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A lonely Gabriel Agbonlahor early goal, gives Aston Villa the victory against Liverpool at Anfield Road.

French international striker Loic Remy marked his return to the Newcastle line-up after serving a three game suspension with a late goal to give his side a much-needed 1-0 win over Aston Villa in their Premier League clash on Sunday.

The 27-year-old's 12th goal of the season was Newcastle's first since they beat West Ham 3-1 in a disastrous run, which also coincided with the departure of play-maker Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint Germain, that has seen them lose six of their nine league matches. Defeat for Villa -- they have just two wins in their last 13 matches -- keeps them very much in the relegation battle, as they lie just four points above third from bottom Sunderland, who have a game in hand.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will also be relieved that the return from injury of Argentinian central defender Fabricio Coloccini saw the previously leaky defense succeed in keeping a clean sheet. The hosts had the first chance of the game as Paul Dummett, also recalled to the starting line-up, set up Papiss Cisse and his shot should have been easily gathered by Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan but he fumbled it and it had to be cleared for a corner by a Villa defender.

Villa then had two clear chances to break the deadlock, both falling to Gabriel Agbonlahor, first his fierce effort was tipped away by Tim Krul and then his long range effort was on target but went over the bar. Cisse, though, should have put the hosts ahead in time added on of the first-half as Remy set him up but he snatched at his shot from close range and sent it high over the bar.

The hosts had the better of the early part of the second-half although they had no reward, with Yoann Gouffran going just wide and Dummett sending a shot over the bar. Remy, who Pardew will hope he can make his loan signing permanent at the end of the season, made Guzan work hard to prevent his sharply-taken effort not sneak in with the American goalkeeper turning it round the post to safety but he was not to be denied at the death.

Dutch striker Luuk de Jong -- signed on loan during the January transfer window from Borussia Moenchengladbach -- saw his shot deflected and into the path of Remy, who made space and curled his shot past Guzan and then handed his shirt to a fan.


Aston Villa endured another frustrating outing on home turf as Swansea hit back to rescue a 1-1 draw at Villa Park on Saturday. Paul Lambert's team were on course for a rare success in front of their own fans when Gabriel Agbonlahor opened the scoring early in the first half.

But Swansea's Roland Lamah equalized before the interval and the hosts were unable to snatch a winner. That meant Villa have now won just one of their last seven home matches, although the draw did at least end a miserable run of four consecutive Premier League defeats. Villa are four points above the relegation zone, with Swansea, who are without a win in their last six games, a further point ahead of Lambert's side in the table.

Villa had left the field to jeers after losing at home to Crystal Palace on Thursday but they began positively, pressing high up the pitch and wasting no time breaking forward. They got their reward after seven minutes as Andreas Weimann picked up the ball on the right and played in Agbonlahor, who exploited dreadful positioning by the Swansea defense and found himself all alone on the edge of the penalty area.

Agbonlahor initially seemed to hesitate, but then showed good composure to slot his shot under Swansea goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel. Swansea's first chance to equalize came in the 17th minute when Pablo Hernandez cut inside and tested Brad Guzan, who spilled the ball before gathering at the second attempt.

Three minutes later the visitors should have been level but Ben Davies headed the ball into the ground and over the bar from six yards when he was picked out by Jonathan De Guzman's corner.However, Michael Laudrup's team drew level in the 36th minute when Jonjo Shelvey found Hernandez on the left and his cross was headed in at the back post by Lamah.

Guzan was called into action early in the second half, tipping over De Guzman's free-kick, before Wilfried Bony fired well over the bar. Villa rarely looked like winning it and even Fabian Delph's well-struck shot was straight at Tremmel. That turned out to be the final chance and Villa's angry fans responded to the final whistle with more boos.

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It may have been Stiliyan Petrov's chary testimonial at Celtic Park, but it was Gabriel Agbonlahor and a certain young pop star who stole the headlines. 

During the testimonial, the pacy Aston Villa forward delivered a hard tackle to One Direction band member Louis Tomlinson. The challenge was so hard from Agbonlahor that it left Tomlinson in major despair on the pitch and resulted in the boy band star having to leave the game for good just a few moments later. 

Tomlinson is a noted footballer who recently signed a contract with Doncaster Rovers, although some thought the move was a straight publicity stunt from the club.  

Gabriel Agbonlahor boosted Aston Villa's Premier League survival hopes as his late winner secured a vital 2-1 victory at Norwich on Saturday. Agbonlahor had given Villa the lead early in the second half at Carrow Road and he produced the perfectly timed winner after Grant Holt's penalty had drawn Norwich level.

The victory keeps Villa five points clear of the relegation zone and provided a moment of sweet revenge for boss Paul Lambert, who left Norwich to take charge at Villa Park in acrimonious circumstances last year. Villa, who thrashed Sunderland 6-1 on Monday, will feel they are within touching distance of safety, while slumping Norwich are only three points clear of the bottom three.

Villa were forced into an early change on 27 minutes when Matthew Lowton hobbled off to be replaced by Eric Lichaj. Norwich threatened for the first time when Robert Snodgrass hit a free-kick into the wall and then lashed the rebound at Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Norwich full-back Javier Garrido got forward on the overlap down the left, and his cross was just missed by Anthony Pilkington before being headed over by Holt.

Villa opened up the Norwich defense at the start of the second half when Christian Benteke waltzed into the penalty area, only to then shoot tamely at Mark Bunn from 10 yards out. The visitors broke the deadlock on 55 minutes when Agbonlahor picked the ball up just inside the Norwich half and as the defenders backed off, the England winger surged forward before unleashing a superb strike into the bottom corner from 25 yards. Villa should have made it 2-0 when Agbonlahor darted away down the left and floated a lovely ball back across the face of goal, but Andreas Weimann somehow sent his half-volley over the bar from two yards.

The Canaries equalized in the 74th minute as Snodgrass got away down the right and cut back into the area, where he was bundled over by Joe Bennett. Holt had missed Norwich's only other penalty this season, but he made no mistake this time as he crashed the ball into the bottom left corner. But it was Agbonlahor who secured a crucial three points for Villa when he got ahead of Sebastien Bassong before rolling the ball into the far corner.