Tag Archives: lowton

Goal of the season – Premier League contenders so far

After wonder goals from Lowton and Remy, Sportsmail picks the contenders (so far…) for the Premier League's goal of the season

PUBLISHED:

10:49 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 8 April 2013

Forget the title race or the fight to avoid relegation, here's one competition that pretty much all football fans can enjoy – goal of the season.

It may only be the first week of April, but screamers from Matthew Lowton and Loic Remy at the weekend will definitely be contenders.

Super strike I: Matthew Lowton fires home his volley for Villa at Stoke

Super strike I: Matthew Lowton fires home his volley for Villa at Stoke

Super strike II: Loic Remy crashes home the ball in QPR's draw with Wigan

Super strike II: Loic Remy crashes home the ball in QPR's draw with Wigan

Lowton's sumptuous late volley at Stoke breathed life into Aston Villa's battle to stay up on Saturday.

And Remy fired home a rocket from the edge of the box to give fellow strugglers QPR hope before Shaun Maloney's equaliser at the death.

Let's hope there are further contenders in the climax to the season – but, for now, Sportsmail's team of experts nominate their favourite of the campaign so far.

*Who would you vote for Explain your choice at the bottom of the article…

NEIL ASHTON

Gareth Bale – West Ham 2 TOTTENHAM 3 (February 24, 2013)

Special players score goals at important moment, living with the pressure and winning games for their team with top class finishes when others are fading. Bale did just that when he won this fixture for Spurs at West Ham with a top quality strike from outside the area. His celebrations with Andre Villas-Boas on the touchline were even better.

SAMI MOKBEL

Gareth Bale has got quite a collection to choose from this season – but this is right up there. Final minute. 30 yards. Left foot. Bang. Three points.

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas
DOMINIC KING

Leighton Baines – Newcastle 1 EVERTON 2 (January 3, 2013)

An absolute humdinger from the best left-back in the country, his effort from 30 yards dipped, swerved and sped past Tim Krul before he realised what had happened. Great technique and phenomenal power. Eclipses Luis Suarez's stunning control and deft finish against the same opponents at Anfield in November.

Rocket: Leighton Baines crashes the ball home from 30 yards at Newcastle

Rocket: Leighton Baines crashes the ball home from 30 yards at Newcastle

SIMON CASS

Luis Suarez – LIVERPOOL 1 Newcastle 1 (November 4, 2013)

Luis Suarez’s equaliser against Newcastle back in November will take some beating. The Uruguayan plucks Luis Enrique’s long ball out of the air, holds of Fabricio Coloccini before taking a touch to go past Tim Krul to roll it into the net. Genius.

Control: Luis Suarez bamboozles the Newcastle defence to score this wonder goal

Control: Luis Suarez bamboozles the Newcastle defence to score this wonder goal

SAM CUNNINGHAM

Dimitar Berbatov – FULHAM 1 Stoke 0 (February 23, 2013)

This goal was everything that sums up the nonchalant Bulgarian – class, quality, precision, technique, grace. He was standing just inside the box on the right when a defensive header dropped from the sky. The ball plummeted 20-30 metres, a distance your average armchair fan would struggle to even control the ball from, and Berbatov stroked it into the top corner from just inside the box on the right.

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

CHRIS WHEELER

Cameron Jerome – STOKE 3 Southampton 3 (December 29, 2012)

Jerome's blockbusting 90th-minute equaliser was stunning – if it wasn’t for the net, this one would still be travelling now.

Salute: Cameron Jerome celebrates his stunning last-minute goal for Stoke

Salute: Cameron Jerome celebrates his stunning last-minute goal for Stoke

JOHN EDWARDS

Loic Remy – QPR 1 Wigan 1 (April 7, 2013)

It has to be Remy, for one simple reason. While Lowton’s goal was spectacular, Remy’s had an air of wonder, bordering on mystique, about it. We’ve had any number of brilliantly-executed volleys down the years, but never, as far as I can recall, a first-time side-foot shot on the run from 20 yards hit with such power, it was past the keeper before he could move. Like Paolo Di Canio’s airborne effort against Wimbledon, it left you shaking your head and wondering exactly how he did it.

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ADAM SHERGOLD

Robin van Persie – MANCHESTER UNITED 3 Fulham 2 (August 25, 2012)

What a way to introduce yourself. A cross in from the left, a step in front of the defender and, in one fluid movement and without even looking at the goal, the ball is swept home. It was a goal that said: ‘I’m worth every penny and I’m here to get your title back.’ And how he has.

Touch: Robin van Persie directs the ball home in United's win over Fulham

Touch: Robin van Persie directs the ball home in United's win over Fulham

MIKE ANSTEAD

Papiss Cisse – NEWCASTLE 4 Southampton 2 (February 24, 2013)

Cisse has now scored a few belters for Newcastle. He likes to drop the odd cracker in among his finishes inside the six-yard box. This goal reminded me of Alan Shearer in his Newcastle pomp, lashing it home from 25 yards.

Sealed with a kiss: Cisse celebrates his stunner against Southampton

Sealed with a kiss: Cisse celebrates his stunner against Southampton

MATT FORTUNE

Theo Walcott – ARSENAL 7 Newcastle 3 (December 29, 2012)

It's not the tidiest, the most sweetly struck, or skilful, but for the befuddlement I still feel when watching it back, Walcott's hat-trick goal saw him tie two players in knots by the touchline, trip over his own feet on entry to the box, somehow slide on his knees practically through the legs of another, take out a fourth, jump to his feet and scoop the ball from a narrowing angle into the top corner.

