Belgium international Christian Benteke scored a stunning hat-trick as Aston Villa trounced Crewe Alexandra 5-1 in a pre-season friendly.
Benteke, who recently put pen to paper on a new deal at the club after handing in a transfer request demanding a move to a bigger club, scored all his goals in the first half as Paul Lambert’s men overcame the challenge of the League One outfit with little difficulty.
New signing Leandro Bacuna scored his first goal for the goal while Austrian international Andreas Weimann got his name on the score sheet as well with Harry Davis scoring what turned out to be a consolation goal for the Railwaymen.
Lambert named a very strong starting lineup including the likes of Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ron Vlaar as the visitors looked to stamp their authority on the League One outfit at their Alexandra Stadium. And it didn’t take Aston Villa too long to get their noses ahead as the Austrian international Weimann curled in an effort into the top corner of the Crewe net in the second minute.
The Austrian also played his part as he set up the Belgian Benteke to double Villa’s lead just nine minutes later. The Belgian was in fine form for the Villans and he scored his second goal on the half hour mark before completing his hat-trick in just 34 minutes.
Davis pulled one back for the home team four minutes before the break, slotting in from close range. Lambert made 10 changes to the side in the closing minutes and threw on Bacuna who completed the rout for Aston Villa with another clinical finish.
Having just managed to save relegation last season, Villa are hoping to start the new season with a bang in order to prevent the headache in the last few games.