Apr 29, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Villa Park
Aston Villa
Vlaar (31'), Agbonlahor (88'), Benteke (55', 59', 72'), Weimann (38')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Rose (32')
Jimenez Cuellar (34'), Rose (66'), Bardsley (76')
Sessegnon (70')

Result: Christian Benteke hat-trick inspires heavy Aston Villa win

Aston Villa hit Sunderland for six as a Christian Benteke hat-trick inspires Paul Lambert's men to a 6-1 rout.

Christian Benteke scored a second-half hat-trick as Aston Villa thrashed 10-man Sunderland 6-1 in a Premier League relegation battle this evening.

Benteke added his heroics to earlier goals from Ron Vlaar and Andreas Weimann and a late Gabriel Agbonlahor strike to lift Villa five points clear of the relegation zone.

Villa striker Christian Benteke scores against Sunderland on April 29, 2013© PA Photos

Villa should have taken the lead in the 25th minute when Agbonlahor was released through on goal following a one-two with Benteke, but the winger poked his shot wide with only Simon Mignolet to beat.

They did break the deadlock six minutes later as captain Vlaar led by example, picking up a loose ball before drilling a powerful low shot into the bottom corner.

Villa boss Paul Lambert does his best Paulo Di Canio impression against Sunderland on April 29, 2013© PA Photos

This lead lasted just a minute, however, as Sunderland immediately equalised. Danny Rose and Danny Graham exchanged passes before the former slotted a cool finish past Brad Guzan.

Villa were back ahead within five minutes, though. Matthew Lowton intercepted a long ball before driving into the Sunderland half and finding Weimann, who took a touch before firing past Mignolet.

The hosts extended this lead even further 10 minutes after the break when Agbonlahor's strike took a deflection that meant Mignolet could only parry the ball into the path of Benteke, who opened his account with a stooping header.

Villa's Christian Benteke celebrates his hat-trick goal against Sunderland on April 29, 2013© PA Photos

Benteke doubled his personal tally just five minutes later when he rose highest in the box to power a fine header inside the far post from Ashley Westwood's cross.

Things almost got even better for the hosts in the 67th minute when Benteke and Weimann both had efforts in a goalmouth scramble. The ball eventually bounced back out to Weimann again, but this time his shot was blocked on the line by Carlos Cuellar.

Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon is shown a red card against Aston Villa on April 29, 2013© PA Photos

Things went from bad to worse for Sunderland a couple of minutes later as Stephane Sessegnon was shown a red card for what was adjudged to be a dangerous tackle on Yacouba Sylla.

Benteke completed his hat-trick with just under 20 minutes of normal time remaining when Agbonlahor inadvertently steered the ball into the path of the Belgian, who beat Mignolet at his near post.

Villa's sixth came in the closing stages as David Vaughan over-hit a pass towards John O'Shea, allowing Agbonlahor to nip in, take the ball past Mignolet and slide into the empty net to complete the rout.

Managers Paulo Di Canio and Paul Lambert applaud, during the game between Villa and Sunderland on April 29, 2013
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