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Villa 2-1 Hull match report: Agbonlahor/Weimann earn the points
Paul Lambert's side make it seven points from a possible nine in fast start.
31st Aug 2014
Villa 2-1 Hull match report: Agbonlahor/Weimann earn the points


Bishop

Villa equalled their best start to a Premier League season as Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann crowned a scintillating first-half performance with well-taken goals.

Victory over Hull City meant Paul Lambert's men have taken seven points from their first three Barclays Premier League games - a feat last achieved in Martin O'Neill's debut campaign eight years ago.

Agbonlahor, the club's leading Premier League marksman, opened the scoring with a well-struck low shot in the 14th minute, with Weimann doubling the lead on 36 minutes following a delightful move.

It could have been 3-0 by the break, Ashley Westwood's free-kick hitting the woodwork, and although Villa could match their first half heroics after the break, they stood firm for three important points after Aly Cissokho had been unfortunate to deflect a Nikica Jelavic header into his own net in the 74th minute.

The result was a perfect antidote to the disappointing Capital One Cup defeat by Leyton Orient in midweek and will give the claret and blue faithful hope of a successful season.

A swift, flowing move almost ended with Villa going ahead inside two minutes.

Agbonlahor and Weimann linked superbly before Fabian Delph timed his run perfectly to unleash a rising left-footer which grazed the outside of a post.

And the home side's impressive early play was rewarded when they deservedly took the lead.

The ball broke to Charles N'Zogbia, and the midfielder played a smart pass to Weimann, who quickly switched it to Agbonlahor just inside the penalty area.

Despite being surrounded by opponents, the striker swivelled to send a low right-foot shot past keeper Allan McGregor and into the bottom corner.

A couple of minutes later, hopes of a second goal were raised when Agbonlahor broke down the left and tried to set up Weimann, only for Michael Dawson to slide in and get the ball away for a corner.

Most of the visitors' early threat had been restricted to high balls which were competently handled by Brad Guzan, although Hull almost found a way through via the low road in the 31st minute when Tom Huddlestone's skidding free-kick deflected off Weimann and sneaked just past Guzan's left-hand upright.

But on 36 minutes Villa doubled their advantage.

Delph won possession and played a short pass to Agbonlahor, who knocked it wide to Richardson. The midfielder was equally precise with his pass across the face of goal and Weimann controlled with his right foot before firing home with his left from eight yards.

Agbonlahor

It was nearly three in the 40th minute, Agbonlahor's fierce left-foot drive striking McGregor's right foot - and Westwood went even closer with a curling free-kick which hit the post after Delph had been brought down by former Villa man Curtis Davies just outside the penalty area.

As the first half went into stoppage time, Guzan needed treatment after taking a knock on his head as he was fouled by Dawson, before Huddlestone's drive went behind off Philippe Senderos.

But Villa regained the initiative at the start of the second half, Senderos venturing forward to meet Westwood's free-kick with a header that was saved by McGregor before Richardson tied his luck with a shot which was too high.

With Villa in control, though, there wasn't nearly the same urgency in the second half that we had seen before the break.

The home side were certainly grateful when skipper Ron Vlaar cleared a menacing Stephen Quinn cross, and on 74 minutes the Tigers reduced the deficit.

Sub Robbie Brady's free-kick was flicked on to Jelavic, and Cissokho had the misfortune to get in the way of the striker's far post header and divert the ball into the opposite corner.

Delph tried to get Villa back into top gear with a forceful run before firing narrowly wide, but almost immediately Guzan had to be at his best to preserve the lead, the keeper brilliantly tipping over Jake Livermore's powerful drive from just outside the area.

Both teams were close to scoring in added time, Bent dragging a low shot just past the far post following Westwood's fine reverse pass and Guzan doing well to block a shot on the turn from Hull sub Sone Aluko.

Villa then had to play out the game with 10 men after Vlaar limped off injured, having used all three subs, but they held on for victory.

VILLA: Guzan; Hutton, Senderos, Vlaar, Cissokho; Westwood, Delph; N'Zogbia (Sanchez 64), Richardson (Grealish 75), Weimann; Agbonlahor (Bent 85). Unused subs: Given, Baker, Bacuna, Cole.

HULL: McGregor; Davies (Rosenior HT), Dawson, McShane; Elmohamandy, Livermore, Huddlestone (Aluko 71), Quinn, Robertson; Ince (Brady 57), Jelavic. Unused subs: Harper, Bruce, Meyler, Sagbo.

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