Benteke's penalty rescues Villa

Birmingham, England ( - Christian Benteke converted a late penalty kick at Villa Park to hand Aston Villa three valuable points in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat of West Bromwich Albion.

Villa opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Benteke flicked Brad Guzan's long ball into the path of Gabriel Agbonlahor, who finished off the move to claim his fourth goal of the campaign.

The Baggies, though, got back on equal terms in the 67th minute when Joleon Lescott headed a corner kick back across goal for Saido Berahino to nod home from close range.

It looked as though the two sides would split the points in the Midlands derby, but Ben Foster committed a needless foul on Matthew Lowton in the box with 30 seconds remaining in stoppage time to force a penalty, which Benteke converted with great assuredness.

The win lifts Villa out of the relegation zone, putting the club three points clear on 25 points.

Southampton moved ahead of Liverpool and into fifth place with a 1-0 defeat of Crystal Palace at St. Mary's on Tuesday.

The Saints were made to wait until the closing stages for a goal as Sadio Mane's 83rd-minute strike was the difference between the two sides.

Also on Tuesday, Dame N'Doye and Jack Rodwell exchanged goals in either half at the KC Stadium as Hull City and Sunderland played to a 1-1 draw.