Aston Villa secured their first win since the opening day of the season as they defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 at Villa Park on Tuesday night.
Remi Garde made several changes to his team after their draw with Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup at the weekend, with Joleon Lescott heading home the winner via a costly error from Wayne Hennessey.
While the visitors spurned their chances, including a late effort from Scott Dann, the three points would have come as a huge relief for Garde and his men as they bid to make an unlikely escape from relegation.
The victory sees Villa move to within eight points of Swansea City who sit in 17th place, although the Welsh side host Sunderland in a crucial clash between the two struggling sides on Wednesday.
Villa looked far from convincing at times, as noted by Lescott in his post-game interview, but the win ultimately gives them real hope in their bid to avoid the drop.
Garde will nw look to build on his first victory since taking charge at the club, and hope that his side can gain some momentum, starting against Leicester City on Saturday.
In contrast, Alan Pardew’s side have now failed to win or score in their last four games in the league, and it will be a cause for concern for the Englishman as he looks to arrest their slide down the table.
Aston Villa player ratings: Bunn 6; Bacuna 7, Okore 7, Lescott 8, Cissokho 7; Veretout 7, Westwood 6, Gueye 7; Gil 6, Kozak 7, Ayew 7.
Substitutes: Clark 6.
Crystal Palace player ratings: Hennessey 5; Ward 7, Dann 7, Delaney 6, Souare 6; Ledley 7, Cabaye 6, McArthur 7; Puncheon 6, Sako 5, Zaha 6.
Substitutes: Jedinak 6, Chamakh 5, Wickham 6.