Aston Villa destroy Sunderland to claim Premier League performance of the week

This space had seemed destined to be occupied by Liverpool following their 6-0 demolition of Newcastle United on the weekend. Aston Villa had other ideas however.


Their vital 6-0 rout of Sunderland was impressive in two ways. Firstly the significance of the result means more for Aston Villa considering they are scrapping for their Premier League lives. Secondly to turn over a side reinvigorated by Paolo Di Canio in such a comprehensive manner is very impressive.


Speaking of very impressive, Christian Benteke’s hat-trick emphasised not only his importance to Aston Villa’s cause but his value to the Premier League as a whole. In a week where the BBC asked where would your team be without their top scorer, in this case the answer is simple: relegated. Benteke’s 18 league goals this term have been paramount to their survival hopes and provides a lethal spearhead for the Villa attacking unit.


It would have pleased Paul Lambert that his other attacking players Weimann and Agbonlahor all also hit the back of the net in the game. Agbonlahor has struggled for consistency this campaign while Weimann will be pleased with his efforts as long as Villa avoid the drop and enjoy a more stable Premier League campaign next season.


How was the game won and lost? Simple. Aston Villa play a possession based game to influence and dictate the play and their 61% share of possession allowed them to do so. Villa had a mammoth 18 shots on goal with a staggering 15 of those hitting the target. Their efficiency in possession and in front of goal allowed them to score the goals, take the tie away from Sunderland and dampen the flames of passion that Di Canio has so successfully brought to the Black Cats since arriving four league games ago.


Both sides will feel they need more points in the final few weeks of the season and rightfully so as Wigan are dangerous customers at the sharp end of the season. The axe has to fall on a third club but the question on everyone’s lips will be: Which one? And are both these sides safe already anyway? Only time will tell…


Tomos Llewellyn @tomllew