Darren Bent made a goal-scoring return for Aston Villa, firing in against his former club to spare Paul Lambert's blushes against a resilient Ipswich.

The Championship side had snatched the lead when Michael Chopra shot towards goal only for Villa's Eric Lichaj to steer the ball into his own net.

But Bent dragged Villa level after 51 seconds of the second half, driving a shot home from Charles N'Zogbia's pass.

Bent back in the groove

  • The goal against Ipswich was only Bent's fourth of the season and his first since he found the net against WBA on 30 September 2012
  • Bent has scored in four of his last five FA Cup matches

Andreas Weimann sealed victory late on, heading in Gabriel Agbonlahor's cross.

This was a welcome victory for Villa, who came into the game having failed to win any of their past four matches and without a goal at Villa Park in three home games.

While they remain just one point above the relegation zone in the Premier League, the FA Cup will provide a welcome distraction alongside their run to the semi-finals of the League Cup. Ipswich battled valiantly throughout but after a bright start, faded after half-time.

Bent did very little in the opening 45 minutes as Villa's record signing returned to the side after a five-game absence with a hamstring injury. His goal was his first since 30 September in a season where he has suffered the frustration of a series of injury problems and lost his place to Christian Benteke.

It was Ipswich who made the better start, threatening for the first time when Chopra was found in space by Jay Emmanuel-Thomas only to see his low drive parried by goalkeeper Shay Given.

Ipswich goalkeeper Scott Loach then produced a one-handed stop away to his left to keep out a powerful drive from Jordan Bowery after a flick-on by Bent and it proved to be a significant save as Chopra broke away to give the visitors the lead.

Analysis

Villa have been able to rest a few players and Andreas Weimann's goal has seen them through. They have had a horrible Christmas period, but this result and the mid-week league Cup semi-final are definite positives for the club.

The former Newcastle striker cut into the Villa box from the right and his low shot flew into the corner of the net, thanks to a deflection off Villa defender Lichaj. Given produced a superb point blank save to keep out another Chopra effort at full stretch after he lunged at a deep cross from Aaron Cresswell.

Villa tried to retaliate and skipper Ciaran Clark's header forced a fine save out of Loach after he attacked a Barry Bannan corner. But the home side needed less than 60 seconds of the second half to draw level through Bent. The England striker finished in typically predatory fashion from 15 yards out from N'Zogbia's pass.

There was more urgency and a higher tempo about Villa's play and Patrick Kisnorbo deflected a shot from Bowery over his own crossbar and blocked an effort from substitute Agbonlahor. Joe Bennett was only inches off target with a dipping shot and Loach reacted quickly to turn aside Bent's effort on the turn.

Play was now confined mainly in the Ipswich half and Luke Hyam was booked for a foul on Stephen Ireland with nine minutes remaining. With seven minutes left Weimann guided a powerful header past the dive of Loach from Bennett's cross to break Ipswich hearts.

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy: "When I came, the remit was to stay up and that has not changed. Maybe a replay would have got in the way but you don't like to lose and, when we were 2-1 down in the final minute, I would have taken a replay. I'm stewing about the goal we conceded just after half-time to bring them level.

"It changed the course of the game and, if you give them opportunities, they have the quality to make it count. But I was pleased with our performance as a whole."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Aston Villa

  • 01 Given
  • 06 Clark
  • 27 Bennett
  • 30 Lichaj
  • 32 Baker
  • 10 N'Zogbia (Ireland - 70' )
  • 12 Albrighton (Weimann - 43' )
  • 16 Delph
  • 25 Bannan
  • 09 Bent
  • 21 Bowery (Agbonlahor - 62' )

Substitutes

  • 22 Guzan
  • 29 Stevens
  • 07 Ireland
  • 40 Carruthers
  • 11 Agbonlahor
  • 20 Benteke
  • 26 Weimann