Joyous: Theo Walcott wheels away after completing his hat-trick against Newcastle

Joyous: Theo Walcott wheels away after completing his hat-trick against Newcastle

ALEX KAY

Michael Kightly – Manchester United 4 STOKE 2 (October 20, 2012)

The former Wolves man doesn’t always get a game for Stoke but his run from the halfway line at Old Trafford was phenomenal and one he will remember for the rest of his career. There was a slightly lucky bobble along the way but the finish was excellent.

LUKE BENEDICT

Matthew Lowton – Stoke 1 ASTON VILLA 3 (April 6, 2013)

For the patience to wait for the ball to drop on to his foot despite two Stoke players closing down fast, for the vision to shoot on goal given the magnitude of the match and just how far out he was, then finally for the technical ability to actually pull it off. Can you imagine the fuss if Messi had scored it

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Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 1: Carlos Tevez scores winner

Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 1: Mancini's men made to toil for victory over strugglers

PUBLISHED:

21:53 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 March 2013

Carlos Tevez scored the decisive goal as Manchester City kept their title hopes hanging by a thread with a win at Aston Villa.

After a solid start from Villa, the visitors took control of the game. Edin Dzeko pounced on a Ciaran Clark error to slide the ball into Tevez, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home on the stroke of half-time.

City struck the upright twice after through Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta, but couldn't increase their lead to kill the game off.

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa
MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, N'Zogbia (Holman 65), Westwood (El Ahmadi 86), Delph, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann (Dawkins 84)

Subs not used: Given, Lichaj, Sylla, Bowery

Booked: Benteke, Delph

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Clichy, K Toure, Nastasic, Milner, Garcia, Rodwell (Dzeko 25), Silva (Barry 90), Y Toure, Tevez (Nasri 75)

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Kolarov, Sinclair

Goal: Tevez 45

Referee: Mike Dean

More to follow…

Relief: City celebrate their goal on the stroke of half-time from the Argentina international

Relief: City celebrate their goal on the stroke of half-time from the Argentina international

Aerial battle: Edin Dzeko gets above Ciaran Clark (right) to win a header

Aerial battle: Edin Dzeko gets above Ciaran Clark (right) to win a header

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Up for it: Christian Benteke (left) made a nuisance of himself for City's back four

Up for it: Christian Benteke (left) made a nuisance of himself for City's back four

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Tussle: Fabian Delph (right) pursues City playmaker David Silva

Tussle: Fabian Delph (right) pursues City playmaker David Silva

Running the show: Yaya Toure (left) struck the post midway through the second half

Running the show: Yaya Toure (left) struck the post midway through the second half

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Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

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Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

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Expressive: Frustrations boil over for Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini

Expressive: Frustrations boil over for Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini

West Brom v Aston Villa live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: West Brom v Aston Villa – as it happens from the Hawthorns

By
Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 19 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 19 January 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as West Brom host Aston Villa at the Hawthorns to conclude Saturday''s action. The Baggies will hope three points in the Midlands derby can kick start their push for European football next season, while Paul Lambert will hope victory can ease the pressure on his relegation threatened team.

17.02: We've had a hectic afternoon of top class Premier League action, but it isn't over yet. There's a Midlands derby to look forward to as Aston Villa travel to rivals West Brom in their bid to stop the rot.

Here is West Brom's starting XI: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Brunt; Odemwingie, Morrison, Dorrans; Lukaku

And Aston Villa's: Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Benteke

Derby day: West Brom host Aston Villa at the Hawthorns as Saturday concludes with the Midlands derby

Derby day: West Brom host Aston Villa at the Hawthorns as Saturday concludes with the Midlands derby

Bradford v Aston Villa live

CAPITAL ONE CUP LIVE: Bradford v Aston Villa – as it happens from the Coral Windows Stadium

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 8 January 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Capital One Cup as Bradford host Aston Villa in the first leg of their semi-final at the Coral Windows Stadium. The League Two side will fancy their chances having already knocked out Premier League opposition in Wigan and Arsenal, while Paul Lambert's team have struggled in the top flight this term. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Bradford v Aston Villa (7.45pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Bradford starting XI: Darby, Hanson, Duke, Atkinson, McHugh, Jones, Hines, Wells, McArdle, Doyle, Good.

Aston Villa starting XI: Given, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, Bannan, Delph, Weimann, N’Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Benteke.

All the latest from League Two

19.09: From OptaJoe:

3 – Bradford are aiming to become the first fourth tier side in history to knock out three top-flight sides from the same League Cup. Target

19.06: Bradford starting XI:

Darby, Hanson, Duke, Atkinson, McHugh, Jones, Hines, Wells, McArdle, Doyle, Good.

19.03: Aston Villa starting XI:

Given, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, Bannan, Delph, Weimann, N’Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Benteke.

19.00: So who is backing Bradford to eliminate a Premier League team for the third round in a row

Arsenal and Wigan have already paid the penalty (a nice puntastic way to start the evening) but surely Aston Villa won't fall into the same trap in this League Cup semi-final.

From what I've seen in this season's Capital One Cup though, I'm not ruling out anything. Team news coming right up.

Hotshot: Christian Benteke will try to help Aston Villa avoid an upset at Bradford in the League Cup semi-final

Hotshot: Christian Benteke will try to help Aston Villa avoid an upset at Bradford in the League Cup semi-final

Chelsea 8 Aston Villa 0: Chelsea up to third

Chelsea 8 Aston Villa 0: Brilliant Blues back up to third after rout on Lampard landmark

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UPDATED:

22:21 GMT, 23 December 2012

A month ago, hate dripped from the steep tiers at Stamford Bridge as Rafa Benitez appeared on the touchline. Yesterday, the place was thrilled by eight goals. Not once did the Chelsea fans join in song to tell Benitez he wasn’t wanted here.

The last time they saw their team score this many was the final game of the Barclays Premier League season in 2010, when Carlo Ancelotti’s team walloped Wigan to celebrate the first leg of their first Double.

