30/04/2013 03:42 BST

Aston Villa 6-1 Sunderland: Christian Benteke's Terrific Hat-Trick In Pictures

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has tipped hat-trick hero Christian Benteke to enjoy a big future in the game after he scored a hat-trick in the 6-1 rout of Sunderland.

Villa's biggest win since 2008 not only took them five points clear of third-bottom Wigan in the battle to avoid the drop, it also improved their goal difference to the extent they usurped Newcastle.

Lambert had Benteke, now on 22 goals for the campaign, to thank following his second-half heroics that underlined why the Belgian is one of the most sought-after young players in the game.

"You can't speak highly enough of him," said Lambert.

Benteke has been one of the signings of the season

"He keeps his feet on the ground and is hungry to have success as a footballer.

"I thought we needed a striker like that.

"He is a big lad and everyone can see his technique is fabulous.

"He played a lot games for Genk. He is Belgium's main target player and they are going to qualify for the World Cup.

"People forget he is 22. He has a big career in front of him as long as he keeps working hard."