sport

Benteke earns Gabby's praise

Gabriel Agbonlahor says strike partner Christian Benteke is already a cult hero with Aston Villa fans.

Darren Bent's controversial absence from Paul Lambert's squad continued as Benteke again led the line against Reading, and the young Belgium international repaid his manager's faith with the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time.

Agbonlahor, captain for the night, told Sky Sports 2: "You can tell by the fans' reaction how much they've taken to him.

"He's still only 21 but he's doing great for us. He's helped us with the goal tonight and all credit to him."

Benteke's header was a rare highlight in an otherwise poor 90 minutes but Agbonlahor said: "It was a scrappy game but we'll take the three points and move on."

That feeling was shared by midfielder Barry Bannan, who said: "There's less expectation against the big clubs and it was hard to come out tonight and win the game but we dug in and got the three points."