Landmark: Lampard (second left) scored on his 500th Premier League start

Landmark: Lampard (second left) scored on his 500th Premier League start

MATCH FACTS

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Lampard (Ramires 61), Moses, Mata (Piazon 74), Hazard, Torres (Oscar 67).

Subs not used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Ake.

Goals: Torres 3, David Luiz 29, Ivanovic 34, Lampard 58, Ramires 75, 90, Oscar (pen) 79, Hazard 83.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Herd, Clark, Baker, Lowton, Bannan, Westwood (Ireland 57), Lichaj (Elliott 57), Weimann, Holman (Bowery 79), Benteke.

Subs not used: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Delph.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 41,363.

Click here for the latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

But that was Carlo, a free-wheeling and popular manager who implored his players to attack. This was Rafa, a cautious tactician, always alert to danger, who sat down after an 8-0 win to say: ‘We knew they would be dangerous in the counter-attacks.’

Emotions were all over the place as post-Japan Chelsea returned to the Premier League in emphatic style by condemning Aston Villa to the biggest defeat in their 138-year history.

They may have arrived unbeaten in six games but Paul Lambert’s team went home perilously close to the drop zone with the worst goal difference in the division.

Villa were awful but Chelsea were slick and impressive.

There were eight goals from seven different scorers but there could have been many more.

The Blues even missed a penalty but go into Christmas 11 points behind leaders Manchester United with a game in hand at home to Southampton.

Opener: Fernando Torres got Chelsea off to a flying start

Opener: Fernando Torres got Chelsea off to a flying start

Opener: Fernando Torres got Chelsea off to a flying start

In a month of Benitez, Fernando Torres
has been transformed to the point where he seems to be enjoying his
football and refused to sulk off when he was replaced.

The Spain striker opened the scoring in the third minute, rising to meet a deep cross from Cesar Azpilicueta with a majestic header from the edge of the penalty area.

It was his seventh under the new manager and his seventh in the last six games.

‘He scores when he wants,’ sang the fans in the Matthew Harding Stand, saluting the Benitez factor without giving him credit.

This won’t bother the manager too much. He will take his satisfaction from the aggressive tempo which crushed Villa.

Stunner: Luiz hammered home a free-kick to double the lead

Stunner: Luiz hammered home a free-kick to double the lead

The back five have worked well for
Lambert since centre half and skipper Ron Vlaar was injured but Chelsea
forced them deep, creating space for Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Victor
Moses.

Villa lurched from uncertainty to
desperation. Nathan Baker escaped a strong penalty appeal when he
appeared to hold Torres and Chelsea’s second came when Chris Herd sent
Hazard tumbling.

David Luiz stepped up and scored the
free-kick, a shot which wobbled over the wall and beat goalkeeper Brad
Guzan, a good yard inside his post.

Three and easy: Ivanovic rises to head home

Three and easy: Ivanovic rises to head home

Luiz, signed almost two years ago at
the same time as Torres, has also endured an oscillating career at the
club but appears to have made significant progress under Benitez, who
used him as a deep midfielder yesterday in the absence of John Mikel
Obi, who was banned.

The role suits Luiz, certainly when
Chelsea control possession. He performed it with success against
Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-final and was comfortable against
Villa.

There is a safety net if he takes an undue risk and loses the
ball, as he did at Leeds in the Capital One Cup, yet his team benefit
from his exuberance and unpredictability in attack.

Club legend: Lampard takes the applause before being substituted after his goal

Club legend: Lampard takes the applause before being substituted after his goal

Club legend: Lampard takes the applause before being substituted after his goal

It was one of those days for
Chelsea. Not only were the converted centre halves threatening Guzan in
the Villa goal but so were the unconverted ones.

Guzan produced a terrific reflex save
to beat out Gary Cahill’s shot on the spin before the interval but the
rebound popped up to his defensive partner Branislav Ivanovic to head in
the third.

Fear took hold, mistakes crept in and Christian Benteke never looked
like scoring. The only chance of any note fell to Andreas Weimann — on
the break, as Benitez predicted — in the second half.

Weimann was denied by Petr Cech, who
deflected his low shot on to the bar to protect his clean sheet, despite
the fact the contest was already over.

Joining the party: Ramires came off the bench to net the fifth

Joining the party: Ramires came off the bench to net the fifth

Frank Lampard scored the fourth with a
right-foot volley from 30 yards. It was his 190th goal for Chelsea —
three behind Kerry Dixon, who stands second in the all-time goal list
for the club — on his 500th Premier League start.

It
was also his 130th top-flight goal for the club. No one has more.
Lampard was replaced a minute later to a standing ovation. Torres was
also taken off to rest ahead of the festive fixtures which will dictate
whether this is to turn into a genuine title fightback.

Six of the best: Oscar scored from the penalty spot

Six of the best: Oscar scored from the penalty spot

With Daniel Sturridge in Liverpool for a
medical, Moses played the last 23 minutes at centre forward and the
Blues finished with a front four of Moses, Oscar, Hazard and Lucas
Piazon, an 18-year-old Brazilian making his Premier League debut.

It was a quartet with an average age
of just over 20 but Piazon wasted no time making an impact, collecting
the ball on the left, gliding inside and finding Ramires, who scored
the fifth. It was a nice pass but did not need to be laser-guided.

Seventh heaven: Hazard slams home from inside the box

Seventh heaven: Hazard slams home from inside the box

Villa were all at sea by this stage and not helped when referee Phil Dowd started to hand out soft penalties.

Herd
was penalised for a slight pull on Oscar, who picked himself up to make
it six from the spot. Hazard lashed the seventh into the top corner and
Piazon missed a second penalty after he was fouled by Ciaran Clark.
Guzan made the save.

