Lambert hopes Benteke can build on goal

Paul Lambert hopes Christian Benteke's first goal in four months will be the catalyst for a purple patch for the Aston Villa striker.

The Belgium international ended a 12-game goal drought when he headed home an inviting Matt Lowton cross in a 2-1 defeat against Arsenal on Monday night.

Benteke was Villa's talisman last term, scoring 19 Premier League goals in his first season in England, but his goal against the leaders was only his fifth of the season in the top flight.

However, 14 of his goals in 2012-13 came from January onwards and Lambert hopes the powerful frontman can come up with a similar return in the remainder of this season.

He said: "It was round about this time last year that he started to hit the goals, give or take a couple of weeks or so,

"It's quite uncanny because I think his goals ratio was probably about the same.

"It was this time last year when he started to kick in. It was a great goal, great cross, good header.

"It was round about this time last year that he went on that goalscoring spree that made his name really. If he can do that, it will certainly give him a big lift, that’s for sure."

Villa have lost six of their last eight games in all competitions and are only five points above the relegation zone.