Birmingham Mail: There was absolutely no confusion about what the 'points' meant this time. On the previous occasion Villa encountered Paolo Di Canio at Swindon, the madcap Italian claimed his disrespectful pointing to the ground was misinterpreted and was not meant to suggest the claret and blues were going down. Well, Christian Benteke was doing all the pointing against Di Canio's Sunderland last night and his three points skywards, celebrating a brilliant hat-trick in trademark fashion, signified three potentially season-saving points for Villa. It was a slap in the face for Di Canio and a shot in the arm for a Villa team in no mood whatsoever to be relegated. Benteke hit a hat-trick as Paul Lambert's developing side hit Sunderland for six during a remarkable night at a throbbing Villa Park.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert likened the Holte End to a "magnet" for the ball as Villa Park's hardcore stand sucked the goals in during a second half scoring spree. Christian Benteke notched a 17-minute hat-trick at that end and Gabby Agbonlahor completed the rout as the claret and blues romped to a 6-1 success.
Birmingham Mail: Christian Benteke got a huge hug from Paul Lambert after the hat-trick hero proved again why he has been so warmly embraced by the Villa Park faithful. Benteke continued his love affair with the claret and blue brigade with his first hat-trick for the club during a stunning 17-minute spell in thrsecond half.
Birmingham Mail: Paolo Di Canio shrugged off the abuse from the claret and blue faithful and in a change from his pre-match comments admitted the atmosphere at Villa Park was "amazing" last night. Ahead of the game, Di Canio claimed Villa's stadium was an easy place to visit and suggested it would be as intimidating as watching opera singer Luciano Pavarotti in concert.
Daily Express: Not a bad time for your biggest home win in 18 years. A superb second-half hat-trick from Christian Benteke destroyed Sunderland as Aston Villa moved five points clear of third-bottom Wigan at the foot of the table. Just two days after Newcastle were hit for six, their North-east neighbours suffered the same fate as Paolo Di Canio's magic touch deserted him.
The Sun: Christian Benteke's hat-trick eased Villa's drop fears as 10-man Sunderland were hit for six. The Belgian striker, 22, took his season's tally to 22 goals and moved Villa level on 37 points with Paolo Di Canio's Black Cats and Newcastle.
The Sun: Paul Lambert's cubs became Lambo's Lions last night as they mauled poor old Paolo Di Canio's Black Cats. Aston Villa picked the perfect time to regain their pride as they snarled they way to their biggest win of the season and eased themselves five points clear of 18th-placed Wigan.
Daily Star: Christian Benteke floored Sunderland with a stunning 17-minute second half hat-trick to boost Aston Villa's survival hopes. It promised to be a ding-dong affair with so much at stake and it certainly didn't disappoint.
Guardian: A glorious and memorable night for Aston Villa delivered their best performance of the season and an emphatic victory that gave their survival hopes a huge boost and brought Paolo Di Canio and Sunderland crashing down to earth. Inspired by the brilliant Christian Benteke, who took his goal tally for the season to 22 with a second-half hat-trick, Villa were rampant against a Sunderland side whose miserable evening was complete when Stéphane Sessègnon received a straight red card.
Guardian: Paul Lambert took a huge gamble here, fielding an Aston Villa team that on paper looked alarmingly youthful and on the Villa Park pitch almost touchingly puppyish. He was rewarded in scarcely believable style, with a thrillingly unbound and penetrative second-half performance as Villa overran a Sunderland team who are once again menaced distantly by relegation. Christian Benteke's hat-trick will rightly take the headlines. The Belgian was uncontainable here: physically immense - on several occasions defenders simply bounced off him - and deft with his feet. But a 6-1 victory was also a wonderful moment of vindication for a manager who, for all the occasional oddities of team selection, has stuck to what must perhaps - as Villa Park remained on its feet throughout a boisterous second half - now be called his principles.
Mirror: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert hailed Christian Benteke as "world-class" after his hat-trick destroyed 10-man Sunderland. Villa climbed further from trouble with an exhilarating win to go level on points with Sunderland.
Mirror: A night they will not forget. Salvation within their grasp. And for Paul Lambert, the proof his side have the heart and courage to be playing in the Premier League next season. Lambert's faith in his young side has appeared to veer between bravery and madness this campaign, a triumph of hope over reality. Battered senseless more than once, teetering on the brink, unable, it appeared, to cope with the intensity demanded. It meant Villa Park was full of those fearing they would be seeing Leeds and Charlton next term, not Liverpool and Chelsea. Lambert, though, has never wavered, never voiced any doubts, always insisted it would come right, that they would survive - and thrive. And on a night when Christian Benteke proved, once again, that any team with a top striker will always have a chance, it was Paolo Di Canio who was left harbouring renewed fears. Benteke's second half hat-trick destroyed the Black Cats, whose cause was already dead before Stephane Sessegnon's folly ended his season three matches early.
Daily Mail: It takes some doing, upstaging Paolo Di Canio. But that honour belonged to Christian Benteke last night as his hat-trick stemmed the red-and-white tide whipped up by the Sunderland manager.
Independent: For Paul Lambert, there is a long way to go until the new Villa masterplan - built on frugality and youth - comes to fruition but for him it must have been a beautiful night. The Holte End insisted on a wave from their manager. He bounced along the touchline as the goals went in as, to his left, the energy and fight drained from Paolo Di Canio.
Daily Telegraph: This was the night when everything went right for Paul Lambert. The night when his unwavering faith in his young team was vindicated, on a stirring evening when the landscape of the relegation battle dramatically shifted. Lambert's mantra that "everything will be fine" has taken a battering during this turbulent season but it finally appears that his bold vision for the future will be rewarded.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.