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Villa boosts Premier League survival bid with win vs Palace

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Trezeguet scored twice as Aston Villa boosted its slim chances of staying in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday. The Egypt international scored in each half to hand third-from-last Villa its first win in 11 league games and move the team to within four points of safety with three games left.

Palace’s run of five straight Premier League defeats is now manager Roy Hodgson’s equal worst sequence in the competition. But the south London club is safe at 12 points clear of the relegation zone. Palace will be without Christian Benteke for the final three games of the season. The former Villa striker was sent off after the final whistle for violent conduct after kicking out at Villa defender Ezri Konsa.

“He wasn’t attempting to make any excuses,” Hodgson said. "Unfortunately he, like some other players, allowed himself to get heated.” Palace was denied a seventh-minute opening goal when it was decided an effort from Mamadou Sakho was handball, with Villa also having a penalty overturned later on.

Dean Smith’s side had taken just two points out of their last 30 available and had scored twice in eight league games. Trezeguet’s opening goal was Villa’s first in 322 minutes, since Ahmed Elmohamady’s equalizer at Newcastle on June 24.

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