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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 14:42 GMT
Aston Villa 4-1 Newcastle
By Saj Chowdhury

John Carew
Carew was in fantastic form
Striker John Carew scored a hat-trick to help Aston Villa fight back from a goal down to beat Newcastle.

The visitors took an early lead thanks to Michael Owen whose deflected header beat Scott Carson at the near post.

Defender Wilfred Bouma equalised for Villa with a low shot from 20 yards before Carew grabbed his first with a header from Ashley Young's corner.

Carew nodded in to make it 3-1 before he scored his third from the spot following Stephen Carr's handball.

The victory was a thoroughly deserved one for Martin O'Neill's side who ended their run of three games without a win in emphatic fashion, while opposite number Kevin Keegan was left wondering where and when his first win would arrive following a shambolic collapse.


It started well for KK when Owen gave the Magpies the lead, eluding his markers to head the ball, with the aid of a deflection from Gareth Barry, past Carson.

Villa posed little threat in the first half but when they did it was often thanks to sloppy play from Newcastle.

O'Neill's men would have felt aggrieved they did not get the rub of the green when Barry's goalbound shot from 20 yards seemed to strike the hand of Joey Barton in the area, with the Newcastle midfielder appearing to have also pushed Shaun Maloney to the ground.

Michael Owen
Owen was quick to the ball for his goal

Villa were unlucky not to win the penalty but there were enough big cracks in Newcastle's defence to give them the belief they could it around in the second half.

The home side's equaliser was not long in coming after the break when Bouma scored his first goal in 76 games.

The Dutchman chanced his luck from 20 yards with a drilled low shot that deflected off the calf of Habib Beye and past Shay Given.

Newcastle then imploded. Young, one of the shining lights in English football, delivered another great ball from a left-sided corner and found the lanky Carew, who did not need to leap to nod in his first.

Villa had endured a miserable January but it must have felt like Christmas Day for them.

And they soon unwrapped their third present thanks to Three Stooges-style defending from the visitors.

Given had come off injured with a groin injury and been replaced by Steve Harper but he, like his team-mate, was not helped by his defence, who failed to clear a cross from the right and allowed Carew the simplest of chances from two yards.

And Villa's fightback was complete in the final minute of the match when they were awarded a penalty following Carr's handball.

Regular spot-kick specialist Barry stepped aside to allow Carew to grab his first hat-trick for the club.

The Norway forward did not let his colleague, his team or himself down by rifling the ball past Harper.

  • Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill:
    "We had more drive and determination in the second half.

    "John Carew is a real handful and a super player and was outstanding and also scored a hat-trick.

    "Marlon Harewood has been waiting for his chance but every time he has come on he has had a major influence and he did that in this match.

    "I have got more confidence in the players than they have in themselves but it is getting there with time."

  • Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan:
    "We played very well early on for a team that has not been having results go for us and we built the platform for a victory by taking the lead.

    "Sadly half the second half came and I'm baffled by what happened because it was the same players but we never really got going after the break.

    "Their first goal was a hammer blow and our goalkeeper got injured at the same time and when they got their second we had a mountain to climb."

    Aston Villa: Carson, Mellberg (Gardner 46), Laursen, Davies, Bouma, Petrov (Harewood 46), Reo-Coker, Barry, Young (Osbourne 90), Carew, Maloney.
    Subs Not Used: Taylor, Knight.

    Booked: Carew, Reo-Coker.

    Goals: Bouma 48, Carew 51, 72, 90 pen.

    Newcastle: Given (Harper 54), Carr, Taylor, Cacapa, Beye, Milner, Barton (Emre 74), Butt, Duff, Smith, Owen.
    Subs Not Used: Jose Enrique, Faye, Viduka.

    Booked: Butt.

    Goals: Owen 4.

    Att: 42,640

    Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Aston Villa's John Carew 7.91 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

    Premier League as it happened
    09 Feb 08 |  Premier League
    Saturday's football photos
    09 Feb 08 |  Football


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