Ipswich Town

  • 01 Loach
  • 02 Hewitt
  • 03 Cresswell
  • 06 Kisnorbo Booked
  • 20 Smith
  • 09 E'-Thomas (McGoldrick - 60' )
  • 11 Martin
  • 19 Hyam Booked
  • 23 Reo-Coker
  • 10 Chopra (Mclean - 74' )
  • 27 Murphy (Edwards - 70' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Lee-Barrett
  • 04 Chambers
  • 30 White
  • 07 Edwards
  • 08 N'daw
  • 16 McGoldrick
  • 25 Mclean
Ref: Moss
Att: 24,854

Match Stats

Shots

16 7

On target

9 6

Corners

10 5

Fouls

7 18

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:31 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +2:51

Andreas Weimann fouled by Tommy Smith, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Barry Bannan.

90:00 +2:09

Foul by Tommy Smith on Ciaran Clark, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Shay Given.

90:00 +1:44

The assistant referee flags for offside against Darren Bent. Scott Loach restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +0:31

The referee gives a free kick against David McGoldrick for handball. Indirect free kick taken by Barry Bannan.

89:44

The ball is sent over by Carlos Edwards.

87:02

The ball is sent over by David McGoldrick.

86:23

Aaron Cresswell produces a cross, save made by Shay Given.

85:34

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan from the left by-line to the near post, Carlos Edwards manages to make a clearance.

84:33

Unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor by Luke Hyam results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Barry Bannan.

82:24

Joe Bennett provided the assist for the goal.

82:24 Goal scored

Goal! - Andreas Weimann - A Villa 2 - 1 Ipswich Andreas Weimann finds the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Aston Villa 2-1 Ipswich.

82:00

The ball is crossed by Joe Bennett,

80:55

Barry Bannan takes the direct free kick.

80:55 Booking

Booking Luke Hyam booked.

80:45

Unfair challenge on Stephen Ireland by Luke Hyam results in a free kick.

80:28

Aaron Mclean produces a cross, save by Shay Given.

80:10

Shot by David McGoldrick from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.

79:23

Carlos Edwards takes a short corner.

79:09

Aaron Mclean takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given.

78:13

Stephen Ireland gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Cresswell. Shot comes in from Aaron Cresswell from the free kick, blocked by Stephen Ireland.

77:47

Lee Martin takes the outswinging corner, Darren Bent makes a clearance.

76:34

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan.

74:58

Corner taken by Barry Bannan.

74:40

Joe Bennett produces a cross, clearance by Tommy Smith.

73:47 Substitution

Substitution Aaron Mclean is brought on as a substitute for Michael Chopra.

73:31

Shot by Gabriel Agbonlahor. Patrick Kisnorbo gets a block in.

71:14

Lee Martin is caught offside. Free kick taken by Shay Given.

69:42 Substitution

Substitution Stephen Ireland replaces Charles N'Zogbia.

69:42 Substitution

Substitution Carlos Edwards joins the action as a substitute, replacing Daryl Murphy.

68:34

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Nigel Reo-Coker, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Patrick Kisnorbo.

68:22

Unfair challenge on Nigel Reo-Coker by Charles N'Zogbia results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Nigel Reo-Coker.

67:00

Unfair challenge on Fabian Delph by Luke Hyam results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ciaran Clark.

66:10

The ball is delivered by Eric Lichaj, Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.

65:02

Foul by Michael Chopra on Ciaran Clark, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Shay Given.

64:23

Charles N'Zogbia concedes a free kick for a foul on Patrick Kisnorbo. Scott Loach restarts play with the free kick.

63:41

Daryl Murphy challenges Fabian Delph unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Barry Bannan.

63:07

Corner taken left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia from the left by-line, clearance made by Nigel Reo-Coker.

62:50

Shot by Darren Bent. Scott Loach makes a save.

61:54 Substitution

Substitution Gabriel Agbonlahor comes on in place of Jordan Bowery.

60:32

Fabian Delph fouled by Nigel Reo-Coker, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Fabian Delph.

59:47 Substitution

Substitution David McGoldrick joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

59:28

Joe Bennett has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

59:02

Outswinging corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Elliott Hewitt.