It was a very strange afternoon for the American goalkeeper.

Ramires scored the eighth in stoppage time and the Bridge stood to rejoice. For the man they reviled as the Spanish waiter, will it be any different after eight
Relentless: Ramires scores his second in stoppage time

Relentless: Ramires scores his second in stoppage time

Rout: Chelsea move back up to third in the Premier League table

Rout: Chelsea move back up to third in the Premier League table

Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 3 – match report

Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 3: Ruthless Benteke runs riot at Anfield with two goals and an assist

PUBLISHED:

16:50 GMT, 15 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:07 GMT, 15 December 2012

Aston Villa exposed Liverpool's flaws and the flakiness of their challenge for a top-four place by inflicting the Reds' worst home defeat for more than three years.

Christian Benteke scored twice, either side of Andreas Weimann's well-worked goal, before Steven Gerrard's late consolation as the hosts' three-match winning run was ended in surprising fashion.

It was the first time Villa had scored more than once in any half of league football this season and extended their own unbeaten run to five matches, with only a second away win in 17 away league games.

Brilliant: Christian Benteke celebrated scoring his first goal at Anfield

Brilliant: Christian Benteke celebrated scoring his first goal at Anfield

MATCH FACTS

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Downing, Lucas (Henderson 60), Allen, Sterling, Shelvey (Cole 46), Suarez,

Subs not used: Jones, Coates, Carragher, Wisdom, Suso

Booked: Suarez

Goal: Gerrard 87

Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Lichaj, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Bannan (El Ahmadi 85), Herd, Holman (Delph 69), Benteke, Weimann (N'Zogbia 90)

Subs not used: Given, Bennett, Albrighton, Bowery

Booked: Lowton, Benteke

Goals: Benteke 29, 51, Weimann 40

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Attendance: 44,607

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

Villa inflicted the same scoreline in
August 2009, and although both sides are at a lower level now, this was
a result no-one would have predicted.

The visitors almost doubled their
league away goals tally for the campaign, which now stands at seven, in
recording only their fifth Anfield victory in 34 visits.

Yet barely 24 hours earlier Liverpool
manager Brendan Rodgers had been talking about targeting second-placed
Manchester City so high was the confidence in his squad.

City are now 14 points ahead and,
worse still, Liverpool failed to take advantage of Everton's draw at
Stoke to close the gap on fourth place with many of their rivals playing
tomorrow.

For their part Villa moved three
points clear of the relegation zone. The opening half-hour was virtually
one-way traffic as the home side set off at pace in search of a third
successive Barclays Premier League victory for the first time since May
2011.

But their eagerness seemed to get the
better of them as there was an air of over-complication and lack of
finesse about their play in the final third.

Stewart Downing, who in the matchday
programme revealed Rodgers had told him he could leave and he would
assess his options in January, started left-back for the injured Jose
Enrique but enjoyed plenty of space down the flank.

From bad to worse: Pepe Reina is left on his back after Andreas Weimann put the ball beyond his reach

From bad to worse: Pepe Reina is left on his back after Andreas Weimann put the ball beyond his reach

Gerrard bundled a shot at goalkeeper
Brad Guzan after a poor pass behind him from Luis Suarez, returning
after suspension, rebounded back off Raheem Sterling before Downing shot
wide after cutting in on his right foot.

It continued with Joe Allen driving
wide, Gerrard's feet getting in a tangle after being picked out by
Suarez's inch-perfect cross-field ball, and Shelvey delaying his shot
long enough got Nathan Baker to block after Suarez capitalised on Chris
Herd's mistake.

Liverpool's inability to take their chances has hurt them in the past and it proved to be the case again in the 29th minute.

Tormentor: Benteke was rampant for Villa

Tormentor: Benteke was rampant for Villa

Coming together: Luis Suarez (right) collides with Brad Guzan

Coming together: Luis Suarez (right) collides with Brad Guzan

Brett Holman passed inside to
Benteke, who took a touch and – with no-one closing him down – unleashed
a low shot which beat Reina off the inside of his right-hand post.

What a difference the goal made as Villa suddenly started playing 30 yards further up the field.

It almost paid off when Weimann
seized on Glen Johnson's weak header to lob Reina, only for the ball to
drop on to the roof of the net.

The Austrian did not make the same mistake just before half-time with a brilliantly-worked goal.
Weimann released Benteke in the inside-right channel and raced into a
gaping hole in the Liverpool defence to turn the striker's clever
backheel under Reina.

Joe Cole's emergence for the second
half at the expense of Shelvey highlighted the lack of genuine
match-winners outside of Rodgers' first XI.

Contested: Liverpool could not capitalise on their strong start

Contested: Liverpool could not capitalise on their strong start

Cheery: Brendan Rodgers had the smile wiped off his face when Benteke and Co ran riot

Cheery: Brendan Rodgers had the smile wiped off his face when Benteke and Co ran riot

They should, however, have got back
into the game early in the second half when Ciaran Clark clearly pulled
Daniel Agger's shirt in the penalty area, but referee Neil Swarbrick
maintained Liverpool's record of not winning a penalty this season by
ignoring the appeals.

It proved costly as when Cole was
robbed by Holman on the halfway line, Benteke was sensibly quickly given
possession and he danced through the Reds backline to chip a shot past
Reina.
Liverpool laid siege to Guzman's goal in the final half-hour, with
further claims for a penalty when Johnson's header hit Baker's arm also
going unanswered.

When they finally made a breakthrough it came too late with Gerrard heading in Johnson's cross-shot three minutes from the end.

There was just enough time left for
Benteke to escape with a yellow card for pushing Johnson in the face in
front of a rapidly-emptying Anfield.

