Villa storms back to beat Norwich 4-1

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) Striker Christian Benteke scored twice as Aston Villa stormed back from a goal down to beat Norwich 4-1 on Sunday and move away from the Premier League relegation zone.

In a meeting of two struggling teams, Wes Hoolan steered the ball home from Gary Hooper’s cutback to put the visitors ahead after just three minutes.

But Benteke smashed in an equalizer in the 25th minute and then nodded home his second just two minutes later.

”Christian’s first goal set the tone for what was to happen, and his goal was brill,” Villa manager Paul Lambert said. ”As soon as he scored that goal, his whole game changed, and there is no doubt when he is at it he is an absolute handful.”

Leandra Bacuna added the third off the base of the post after Gabriel Agbonlahor surged away on the break and Norwich’s first-half misery was complete when defender Sebastien Bassong turned Fabian Delph’s cross into his own net just before the break.

Norwich settled down in the second half, but never looked like turning the game around.

While Villa moved seven points clear of the danger, Norwich is four points above the drop zone.

”It’s a low point at the moment because we came into the game in good form, so this is a real hammer blow,” Norwich manager Chris Hughton said. ”But you have to assess, and we weren’t good enough.”