N'Zogbia downs Hammers to boost Villa survival bid
BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) - Charles N'Zogbia inspired Aston Villa to a crucial 2-1 win over West Ham as the Premier League strugglers climbed out of the relegation zone on Sunday.
Paul Lambert's team have endured a miserable campaign filled with embarrassing cup exits and woeful league defeats, but N'Zogbia's influential display gave Villa renewed hope that they can at least avoid sinking into the Championship.
N'Zogbia won the penalty that Christian Benteke converted to break the deadlock in the closing stages at Villa Park and the former Wigan winger then curled in a superb free-kick to give the hosts much-needed breathing space.
An own goal from Villa's Ashley Westwood ensured a nervous finale, but Lambert's men held on for their first league win in 10 matches, a dismal run that stretched back to a victory at Liverpool in December.