring Norwich City victories against Chelsea and Arsenal and a 17-goal swing, Villa can enter a critical summer with their status intact.

It helped that Hull City were at half-tempo before their FA Cup final in a fortnight, because while Paul Lambert’s team deserve credit for playing with enough zest to prevail after a run of one point from six games, needing to win away to Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur to stay up might have been a big ask.

“I’ve been involved in some big games,” the Villa manager said. “But the pressure on that one was incredible. If they can come through that, they can cope with anything in their careers. I thought we were fantastic.” Whether beating Hull City at home compares with helping Borussia Dortmund win a European Cup final, as Lambert did, is a moot point.

 

Perhaps inspired at Birmingham City’s last-gasp survival down in the Championship, Villa were out the traps before Hull could settle. Westwood scored after 55 seconds and, if Gabby Agbonlahor’s day was curtailed by the injury he sustained making the goal, it was a worthwhile sacrifice.

The former England striker flew down the left, bundled Curtis Davies aside and evaded Tom Huddlestone before pulling the ball back intelligently towards Marc Albrighton. The winger made amends for his initial airshot by toe-poking the ball to Westwood who swerved home a shot from the edge of the box.

Agbonlahor’s replacement Bowery had an impact that threatened to turn the game. Unable to stretch a leg to divert Weimann’s cross shot shortly after he came on, he inadvertently scored at the wrong end five minutes later, deflecting in Liam Rosenior’s cross shot after Huddlestone’s free-kick.

Brad Guzan had to dive acrobatically to tip aside a fulminating left-footed shot from Huddlestone, but then Weimann, a shadow of the player he was last season, changed the game. After a marvellous dribble ended with a fine save from Steve Harper, he had a header tipped over before scoring.

Nathan Baker had one header cleared off the line by Nikica Jelavic, Harper tipped his follow-up effort onto the bar but there was Weimann (left) to head in for 2-1. Then in first-half stoppage time he sealed the game. Bowery crossed towards the near post where Weimann headed in his fifth league goal of the season.

In the second half Villa enjoyed a stroll in the sun and Hull looked forward to Wembley. As long, that is, as they don’t lose both games this week and Norwich win twice.

Lambert has no idea if Randy Lerner will sell the club this summer. “The chairman’s going to make a statement in a few weeks,” he said. “I can’t say what he’s going to say.”

Line-ups:

Aston Villa (3-4-1-2): Guzan; Vlaar, Baker, Clark; Lowton, Westwood, Delph, Bertrand; Albrighton (El Ahmadi, 76); Weimann (Bacuna, 81), Agbonlahor (Bowery, 23).

Hull (3-5-2): Harper; Davis, Chester, Figueroa; Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Meyler (Quinn, h-t), Rosenior; Long, Jelavic (Sagbo, 70).

Referee: Mike Dean.

Man of the match: Weimann (Villa)

Match rating: 5/10

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage