Monday 24 July 2017

Agbonlahor ends drought

Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City

Aston Villa players celebrate following their second goal. Photo: Reuters
Aston Villa players celebrate following their second goal. Photo: Reuters
Aston Villa manager Remi Garde. Photo: Reuters

Nick Mashiter

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde said Gabby Agbonlahor has eased his pain after the striker scored for the first time in 11 months. The forward scored his first goal since March 2015 as Villa moved within eight points of safety.

Joleon Lescott's header opened the scoring, with Agbonlahor sealing just Villa's third league win of the season, although they remain bottom. Garde previously admitted he had a disagreement with Agbonlahor after his arrival, with the striker struggling for form and fitness, but believes the goal could breathe new life into the 29-year-old.

"Scoring was very important for him because when you are a striker and not scoring for a long time it's very painful," he said. "We have 13 games to go and hopefully Gabby could be the one to help the team fight until the end. But it's not only about Gabby, it's about all the players around him.

"I'm pleased for him because he scored the kind of goal he likes to score. He scored brilliantly on this occasion and worked very hard for the team.

"He wasn't available (because of injury) and this was the problem. As soon as he was available he has been playing. I'm pleased he is back on track."

Agbonlahor's goal, six minutes after the break, was his 73rd league strike for Villa - he is their Premier League all-time top scorer.

Norwich have now lost six straight games in all competitions and slipped into the relegation zone. Manager Alex Neil questioned his side's passion, with the Canaries winless since January 2. "Not until we were 2-0 down," he said, when asked if the Canaries had showed enough character.

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