Aston Villa had 4 away goals all season but scored as many in the first half today

Tim Sherwood worked his magic at the Stadium of Light while West Brom beat Stoke and Leicester drew with 10-man Hull.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v Aston Villa - Stadium of Light Christian Benteke has scored twice this afternoon.


CHRISTIAN BENTEKE AND Gabriel Agbonlahor scored twice in an incredible first half as Aston Villa consigned fellow Premier League strugglers Sunderland to a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light.

Villa had lost six consecutive away games and scored just four times on their travels in the top flight ahead of their trip to Wearside, but they ran riot against sorry Sunderland on Saturday.

Strike duo Benteke and Agbonlahor helped themselves to two goals apiece in the first half as Tim Sherwood masterminded a third straight victory.

Three points for Villa moved them two points above Sunderland in the table – and, on the evidence of this display, the FA Cup semi-finalists should stay out of trouble.

Sunderland, on the other hand, will be looking anxiously over their shoulders after an alarming display that prompted many fans to flock out of the ground before half-time.

Poyet’s side have scored only one goal in their last five games and some supporters approached the dugout to vent their fury at the under-pressure head coach after they were swept aside in the first half.

Black Cats fans were understandably furious with the scoreline and a number vented their anger at manager Gus Poyet.

Elsewhere, West Bromich moved comfortably clear of relegation zone with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Stoke City at the Hawthorns.

A first-half strike from Brown Ideye sufficed to give all three points to the Baggies who were in command early on only for Stoke to dominate the latter stages of the match.

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Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Leicester City v Hull City - King Power Stadium Hull midfielder Tom Huddlestone fouls Andrej Kramaric of Leicester. Source: Nigel French

Meanwhile, Leicester City missed a golden opportunity to close the gap on their relegation rivals after playing out a 0-0 draw against 10-man Hull City. Heavy defeats for fellow strugglers QPR and Sunderland meant Nigel Pearson’s rock-bottom side could have moved within four points of safety with a win at the King Power Stadium.

However, Pearson – a former Hull boss – witnessed his side fail to break down the visitors, who played the last 18 minutes a man light after Tom Huddlestone was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Hull manager Steve Bruce, who this week signed a new three-year contract at the KC Stadium, saw Nikica Jelavic miss a gilt-edged chance from close range in the first half – the striker failing to sort his feet with the goal gaping.

Huddlestone’s dismissal ensured a nervy ending for the visitors but a draw means they stay 15th, having moved six points above the bottom three.

QPR’s Matt Phillips with a 45-yard goal of the season contender

This was one of his easier 23 goals this year but Daryl Murphy was on target again for Ipswich

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