Aston Villa v Crystal Palace: Trezeguet’s fires double to give Villa lifeline
Match report and highlights as Trezeguet scores in either half after VAR had controversially ruled out early Palace opener at Villa Park
Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan commonly known as Trezeguet’s double boosted Aston Villa’s hopes for survival as they won for the first time since January, beating Crystal Palace 2-0 at Villa Park.
Palace thought they had taken the lead through Mamadou Sakho early on, but VAR ruled the strike out for a handball, before Trezeguet put Villa ahead in first-half stoppage time with a finish at the far post (45+5).
Villa impressed in the second half and doubled their lead through the Egyptian again, poking under Vicente Guaita (59) from eight yards, and they held on with Palace offering very little in the final third as they stumble towards the end of the season.
To make matters worse for Palace, former Villa man Christian Benteke was sent off after full-time for an off-the-ball incident with Ezri Konsa.
The result means Villa are four points from safety with three games remaining, but with a vastly inferior goal difference to both 16th-placed West Ham and Watford in 17th. Palace, who have now lost five on the bounce, are in 14th.
Sky Sports’ Player ratings
Aston Villa: Reina (6), Elmohamady (7), Konsa (7), Mings (7), Taylor (5), Hourihane (7), McGinn (6), Luiz (7), Trezeguet (8), Grealish (7), Samatta (6)
Subs: Targett (6), Nakamba (NA), Davis (NA), El-Ghazi (NA)
Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Ward (5), Dann (5), Sakho (5), Van Aanholt (6), Kouyate (5), Milivojevic (5), McArthur (5), Zaha (5), Benteke (4), Ayew (5)
Subs: McCarthy (5), Townsend (5), Riedewald (5), Meyer (5)
Man of the match: Trezeguet
VAR was dominating again as early as the seventh minute as Sakho touched home Luka Milivojevic’s free-kick ahead of Pepe Reina, with the Stockley Park officials ruling it had hit the defender’s arm, though Palace will claim it hit his shoulder.
Villa were dealt a blow just before kick-off as the injured Kortney Hause was replaced by Ahmed Elmohamady, but the Egyptian nearly set up the opener as his fine cross was headed over by Mbwana Samatta in space.