Birmingham - Christian Benteke proved a more than
able stand-in for record signing Darren Bent by scoring the winner that
saw Aston Villa beat Reading 1-0 on Tuesday.
Victory, only their
third in the league this season, lifted Villa out of the bottom three
while Reading remained in the relegation zone.
It also helped
Villa manager Paul Lambert justify his decision to leave Bent out of his
squad entirely for the second successive match.
However, it was
not until 10 minutes from time that Belgium international Benteke ended a
run of a four-games without a goal by heading in a corner from Ashley
Villa dominated possession and chances, with Benteke
testing Reading's Australian keeper Adam Federici early on with a low
shot after good work by recalled midfielder Brett Holman.
Benteke then turned provider, only for Andreas Weimann to shoot wastefully over the bar from just six yards out.
the second half, Villa continued to press but the game seem destined
for a goalless stalemate that would have done neither side much good
until Benteke, a 7 million ($11 million) pre-season signing from Genk,
settled the match when he rose above the Royals' defence to power in a
downward header past Federici.