Aston Villa 6 Sunderland 1: Paul Lambert praises ‘fantastic’ supporters
Aston Villa 6 Sunderland 1: Paul Lambert hails his side's "fantastic" fans after Villains move up to 16th in the table
Paul Lambert praised Aston Villa’s “fantastic” supporters after watching his side give their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost with a commanding victory over 10-man Sunderland.
Christian Benteke scored a second-half hat-trick after Ron Vlaar’s opener was cancelled out by Danny Rose’s equaliser, before Andreas Weimann put Villa ahead at the break.
Gabriel Agbonlahor then added a sixth late on following Benteke’s treble – after Stephane Sessegnon was sent off for a foul on Yacouba Sylla – to move Villa above Newcastle into 16th place in the Premier League table on goal difference with three games left to play.
“It was a fantastic atmosphere, the crowd have been brilliant since I’ve been here,” said Lambert.
“I’m delighted for them because they come in their thousands to watch us. It’s great credit to the players and staff, that was a massive performance and a big win for us.”
The Scot also reserved special praise for hat-trick hero Benteke, Matthew Lowton and goalkeeper Brad Guzzan.
“I thought Christian Benteke getting man of the match was always on the cards but I thought Matty Lowton was fantastic. Brad Guzan has been brilliant all season too, he sets himself high standards.”
Lambert, whose side travel to Norwich City on Saturday, added: “The goal difference has swung back again, I have to give them unbelievable credit for that. I’m really proud of them.
“They have been playing like that for months, our form has been very good. They way we have been playing has been encouraging, I never had any trepidation.”