Aston Villa kept alive its chances of qualifying for European soccer’s Champions League with a 2-0 win at Hull, a result that puts the home team’s hopes of staying in England’s Premier League in further jeopardy.
Gabriel Agbonlahor and James Milner scored at the KC Stadium in Hull as Villa moved up to sixth place with 61 points, three behind fourth-place Tottenham and one behind Manchester City, which have played a game fewer. The team that finishes fourth enters the qualifying stages of the Champions League.
“It was a terrific win,” Villa manager Martin O’Neill told Sky Sports. “The players deserve great, great credit. We just have to keep going. It’s as simple as that.”
Hull remains one of the three clubs at the bottom of the 20-team standings that will be relegated to the second-tier Championship. Hull is 18th with 28 points, three fewer than West Ham in 17th place with three games left in the season.
Agbonlahor opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a volley after a clearance from Paul McShane hit Villa’s John Carew. Milner closed the scoring in the 76th minute with a penalty kick after being taken down by George Boateng.
Hull’s Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Villa’s Richard Dunne clashed heads early in the second half while going for the ball, leading to a lengthy delay.
Vannegoor of Hesselink laid on the field for several minutes before being stretchered off and was replaced by Jozy Altidore. Dunne ran into the Villa locker room and returned with his head bandaged after receiving stitches.