30 Apr 2013

Villa win crucial relegation six-pointer against Sunderland

4:12 pm on 30 April 2013

Aston Villa have thrashed Sunderland 6-1 to take the points as well as a giant step toward staying in the Premier League football competition, in Tuesday morning's crunch relegation battle in Birmingham.

The Belgian international Christian Benteke's second-half hat-trick took his tally to 27 goals in all competitions in his first season at the club.

But more importantly, Villa moved five points clear of Wigan in the final relegation place.

Sunderland, Villa and Newcastle are all on 37 points with three matches left. The 17th-place Wigan has 32 but with four games remaining.

Goals from Ron Vlaar, Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor ensured Villa recorded its largest win this season.

Danny Rose scored for Sunderland to level at 1-1, but the visitors were over run in midfield and couldn't contain Villa's rampant attack.

Sunderland, who had Stephane Sessegnon sent off after 70 minutes, are level with north-east rivals Newcastle United, who slipped below Villa on goal difference.