Newcastle United 0 Aston Villa 3

Last updated : 02 April 2005 By Footymad Previewer
Shamed Newcastle slumped to an all time low when they had three players red-carded as Aston Villa won for only the second time in the Premiership at St James' Park.

Incredibly England internationals Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer were shown straight reds nine minutes from time following an off-the-ball brawl with each other.

Bowyer, with his shirt ripped landed a right hook to the head of Dyer as players from both sides stepped in to separate to end the disgraceful scenes. Dyer was left merely defending himself, but both players are out of the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United.

The referee spoke with his linesman, and was left with no alternative than to show red cards to both players.

Referee Barry Knight – who had not sent off anyone all season – had already sent off substitute Steven Taylor for handling the ball on the goal-line after 72 minutes – just 19 minutes after his arrival on the park.

To make matters worse for Newcastle they were angered at having three penalty appeals turned including a handball from Jlloyd Samuel in the opening seconds of the second half from an Alan Shearer header.

Juan Pablo Angel had given Villa an early lead with Gareth Barry then sticking away two late penalties after Darius Vassell was denied by Taylor and then Stephen Carr.

Newcastle's route to Europe by an end of the season league position has been clearly scuppered and the must now depend on a route through either the UEFA or FA Cup.

United were stunned when Villa raced into a fourth minute lead through Angel. Mark Delaney played the ball back for Steve Davis to swing in a right-wing cross and a Jermaine Jenas clearance went straight to the Colombian, who gave Shay Given no chance.

Jenas then had two opportunities within the space of 90 seconds to redeem his mistake as Newcastle piled on the pressure.

First of all the England midfielder volleyed over from six yards and then scuffed another good opportunity wide when well positioned.

At the other end, the United defence was all over the place with uncertainty in the heart of the back four that Villa were unable to capitalise upon.

Dyer was at the forefront of Newcastle's forward raids with his pace causing all sorts of trouble. And after 18 minutes Shearer's strike partner volleyed Carr's right-wing cross narrowly over the bar.

Newcastle dominated possession but their final ball was consistently dreadful as was their defence as Barry clearly illustrated on the half-hour mark. Despite cutting in from the left and being pushed on to his weaker right foot, England's forgotten man beat Given only to see his shot strike the foot of the post.

The woeful finishing of Jenas was highlighted yet again in stoppage time after Robert had released Dyer who weaved some magic inside the box before teeing up Jenas, who again finished woefully.

United were furious not to be awarded a stonewall penalty two minutes after the restart. Robert's telling cross from the left was clearly headed by Shearer on to the outstretched hand Samuel, but was missed by the officials as Thomas Sorensen pulled off an excellent save.

Taylor on for the woeful Andy O'Brien after 53 minutes then saw red after 72 minutes for a deliberate handball on the line to prevent Vassell from scoring.

Vassell, who outmuscled Jean-Alain Boumsong, rounded Given and was denied a certain goal by the left hand of the young defender.

It then went from bad to worse after 78 minutes when Carr blocked Vassell and the referee awarded a second spot-kick and Barry scored with a carbon copy of his first kick.

Incredibly United were reduced to eight players after 81 minutes when referee Knight awarded a second and third straight red after Dyer and Bowyer clashed with one another in an off-the-ball incident.

The team-mates squared up against each with Bowyer landing a right hook to the head of Dyer as Gareth Barry and Carr stepped in to separate the shamed duo and after consulting with a linesman, Knight sent them on their way.

Man of the Match: Gareth Barry - Amid the chaos in the Magpies ranks, Barry kept calm to slot home two decisive penalties and even had time to act as peacemaker between Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer.