Villa claim win in feisty encounter


Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Alan Hutton bagged his first Aston Villa goal as they clinched a feisty 2-1 win over 10-man Leicester.

The right-back, who had been frozen out by manager Paul Lambert before this season, netted with 20 minutes left to cap their comeback.

Leonardo Ulloa ended his drought with his first goal in 10 games to put the Foxes ahead but Ciaran Clark equalised within minutes.

And Paul Konchesky was sent off late on for Leicester after clashing with Hutton – who was lucky to stay on – to compound the visitors’ woes.

It left Nigel Pearson’s side rooted to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League and lifted resurgent Villa up to 11th.

Charles N’Zogbia and Carlos Sanchez were recalled for the hosts, replacing the suspended Andi Weimann and injured Joe Cole.

Danny Simpson made his first Leicester start since signing from QPR in the summer.

The defender had played just 26 minutes for the Foxes this season and replaced the ill Ritchie de Laet.

Liam Moore replaced suspended captain Wes Morgan and David Nugent was well enough to take his place on the bench after illness.

Matty James and Benteke fired over in a quiet opening 10 minutes before Benteke’s brilliant first-time volley dropped inches wide.

But the visitors took the lead on 13 minutes when Villa failed to shackle Riyad Mahrez and Guzan spilled his deflected effort straight to Ulloa who tapped in.

It was a gift but Villa levelled five minutes later when Clark was granted the freedom of the area to head in Ashley Westwood’s free kick from six yards.

Mahrez shot wide as Leicester responded but Villa had the measure of a spirited, if limited, Foxes side who relied on the pace of Jamie Vardy to threaten.

And the striker was involved a flashpoint late in the half as tempers flared at Villa Park.

First, he clattered into Westwood – forcing the midfielder to be carried off – and was lucky to only receive a caution.

Then Clark caught Ulloa in a strong tackle which forced the striker off at the break, with Nugent his replacement.

Mercifully for referee Craig Pawson, half-time arrived to stop the game spilling over.

Tom Cleverley, who had a loan spell at Leicester in 2009, drove over three minutes into the second half before Jeff Schlupp skewed horribly over for the Foxes.

Villa looked the more likely to edge ahead and Kasper Schmeichel kept the visitors level when he raced out to deny Benteke, who had run onto Sanchez’s through ball.

It was another warning for the Foxes who, after going ahead, had failed to seriously test Villa.

The pace of Agbonlahor continued to stretch Leicester and his angled drive was deflected away by Schmeichel after 55 minutes.

But Guzan had to save Villa when he brilliantly turned over Nugent’s wonderful 18-yard volley as Leicester suddenly sparked.

Their threat faded, though, as Villa completed their comeback on 70 minutes – following more shoddy defending from Foxes.

Benteke was given space and time to pick out the unmarked Hutton at the far post and the defender smashed past Schmeichel.

Benteke nearly added a third six minutes later, only to be thwarted again by Schmeichel’s point blank save and from the corner the keeper stopped Clark’s header.

And Leicester’s hopes all but disappeared with 10 minutes left when Konchesky was dismissed.

The defender tackled Hutton and then clashed with the Villa man, who forced his head into Konchesky’s before pushing him.

But to the Foxes’ amazement, Konchesky was sent off while Hutton escaped with a yellow card and Villa held on.

Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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