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Aston Villa 2-1 West Ham United

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N'Zogbia: Superb free-kick

N'Zogbia: Superb free-kick

Charles N'Zogbia's stunning free-kick proved to be the winner as Aston Villa beat West Ham 2-1 to move out of the bottom three.

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A tight and tense match at Villa Park sprang to life in the second half as Villa moved into a two-goal lead through Christian Benteke's penalty and N'Zogbia's free-kick.

West Ham were handed a lifeline through Ashley Westwood's own goal, but the home side clung on to claim the points.

Andreas Weimann should have put his side ahead after just two minutes when Jussi Jaaskelainen spilled Benteke's shot.

The Austrian was first to it but managed to shoot wide from six yards.

The game remained locked in stalemate until deep into the second half.

N'Zogbia struck narrowly wide and Andy Carroll saw a goal-bound effort cleared off the line before Villa went ahead 16 minutes from time.

N'Zogbia jinked inside Mark Noble and was brought down in the box for a penalty.

Benteke grabbed the ball and rolled the spot-kick into the bottom corner with supreme confidence given the tension at Villa Park.

N'Zogbia's twenty-five yard free-kick doubled the lead five minutes later. The Frenchman curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner leaving Jaaskelainen with no chance.

West Ham's lifeline came through luck rather than skill. Joe Cole's cross was glanced on by Westwood and it crept inside the far post on 87 minutes.

Kevin Nolan might have broken Villa hearts with the last action of the match but could only strike straight at Guzan from a narrow angle.

Posted: 10/02/13 16:36

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