Monday media watch [11.02.13 AM]: Reaction to West Ham win
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert hailed his fragile defence for finally shutting up shop. The highly criticised backline transformed themselves into heroic warriors for the day to help see of West Ham's giants.
Birmingham Mail: Phew! Villa rose to Paul Lambert's challenge to win ugly - but it took a beautiful goal for the sweet relief of victory to finally rain down at Villa Park. Villa scraped and chased, headed and kicked, bumped and bruised their way out of the dropzone in a robust battle against West Ham's uncompromising sloggers. But it was Charles N'Zogbia's sublime swirling free-kick, curled expertly into the top corner, which proved to be the winner in Villa's first league victory since winning at Liverpool in mid-December and first at home since beating Reading in late November.
Guardian: Charles N'Zogbia has not done a lot to make Aston Villa feel that the £9.5m they paid for him was money well spent but his contribution to his side's victory over West Ham could turn out to be priceless. Here was what Villa thought they were getting when the French winger arrived from Wigan Athletic two summers ago. Here was the form that once made him one of the most coveted players in England, one who would not look out of place in a side challenging at the top of the table.
The Sun: Paul Lambert admitted his stress levels were sky high after seeing Aston Villa seal a "massive" win. Goals from Christian Benteke and Charles N'Zogbia lifted Villa out of the bottom three with their first league success since December.
The Sun: Charles N'Zogbia will never go down as the bargain of the century. But even if he does not score another goal for Aston Villa, he might just have repaid his £9.5million transfer fee yesterday. The enigmatic Frenchman led struggling Villa to their first league win in eight games to lift Paul Lambert's kids out of the relegation zone. N'Zogbia has not exactly set Villa Park alight since his big-money move from Wigan two summers ago.
Daily Star: There couldn't have been a bigger explosion of joy if Aston Villa had just won a trophy. Brad Guzan desperately clawed a header from Carlton Cole over the top of his goal, Mark Clatternburg blew the final whistle...and Paul Lambert's young team had finally won a game. On the pitch the players hugged each other. In front of the dug-out Villa's manager repeatedly thumped the air with his fist, visibly shouting the words: "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Mirror: Paul Lambert admits the stress of managing Aston Villa has been "ridiculous" - but believes this vital win can provide the springboard to safety.
Mirror: Charles N'Zogbia inspired Villa to a vital win and had boss Paul Lambert saluting his "world class" free-kick. The striker has been erratic since joining from Wigan for £9.5million in July 2011.
Daily Telegraph: Paul Lambert's "We'll be fine" mantra has suffered a battering over the past nine weeks and this victory was a much-needed source of optimism in Aston Villa's survival mission. Lambert has never wavered in his belief that his young team can escape relegation and this first win in nine Premier League games eased the tension by lifting Villa above the dreaded dotted line. Ever since the stirring win at Liverpool in mid-December that hinted at a brighter future, Villa have been humiliated by Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan, and deprived of a Wembley appearance by League Two Bradford City in the Capital One Cup. But this win could prove pivotal as they finally displayed the fighting qualities that had been so lacking this season, although Villa had to resist a late bombardment that turned Lambert into a tortured fidget in his technical area.
Daily Mail: This was a match which Aston Villa simply had to win. Thanks to an overdue contribution from Charles N'Zogbia, they just scraped over the line as a mixture of celebration and relief swept over Villa Park at the final whistle.
Daily Express: Aston Villa, having pulled themselves out of the relegation zone, have almost a fortnight now to plan how they are going to stay in the Premier League. It was almost the perfect weekend for Villa. Apart from Southampton sending Manchester City to near crisis with their victory, the rest of the bottom teams lost, leaving Paul Lambert's men to take advantage.
Independent: Aston Villa might feel they have not seen much of a return on the £9.5m they paid for Charles N'Zogbia in the summer of 2011 but if his contribution to their first win in nine Premier League matches turns out to be the beginning of the end of their relegation fears then perhaps Randy Lerner will feel better disposed towards spending money again.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.