58:40

Jordan Bowery takes a shot. Blocked by Patrick Kisnorbo.

57:27

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Elliott Hewitt by Jordan Bowery. Direct free kick taken by Nigel Reo-Coker.

54:48

Luke Hyam gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darren Bent. Barry Bannan takes the free kick.

53:37

Joe Bennett produces a cross.

51:24

Lee Martin takes the inswinging corner, free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Chopra on Joe Bennett. Shay Given takes the free kick.

50:48

Lee Martin takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Nathan Baker.

50:27

Daryl Murphy delivers the ball, Ciaran Clark makes a clearance.

50:01

The ball is sent over by Daryl Murphy, blocked by Eric Lichaj.

49:00

Michael Chopra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ciaran Clark. Free kick taken by Ciaran Clark.

47:04

Unfair challenge on Tommy Smith by Darren Bent results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Aaron Cresswell.

45:36

Assist on the goal came from Charles N'Zogbia.

45:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Darren Bent - A Villa 1 - 1 Ipswich Darren Bent scores a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Aston Villa 1-1 Ipswich.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +1:26

Ciaran Clark fouled by Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, the ref awards a free kick. Ciaran Clark takes the direct free kick.

45:00 +0:46

Barry Bannan delivers the ball.

45:00 +0:15

Joe Bennett delivers the ball. Corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan from the right by-line, clearance by Luke Hyam.

43:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Martin on Jordan Bowery. Free kick taken by Joe Bennett.

42:52 Substitution

Substitution Andreas Weimann replaces Marc Albrighton.

41:27

Unfair challenge on Patrick Kisnorbo by Jordan Bowery results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Loach.

39:14

Michael Chopra is caught offside. Shay Given takes the indirect free kick.

37:47

Corner taken by Barry Bannan, Elliott Hewitt makes a clearance.

37:03

Barry Bannan takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Ciaran Clark takes a shot. Scott Loach makes a save.

35:46

Aaron Cresswell sends in a cross, Michael Chopra has a drilled shot. Save made by Shay Given.

35:27

The ball is delivered by Jordan Bowery, Aaron Cresswell manages to make a clearance.

33:54

Lee Martin takes a shot. Comfortable save by Shay Given.

32:27

Unfair challenge on Barry Bannan by Luke Hyam results in a free kick. Barry Bannan restarts play with the free kick.

30:03 Goal scored

Goal! - Michael Chopra - A Villa 0 - 1 Ipswich Michael Chopra grabs a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 0-1 Ipswich.

29:29

Shot by Jordan Bowery. Fantastic save by Scott Loach.

28:56

Elliott Hewitt produces a cross, comfortable save by Shay Given.

25:30

Corner taken by Marc Albrighton.

19:54

Jordan Bowery has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.

18:56

The ball is sent over by Darren Bent, Jordan Bowery has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the goal.

11:48

Darren Bent fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Barry Bannan from the left by-line, Headed effort from inside the area by Nathan Baker misses to the left of the goal.

11:48 Booking

Booking Patrick Kisnorbo goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

11:37

Patrick Kisnorbo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia.

11:13

Michael Chopra takes a shot. Comfortable save by Shay Given.

7:10

Centre by Marc Albrighton, Luke Hyam manages to make a clearance.

6:28

Lee Martin concedes a free kick for a foul on Eric Lichaj. Free kick taken by Ciaran Clark.

5:03

Lee Martin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Charles N'Zogbia.

4:48

The official flags Michael Chopra offside. Ciaran Clark takes the free kick.

3:59

Effort on goal by Joe Bennett from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

3:11

Charles N'Zogbia fouled by Elliott Hewitt, the ref awards a free kick. Marc Albrighton takes the free kick.

2:39

Corner taken left-footed by Lee Martin, clearance by Ciaran Clark.

0:54

Charles N'Zogbia crosses the ball, Jordan Bowery takes a shot. Save by Scott Loach.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

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