Double trouble: Benteke and Weimann ensured Villa were out of sight by the time Steven Gerrard scored

Double trouble: Benteke and Weimann ensured Villa were out of sight by the time Steven Gerrard scored

Notching them up: Weimann has been in fine form of late

Notching them up: Weimann has been in fine form of late

Queens Park Rangers 1 Aston Villa 1 – Match report

QPR 1 Aston Villa 1: Redknapp forced to wait for first win at R's after Loftus Road stalemate

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UPDATED:

18:21 GMT, 1 December 2012

Queens Park Rangers equalled the Premier League's longest ever winless start to a season today as they failed to overcome Aston Villa in Harry Redknapp's first home match at the helm.

The west Londoners have now failed to a collect victory from any of their opening 15 matches – an abysmal start that is only matched by the Swindon side of 1993/94.

Much had been expected from QPR today in what was Redknapp's first match at Loftus Road since replacing Mark Hughes at the helm.

One up: Brett Holman scored the opener for Aston Villa

One up: Brett Holman scored the opener for Aston Villa

MATCH FACTS

QPR: Green, Traore, Hill, Nelsen, Bosingwa, Diakite (Park Ji-sung 69), Taarabt, Wright-Phillips, Granero (Park Ji-sung 46), M'bia (Derry 39), Mackie

Subs not used: Murphy, Ferdinand, Fabio, Cisse, Hoilett

Booked: Derry

Goal: Mackie 18

Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Lichaj, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Bannan (Delph 67), Herd (Williams 65), Agbonlahor, Holman (El Ahmadi 70), Benteke

Subs not used: Given, Ireland, Bent, Weimann

Booked: Baker, Lowton

Goal: Holman 8

Referee: H Webb

Attendance: 17,387

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The Rs boss had never previously lost
a Premier League home debut as a manager, but that record looked under
serious threat after just eight minutes when Brett Holman fired Villa
ahead from distance.

Jamie Mackie's superb header dragged
QPR level after 18 minutes but an entertaining first half was
overshadowed by a nasty injury sustained by Stephane Mbia.

The Cameroonian went to hospital for a
precautionary check-up, with fellow midfielder Samba Diakite also
forced off injured in a second half in which neither side were able to
find a winner.

QPR came into this afternoon's match
eight points adrift of the safety and their defensive frailties were
quickly exposed as Christian Benteke wriggled free in the box, only to
be denied by a last-ditch Clint Hill challenge.

The effort appeared to put QPR on
edge and only eight minutes in they found themselves behind, with Holman
striking a fierce 25-yard drive that Robert Green, making his first
start since September 1, was unable to keep out in front of the 1,632
visiting fans.

Picking his spot: Holman finds the gap to put Villa into the lead

Picking his spot: Holman finds the gap to put Villa into the lead

Hit back: Jamie Mackie equalised for Redknapp's side

Hit back: Jamie Mackie equalised for Redknapp's side

Not again: Redknapp watched his side draw their second in a row since his arrival

Not again: Redknapp watched his side draw their second in a row since his arrival

Impact sub Park Ji-Sung could not create the killer chance

Impact sub Park Ji-Sung could not create the killer chance

It was the worst possible start for
the nervy home side, who saw Mbia head wide and then Diakite lash over
as they attempted to make immediate amends.

QPR did manage to eke out a leveller
10 minutes after going behind, though, as Mackie met a Diakite cross
with a superb looping header that beat Brad Guzan.

Benteke thought he had put Villa back
in front in the 20th minute but was denied by the offside flag, before
play returned to the other end.

Shaun Wright-Phillips was put through
one-on-one with Guzan by Esteban Granero's exquisite pass, although he
failed to find a way past the American.

Worry: Stephane Mbia was taken to hospital after sustaining a neck injury

Worry: Stephane Mbia was taken to hospital after sustaining a neck injury

Worry: Stephane Mbia was taken to hospital after sustaining a neck injury

Worry: Stephane Mbia was taken to hospital after sustaining a neck injury

The recalled winger came closer again
in the 32nd minute, outpacing Nathan Baker down the right and firing a
half volley that beat Guzan at his near post but hit the woodwork.

The match was entertaining but took a
nasty turn moments later when Mbia was involved in an off-the-ball
incident with Gabby Agbonlahor, which forced the Cameroonian off on a
stretcher after lengthy treatment.

Shaun Derry came on in his place and
helped QPR weather the storm for the remainder of the first half, with a
right-footed Agbonlahor effort the closest Villa came.

Park Ji-sung replaced Granero when the team re-emerged for a second half that took 10 minutes to warm up.

Going to ground: Clint Hill tries to dispossess Benteke

Going to ground: Clint Hill tries to dispossess Benteke

Thoughts Harry Redknapp (right) looks on with Joe Jordan

Thoughts Harry Redknapp (right) looks on with Joe Jordan

Not quite: Christian Benteke had a goal ruled out for offside

Not quite: Christian Benteke had a goal ruled out for offside

When it did, QPR were on top, with Wright-Phillips, Ryan Nelsen and Diakite all getting away shots in quick succession.

Guzan kept out the latter pair and
was again alert to deny substitute Park when put through on the left,
before Diakite limped off and was replaced by Junior Hoilett.

The tempo began to slow as
frustration creeped in and, after a tame Nelsen header went wide, Hill
almost hit the crossbar with an 80th-minute header from a an Adel
Taarabt corner.

Armand Traore tested Guzan as QPR
pushed for a winner, but Paul Lambert's side defended resolutely and
came close to a winner themselves through substitute Karim El Ahmadi.

