Paul Lambert has said that Aston Villa's victory over West Ham United is essential in staying out of the relegation places.

Despite a late own goal from Ashley Westwood, Villa beat the Hammers 2-1 thanks to a Christian Benteke penalty and a Charles N’Zogbia free-kick.

Lambert told the club’s official website: "I thought we deserved to win the game.

"It was a bit edgy when they scored but we deserved to win."

It was their first win in nine games, a run that included five defeats. Yet that win lifts Villa up to 17th, a point above relegation rivals Reading and Wigan Athletic.

The former Norwich City boss added: "It will be great for confidence. Everyone is willing us to do it. It was a massive win, huge win, especially with the results yesterday."

With fellow strugglers Reading and Wigan being defeated by top-ten opposition, the Villa Park outfit chose the right time to claim all three points and jump out of the drop zone.

And Aston Villa have Benteke to thank for their survival this season, with the Belgium international netting his 15th goal for the club from the spot, since signing for £7m in the summer.

Lambert said: "The big man Benteke has been brilliant. He's been great for me and the club."

With Arsenal and Manchester City in their next two league games, Villa could return to the bottom three soon, and there is plenty of work to do in order to preserve their Premier League status.

 

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