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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 22:01 GMT
Newcastle 3-1 Aston Villa
By Phil McNulty

James Milner is elated after putting Newcastle ahead
James Milner is elated after putting Newcastle ahead
Ashley Young's debut goal could not stop Aston Villa sliding to a disappointing defeat against Newcastle.

James Milner struck from 18 yards after five minutes - and then turned provider for Kieron Dyer to head home Newcastle's second two minutes later.

The lively Young pulled a goal back for Villa after 25 minutes when Newcastle failed to clear Gareth Barry's corner.

Villa exerted control for long periods, but Antoine Sibierski hammered in Newcastle's third in injury time.

It was harsh on Villa, who were justifiably angry to see a header from new striker John Carew inexplicably ruled out in the second half, which would have levelled matters up.

Martin O'Neill predictably gave first appearances to Villa's expensive attacking pair Young and Carew - but they saw their new side go two down before they had barely touched the ball.

Milner, who almost signed for Villa in August, lashed home the opening goal after five minutes, although keeper Thomas Sorensen should have done better with his rising drive from 18 yards.

606 DEBATE: Give your thoughts on this encounter

And two minutes later Milner crossed for Dyer to send a looping header beyond Sorensen.

Scott Parker then rattled the bar from 25 yards before Villa embarked on a spell of almost unbroken supremacy for the rest of the half.

Young, a 9.65m buy from Watford, threw Villa a lifeline and opened his account for the club from close range after 25 minutes when Newcastle struggled to clear Barry's corner.

And he almost equalised in identical circumstances 10 minutes later after another Barry corner caused mass confusion in the Newcastle area.

The giant Carew, making his Premiership bow after signing from Lyon, was also a threat, sending a superb header against the upright, then bringing a fine save from Steve Harper with a powerful volley.

Newcastle's only response to the incessant pressure was a header from Obefami Martins from Milner's cross on the stroke of half-time, which was wastefully off target.

Villa were on the attack within seconds of the re-start, with Harper saving brilliantly from Gabriel Agbonlahor's header after he got on the end of Wilfred Bouma's left-wing cross.

Carew looked to have equalised when he flicked in a header from a corner, but referee Howard Webb penalised him for fouling Sibierski - when he looked more sinned against than sinner.

Young looked a lively figure, and it took a smart low save from Harper to deny him his second goal with 20 minutes left.

Villa had looked good value for a point for long periods, but they were hit on the break in the dying seconds, Damien Duff setting up Sibierski, who shot high past the exposed Sorensen.


  • Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder:
    "James Milner doesn't know how to score tap-ins. He only knows how to score piledrivers.

    "He nearly joined Villa in August but we are very pleased he is still here. The fear was that he wasn't going to get enough games, but that is quite laughable because he has now made more appearances than any other player.

    "He's maturing all the time and is growing into the role of being a regular first team player at Newcastle."

  • Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
    "We were two goals behind before we got started, but I never thought we were out of the game.

    "I thought our two new signings Ashley Young and John Carew were terrific. Going forward we were a dream.

    "I thought we were excellent, but we paid the price for giving away ridiculous goals.

    "It was a big, big moment when John Carew had a goal ruled out that would have made it 2-2. I think he was actually being held rather than the other way around."


    Newcastle: Harper, Carr, Taylor, Bramble, Huntington, Milner, Butt (Sibierski 33), Parker, Duff, Dyer, Martins.
    Subs Not Used: Srnicek, Edgar, O'Brien, Carroll.

    Booked: Huntington.

    Goals: Milner 5, Dyer 7, Sibierski 90.

    Aston Villa: Sorensen, Bardsley, Mellberg, Cahill, Bouma (Angel 85), McCann, Petrov, Barry, Agbonlahor, Carew (Berger 69), Young.
    Subs Not Used: Taylor, Davis, Hughes.

    Booked: Petrov.

    Goals: Young 25.

    Att: 49,201

    Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).



    SEE ALSO
    Wednesday's football photos
    31 Jan 07 |  Football
    Wednesday football clockwatch
    31 Jan 07 |  Football


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