Good point: Paul Lambert's side held on for the draw

Good point: Paul Lambert's side held on for the draw

Powerhouse: Benteke holds off Clint Hill

Powerhouse: Benteke holds off Clint Hill

MBIA RECOVERING IN HOSPITAL

Recovering: Stephane Mbia

QPR midfielder Stephane Mbia was taken to hospital after a nasty clash of heads with Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor during this afternoon's match at Loftus Road.

The Villa man (right) immediately turned to tend to his fallen opponent after the accidental collision.

Mbia required lengthy on-field treatment, as the game was held up for over six minutes before he was carried off and taken to hospital.

The 26-year-old was replaced by Shaun Derry after 39 minutes and fans of both sides watched intently as he was carried off in a neck brace.

The Cameroon international tweeted from hospital as he convalesces after what appeared to be a serious injury.

He said: 'Actually in hospital ;( i want and i will come back soon as i can! #QPR'

Manchester City 5 Aston Villa 0 match report:

Manchester City 5 Aston Villa 0: Brilliant Aguero, Tevez and Silva brush visitors aside

PUBLISHED:

16:50 GMT, 17 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:16 GMT, 17 November 2012

Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez each struck twice as Manchester City fired a warning to their critics with an emphatic win over Aston Villa.

The Barclays Premier League champions went ahead through David Silva at the Etihad Stadium and then clicked into gear after being awarded a controversial penalty early in the second half.

Aguero struck from the spot and added another while Tevez, who celebrated by pretending to drive after his Porsche was impounded by police, added his own penalty and a close-range finish.

Up you get: David Silva (left) celebrates with Carlos Tevez (right) after the goal

Up you get: David Silva (left) celebrates with Carlos Tevez (right) after the goal

MATCH FACTS

Manchester City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Clichy (Kolarov 73), Nastasic, Nasri, Barry, Silva (Sinclair 76), Y Toure, Aguero (Dzeko 69), Tevez

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Sinclair, Garcia

Goals: Silva 43, Aguero 54 pen, 67, Tevez 65 pen, 74

Aston Villa: Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, Lowton, Ireland (Albrighton 62), Westwood, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke (Bowery 83), Weimann (Holman 62),

Subs not used: Given, Baker, El Ahmadi, Delph

Booked: Bannan

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Villa may rue the decision which led
to City's second, apparently given for handball against Andreas Weimann,
but they were well beaten in the end.

The performance of City in the latter
stages, particularly that of Aguero and Tevez, took the talk away from
the absence of Mario Balotelli.

The Italian, who played in Italy's
friendly against France on Wednesday, did not even make the bench for
his club side for a second successive week, although the striker was
reportedly injured.

City controlled the early stages but
did not create a serious chance aside from a scuffed Aguero shot which
bounced awkwardly and Tevez headed over.

Maicon, initially seeing plenty of the
ball after being preferred to Pablo Zabaleta, also found space to shoot
but his effort went well wide.

After seeing very little of the ball,
Villa finally launched a significant attack in the 12th minute but
Vincent Kompany blocked a shot from Christian Benteke.

Dynamic duo: Tevez's Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero also got in on the act

Dynamic duo: Tevez's Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero also got in on the act

Class act: David Silva scored on the stroke of half-time to get the ball rolling for City

Class act: David Silva scored on the stroke of half-time to get the ball rolling for City

Quids in! Tevez scored two on the day, including one from the spot

Quids in! Tevez scored two on the day, including one from the spot

City goalkeeper Joe Hart's form may
have been under scrutiny of late but there was nothing wrong with his
reflexes as Kompany almost sliced a Matt Lowton cross into his own net.

Hart reacted brilliantly to produce a
one-handed save and Kompany recovered to block Weimann's follow-up
attempt, although a flag had been raised.

Hart then showed all of his class to
keep out a header from Benteke after the Belgian outjumped Matija
Nastasic to reach an Enda Stevens cross.

City interrupted Villa's good spell as
Yaya Toure drove forward and Samir Nasri teed up Gael Clichy but Brad
Guzan was equal to the Frenchman's shot.

At the other end Maicon then got in the way of a Gabriel Agbonlahor shot but City then began to reassert themselves.

Ron Vlaar blocked from Toure, Tevez dragged an effort wide and Nasri shot straight at Guzan.

Toure missed the target with a header
from a Nasri corner and Guzan kept out a low attempt from Tevez that
appeared destined for the bottom corner.

There was little quality about City's opener when it arrived two minutes before the interval.

Dominated: Yaya Toure (left) bossed the midfield for Manchester City

Dominated: Yaya Toure (left) bossed the midfield for Manchester City

You again: Edin Dzeko (right) replaced Aguero, but was unable to grab a customary goal

You again: Edin Dzeko (right) replaced Aguero, but was unable to grab a customary goal

Villa failed to deal with a Nasri
corner but Tevez could not connect properly with a shot. The ball
bobbled dangerously inside the goal area and Silva reacted quickest to
tuck home from close range.

Silva almost added a second before the break but Guzan saved with his feet.

City started the second half brightly, with Tevez shooting across goal and Silva playing in Aguero with a fine ball.

Aguero shaped to shoot but was perhaps punished for a split-second's hesitation as Vlaar denied him with a fine tackle.

Aguero was not to be denied for long
but plenty of controversy surrounded his penalty as the assistant
referee flagged for an offence as Silva swung in a corner.

What it was awarded for was not immediately apparent, not least to the majority of the Villa team who surrounded the officials.

Brazilian connection: Maicon (left) chases Gabby Agbonlahor (right)

Brazilian connection: Maicon (left) chases Gabby Agbonlahor (right)

Sneaking it in: Aguero's deflected shot left Guzan stranded before it hit the back of the net

Sneaking it in: Aguero's deflected shot left Guzan stranded before it hit the back of the net

Job done: Tevez, Silva and Samir Nasri celebrate when City were well on their way to victory

Job done: Tevez, Silva and Samir Nasri celebrate when City were well on their way to victory

Replays suggested Weimann may have handled the cross but the debate continued long after Aguero had dispatched the spot-kick.

