Aston Villa’s revival continued under new manager Tim Sherwood, as they hammered a lacklustre Sunderland side 4-0 at the Stadium of Light, with thousands of fans streaming out of the stadium before the half-time whistle. Those who remained turned on the Black Cats’ Uruguayan manager, Gus Poyet, and called for his sack.

Villa’s strike partnership of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke proved lethal for the Black Cats; the two strikers reunited in attack in a frantic first-half, which saw Villa to a commanding 4-0 lead. The visitors had only scored four Premier League goals away from home all season, and this was their first win on the road in three months. The match was the embarrassing one-sided affair, which bought challenging circumstances for the home side, as it was over in the 37th minute.

Sunderland, were made to look like a pub team amongst appalling scenes at the start of the second-half when Sebastian Larsson did not appear on the pitch, leaving his teammates to kick-off with 10 players. The Swedish midfielder limped out of the dressing room several minutes later.  

Villa was impressive in the second half as well and Sherwood was able to bring on their 16 year-old striker, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, in the closing stages, for the local Birmingham-born boy’s debut. He became the fourth youngest player to play in the Premier League.

Villa fans will be praising the impact of their manager Sherwood, as his side have now won back-to-back Premier League games and have advanced to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. They are in 16th, with three points clear of relegation zone.

As for the Black Cats manager, Gus Poyet, after replacing Di Canio in October 2013, Poyet kept Sunderland up last season following a miraculous turn around in form, which included ending Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge.  However, that momentum has not been replicated this season. The Black Cats are now 17th in the league, with only one win of their last 12 league matches, and only one point above the relegation places.

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