Football: Rare Villa win puts Norwich into bottom three

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) - Bottom club Aston Villa saw off struggling Norwich City 2-0 on Saturday to breathe new life into their unlikely Premier League survival hopes.

Joleon Lescott headed the home side in front on the stroke of half-time at Villa Park, before Gabriel Agbonlahor made it two just after the interval.

In a low-quality first 45 minutes befitting of the two teams' lowly positions, the first real chance fell to Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong, who headed Russell Martin's cross over the bar.

Alex Neil's Norwich came into this game on a run of five consecutive defeats with 17 goals conceded, and they allowed former England centre-back Lescott too much space to nod in the opener from a Carles Gil set-piece.

Any hopes of a comeback were all but ended less than six minutes after the restart.

Canaries goalkeeper Declan Rudd rushed off his line but was beaten to the ball by Agbonlahor, who easily rolled in his first goal of the season.

As they edged nearer to only a third league win this term Villa started to feel the nerves, and Gary O'Neil and Nathan Redmond both came close to pulling one back.

One last chance to set up an exciting finish was scrambled clear by a combination of Lescott and home stopper Mark Bunn.

Remi Garde's men though closed out a morale-boosting victory that pulls them to within eight points of safety and leaves their opponents in the bottom three.