Villa felt wronged and were unable to recover.

There was little debate over the second penalty they conceded for handball as Barry Bannan was penalised after 65 minutes.

Tevez sent Guzan the wrong way and ran off pretending to be at the wheel of a car.

No chance: Aguero rifled his penalty past Brad Guzan

No chance: Aguero rifled his penalty past Brad Guzan

Are you kidding Andreas Weimann and Barry Bannan were incredulous after Jonathan Moss gave the first penalty

Are you kidding Andreas Weimann and Barry Bannan were incredulous after Jonathan Moss gave the first penalty

Things got worse almost immediately
for Villa as Hart launched a counter-attack and Aguero burst into the
area and finished inside the near post from a tight angle.

It proved his last involvement as Edin
Dzeko came off the bench and the Bosnian was soon in the action as City
piled on the misery for the visitors.

Dzeko found Nasri and the Frenchman's
ball across the area was tapped in from six yards by Tevez, who repeated
his earlier car celebration.

Villa were well beaten but City
continued to press for a sixth and substitute Scott Sinclair twice
narrowly missed the target in a strong finish.

Aston Villa 2 Manchester United 3: Javier Hernandez saves the day – match report

Aston Villa 2 Manchester United 3: Red hot Hernandez single-handedly saves Sir Alex

|

UPDATED:

20:40 GMT, 10 November 2012

Two-goal substitute Javier Hernandez inspired a dramatic Manchester United comeback against Aston Villa as the Red Devils stretched their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to four points.

Villa stunned their opponents by taking a two-goal lead through Andreas Weimann in the space of five minutes either side of half-time.

But Hernandez turned the game on its head by scoring United's first goal, seeing his shot deflect off Villa skipper Ron Vlaar for the equaliser, and then heading a late winner.

Hard to handle: Javier Hernandez's strike flies in off of Ron Vlaar

Hard to handle: Javier Hernandez's strike flies in off of Ron Vlaar

In fine fettle: Hernandez has sprung to life in recent weeks

In fine fettle: Hernandez has sprung to life in recent weeks

Match facts

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, Weimann (Holman 81), Westwood, Ireland (El Ahmadi 79), Bannan (Delph 87), Agbonlahor, Benteke.

Subs not used: Given, Albrighton, Bowery, Williams.

Booked: Ireland

Goals: Weimann 45, 50.

Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Smalling, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes (Cleverley 72), Young (Hernandez 46), Rooney (Anderson 79), Van Persie.

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Welbeck, Fletcher, Buttner.

Booked: Carrick

Goals: Hernandez 58, 87 Vlaar (og) 62.

Att: 40,538

Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

It stretched United's advantage over nearest rivals Chelsea with another of their famous fightbacks in the face of adversity.

But Sir Alex Ferguson will be
concerned United again looked suspect defensively against a Villa side
who had scored only eight times in their previous 10 league games.

Summer signing Christian Benteke again
impressed up front, while Stephen Ireland looked a threat in his free
role behind the main striker.

But United never know when they are
beaten and after seldom posing a threat in the opening 45 minutes, the
introduction of Hernandez sparked them into life.

They dominated the second period and their persistence finally paid off as they took their goal tally to 29 in 11 league games.

United started on the offensive and
left-back Enda Stevens, who was making his first Premier League start,
blocked a shot from Antonio Valencia at the expense of a corner.

Michael Carrick was first to react to
the resulting corner from Robin van Persie but his header flew straight
at Villa keeper Brad Guzan.

Contortionist: Hernandez flings himself at the ball to head in No 3

Contortionist: Hernandez flings himself at the ball to head in No 3

All gone wrong: Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney look miserable as Aston Villa leapt into the lead

All gone wrong: Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney look miserable as Aston Villa leapt into the lead

Former Villa winger Ashley Young, who was booed every time he was in possession, then curled a 20-yard shot just wide.

Villa responded and, from the second of three successive corners, Benteke had a shot blocked by Young inside the danger area.

The home side found themselves with a
three versus two advantage on the counter-attack but Weimann attempted
to find Ireland rather than shooting and the ball deflected through to
David de Gea.

Pow pow: Andreas Weimann points his fingers to the sky after sending Villa fans into raptures

Pow pow: Andreas Weimann points his fingers to the sky after sending Villa fans into raptures

Make mine a double: Weimann runs in to put Villa two goals to the good

Make mine a double: Weimann runs in to put Villa two goals to the good

Villa fans booed their United
counterparts after only a small number clapped during the customary
minute's applause for skipper Stiliyan Petrov, who is battling against
acute leukaemia.

Ireland flashed a dipping 25-yard drive just past the post after being teed up by Weimann.

Then, in first half injury-time, a superb strike from Weimann put Villa ahead.

Weimann released Benteke, who shrugged
off the challenge of Chris Smalling before spotting the run into the
box of the Austrian Under-21 international. His rising first-time shot
from just inside the box flew past De Gea into the roof of the net.

Ups and downs: Brad Guzan celebrates while David de Gea sits miserably (below)

Ups and downs: Brad Guzan celebrates while David de Gea sits miserably (below)

De Gea sulks

De Gea sulks

Ferguson brought on Hernandez for
Young at the start of the second half but within five minutes Weimann
had doubled Villa's lead.

Benteke's step-over dummy allowed
Ashley Westwood's pass to find its way to Ireland, who released the
over-lapping Gabriel Agbonlahor.

The England striker's precise ball across the box was smashed home by Weimann at close range.

