Christian Benteke grabbed the winner with a splendid solo goal in the first half, as the Belgian marked his return from suspension with a goal worthy of winning any game. Palace, to their credit, battled hard but failed to test Brad Guzan as the Eagles lacked cutting edge in the final third.
Palace started off the better team and thought they had scored the opener early on as Yannick Bolasie’s effort was spilled by Brad Guzan and the follow up from Dwight Gayle was hacked off the line by Ciaran Clark but Palace’s forward was in an offside position.
Christian Benteke almost put Villa ahead after 30 minutes as the Belgian striker turned and curled a powerful effort towards the top corner which Julian Speroni tipped over. Benteke put Villa ahead second later with his first goal since March as the powerful forward nicked the ball from Scott Dann, charged towards goal and curled home a beauty. Palace responded well to going behind as Zaha and Bolasie smashed efforts in on goal but Guzan saved well on both occasions as Villa led at the break.
Palace came flying out of the traps in the second half as Neil Warnock’s men tried to get back into the game as they piled the pressure on Villa. The Eagles almost equalized through Marouane Chamakh but he sent his header wide after great work out wide from Bolasie.
Despite plenty of possession in the second half the Eagles could not find an equalizer and Villa held on for their first win since early September.
With the win Villa are now four games unbeaten and are up to 12th on 16 points, while Palace are in 15th on 13 points.