Grabban scores in Villa victory at Sunderland


Lewis Grabban scored 12 league goals during his loan spell at Sunderland earlier in the season

Lewis Grabban scored the opening goal against his former club as Aston Villa kept up their push for a top-two finish with victory at bottom side Sunderland.

Grabban, who was on loan with the Black Cats earlier this season, nodded in Albert Adomah’s cross at the back post.

James Chester headed in a Robert Snodgrass corner, before Bryan Oviedo turned Conor Hourihane’s cross into his own net to round off the scoring.

Villa stay third, four points behind second-placed Cardiff.

A routine win at the Stadium of Light took Villa within seven points of Championship leaders Wolves, who play Leeds on Wednesday before they make the short trip to Villa Park for a Midlands derby on Saturday.

Despite their defeat, Sunderland did not lose any ground on the teams above them as all of the bottom five clubs in the Championship were beaten on Tuesday.

Chris Coleman’s side remain four points from safety but could not arrest a run that has seem them win only one of their 11 league games in 2018.

Bournemouth striker Grabban scored 12 goals in 20 games for Sunderland earlier this season and he remains their top scorer this term, despite leaving Wearside in January to embark on a new loan spell at Villa.

The visitors were boosted by the returns of influential forwards Adomah and Jack Grealish, who made their first appearances for more than three weeks after recovering from their respective injury problems.

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