Aston Villa started slowly but eventually got on top of things against Newcastle United at Villa Park. The hosts, who are mired in a relegation battle that sees them just two points clear of safety entering the match, were pushed onto the back foot by some sloppy defending and confident forays forwards from the visitors, but they managed to snatch a goal against the run of play and from there things have been fairly rosy for Villa. However, a controversial decision deep into stoppage time that prevented the home team going 2-0 up may yet come back to haunt them.
James Collins is the man who gave Gerard Houllier's side the vital lead with a flicked header off a whipped Ashley Young free kick, but Villa really ought to be leading by a pair after Darren Bent finished coolly past Steve Harper only to see his effort ruled out for offside - incorrectly, as it turns out, as left back Jose Enrique had been playing him on. With Villa in desperate need of three points and with their defence looking fairly porous, that disallowed goal could be vital.