Sunday 21 January 2018

Fit-again Bent boosts Villa

John Curtis

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hailed the impact of fit-again Darren Bent and Charles N'Zogbia as his side came from behind to defeat Ipswich 2-1 and reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Michael Chopra's deflected shot gave Ipswich a shock half-time lead before goals from Bent – his first for more than three months – and Andreas Weimann turned the game in Villa's favour. But N'Zogbia also impressed in his first start since late September – and Gabriel Agbonlahor was also able to make an appearance as a substitute after a thigh problem. "That was the really pleasing thing, to have the players back from injury," said Lambert.

"That finish is Darren Bent down to a tee. It was top class. But I thought his overall game was very good, his whole work ethic and the way he played."

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy was proud of his side's performance but insists Championship survival is the priority. "When I came, the remit was to stay up and that has not changed," he said. "Maybe a replay would have got in the way."

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