United reduced the arrears after 58
minutes when Hernandez took a flighted pass from Paul Scholes in his
stride and slipped the ball past Guzan for his seventh goal of the
campaign.

Satisfied for now: Ferguson's side turned the game on its head in the second half

Satisfied for now: Ferguson's side turned the game on its head in the second half

Take that: Aston Villa's Stephen Ireland (left) is fouled by Manchester United's Paul Scholes

Take that: Aston Villa's Stephen Ireland (left) is fouled by Manchester United's Paul Scholes

Scholes headed wide from a Van Persie corner while De Gea held on to Benteke's header from a Weimann cross.

But after 63 minutes an own goal from Villa skipper Vlaar brought United level.

Hernandez was again involved as he got on the end of Rafael's cross but his shot deflected off Vlaar past Guzan into the net.

Villa still threatened danger and De Gea had to palm away Weimann's header from Barry Bannan's cross.

At the double: Youngster Weimann struck twice

At the double: Youngster Weimann struck twice

Struggle: Robin van Persie tries to hold off Vlaar

Struggle: Robin van Persie tries to hold off Vlaar

But the woodwork twice came to Villa's
rescue in the space of 30 seconds with a Antonio Valencia header and
Van Persie's dipping shot hitting the crossbar.

Wayne Rooney picked up a knock and was replaced with 10 minutes left as United pressed for the winner.

It finally arrived in the 88th minute when Hernandez stooped down to head home Van Persie's free-kick.

Paul Lambert backs Martin O"Neill to end Sunderland slump

Lambert backs O'Neill to end slump after Villa overrun Black Cats

|

UPDATED:

18:53 GMT, 3 November 2012

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert backed Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill to get it right after inflicting a demoralising defeat on his side.

The Scot, who still refers to the Ulsterman as 'the Gaffer' after their time together at Celtic, was a happy man after seeing Villa claim just their second Barclays Premier League win of the season with a 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light.

Winner: Gabriel Agbonlahor scores the only goal of the game as Aston Villa beat Sunderland

Winner: Gabriel Agbonlahor scores the only goal of the game as Aston Villa beat Sunderland

In the process, he piled further
pressure on O'Neill, whose team have now won only one of its last 17
league games and managed just a single notable effort on target.

However, Lambert is convinced the former Villa manager will turn things around on Wearside.

He said: 'It's a tough, tough job, it really is a tough job. But if there's one person who will turn it around, it will be him.

'I have got the utmost respect for the Gaffer. I am not in a position to sit here and say I have got one over him or anything.

'It's a game of football I had to win and Aston Villa had to win, and we did it. It's a good three points.'

In a contest between two sides who
have found the going difficult in recent weeks, one goal was always
likely to be enough to claim the points, and it was Villa who snatched
the advantage 12 minutes after the break.

Christian Benteke, who had caused
problems all afternoon, climbed above Phil Bardsley at the back post to
head down Matt Lowton's cross and Gabriel Agbonlahor pounced to volley
into the roof of the net from close range.

Eyes on the ball: Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon and Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood battle for the ball

Eyes on the ball: Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon and Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood battle for the ball

It was scarcely more than the
visitors deserved after largely containing their hosts throughout, and
it was telling that the man who came closest to registering for the
Black Cats was skipper Lee Cattermole, who has never scored for the
club.

Cattermole's 84th minute effort was
Sunderland's only serious attempt on goal on another frustrating
afternoon for O'Neill's men.

Lambert, who had to withdraw
left-back Joe Bennett after just 11 minutes and then saw replacement
Eric Lichaj limp off 19 minutes from time, said: 'I thought we deserved
it.

Chance: Sunderland's Louis Saha heads wide as the home side fall to defeat

Chance: Sunderland's Louis Saha heads wide as the home side fall to defeat

'I thought we were excellent today
considering the knockbacks we took with the left-backs and Ashley
[Westwood] making his debut. I thought we were excellent.'

Benteke in particular caught the eye
with a powerful display which left Sunderland bruised and battered and
his manager searching for superlatives.

Lambert said: '”He could be anything he wants. He could be one hell of a player.

Gutted: Saha is stunned after failing to hit the target with his header

Gutted: Saha is stunned after failing to hit the target with his header

'I have always said he is playing in a Belgian national team at the minute that is top class, and he is in there on merit.

'He is playing extremely well and since he has come to this football club, he has been a revelation for us.'

O'Neill was still able to take
positives despite hearing his players booed from the pitch for the
second time in five days, but admitted the responsibility for finding a
solution lies with him.

Tussle: Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson and Aston Villa's Eric Lichaj fight for the ball

Tussle: Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson and Aston Villa's Eric Lichaj fight for the ball

He said: 'It's me, I'm the manager, I'm the manager of the football club, absolutely.

'Yes, it's difficult, it's been a difficult week for us, obviously, losing against Middlesbrough and then not scoring here.

'It's been a difficult week, but we will come through.

Happy days: Villa celebrate their narrow win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light

Happy days: Villa celebrate their narrow win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light

'We threw just about everything at them to try to get on the scoresheet, but it eluded us today again. But it will turn.'

The Black Cats thought they should
have been awarded a second half penalty for handball against Benteke,
but referee Mike Jones was not impressed, to O'Neill's obvious surprise.

He'll get it right: Martin O'Neill (right) receives the backing of Paul Lambert (left)

He'll get it right: Martin O'Neill (right) receives the backing of Paul Lambert (left)

He said: 'All the players around said it was a penalty. The referee has chosen not to give it, that's his prerogative.

'Interestingly, we did have a meeting
at the beginning of the season where referees came to speak to us to
tell us that if you have your arms in the air, even it's to avoid
something hitting your face, then there's the likelihood that they will
be giving a penalty.

'It wasn't today.'