Aston Villa finish year on high against Hull

December 31st, 2008 - 1:08 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 31 (DPA) Aston Villa ended 2008 in fourth place in the English Premier League after they snatched a 1-0 win against Hull City.An own goal from Kamil Zayatte in the waning minutes Tuesday night gave a below-par Villa all three points, putting them above Arsenal into fourth place and even in points with third-placed Manchester United.

Hull had conceded nine goals in their previous two games and received an on-pitch dressing-down from their manager, Phil Brown, at half-time against Manchester City, a match they lost 5-1.

But Brown’s side were much more competitive on Tuesday and had the ball in the net inside two minutes, only for referee Steve Bennett to controversially rule that Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel had been fouled.

Neither side created much of goalmouth action in a dull game that appeared headed for a draw as the clock ticked.

But as they neared the end of 90 minutes, Ashley Young turned on the right and whipped in a superb cross. The ball seemed destined for Gabriel Agbonlahor, but Kamil Zayatte got their first only to turn the ball into his own net.

There was confusion in injury time as Hull thought they had a penalty for a handball by Ashley Young, but Bennett, after initially appearing to award a penalty, gave a free kick instead and Villa held on for another victory.

Hull remain eighth after their third straight defeat.

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