Benteke proves hero as Villa edge West Brom in thriller
Christian Benteke settled a wild West Midlands derby with a second-half penalty to give Aston Villa a 4-3 win over West Bromwich Albion in a game that saw six goals scored in the first half.
West Brom were up 2-0 after just nine minutes thanks to Chris Brunt’s stunning shot from 30 yards and an own goal by Fabian Delph. But Villa responded immediately through Andreas Weimann three minutes later, and turned the game around when Leandro Bacuna equalised and Delph made amends to put the hosts ahead with a screaming shot in the 37th.
Youssuf Mulumbu equalised two minutes before the break before Benteke had the final say when he earned a penalty and slotted the spot kick into the bottom left corner in the 64th.
Benteke has now scored three goals in three games, helping Villa establish themselves firmly in mid table. West Brom fell to 15th, just three points outside the relegation zone, and the result left new manager Pepe Mel still waiting for his first victory.
“Incredible match,” Mel said. “To score three goals away from home, and no points, is incredible for us.”
Meanwhile, Adam Johnson scored in the first half to give Sunderland a 1-0 win over 10-man Stoke and lift his team out of the relegation zone for the first time since August.