Villa win at last as Magpies hit back to deny Rooney-inspired Manchester United
Published 12/01/2016 | 22:01
Bottom club Aston Villa recorded their first Barclays Premier League win since the opening day of the season after a mistake by Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey gifted them a 1-0 victory.
Defender Joleon Lescott - who had been involved in an angry exchange with Villa fans during Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at Wycombe - finally gave the Holte End faithful something to sing about by netting what proved a fortuitous winner on 58 minutes.
Remi Garde's beleaguered side, though, had earlier ridden their luck as Palace hit a post inside the opening moments when Wilfried Zaha raced clear.
However, the home side - in front of a low Villa Park crowd of 28,245 - slowly grew in confidence.
Just before the hour mark, Villa were gifted what could yet prove a priceless goal when, under no pressure, Hennessey spilled a close-range header from defender Lescott between his own legs following a corner.
Following what was only a second win in some 21 attempts, Villa moved to within four points of Sunderland, who travel to Swansea on Wednesday.
Newcastle snatched a late equaliser to earn a 3-3 draw against Manchester United in an entertaining clash at St James' Park.
There had been a minute's applause before the match in memory of former Magpies goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek, who died at the age of 47 following a cardiac arrest.
The visitors went ahead on nine minutes through a Wayne Rooney penalty following a controversial handball decision against Chancel Mbemba.
Manchester United doubled their lead on 38 minutes when winger Jesse Lingard, recalled to the starting XI, converted following a swift counter-attack.
Newcastle reduced the deficit just before half-time as Georginio Wijnaldum (42) swept in a volley following Aleksandar Mitrovic's knockdown.
And they equalised with a penalty from Mitrovic (66) when referee Mike Dean ruled Chris Smalling had pulled back the Serbian forward.
Newcastle thought they had scored a third shortly afterwards through Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman was flagged offside.
Manchester United did make it 3-2 on 78 minutes when England captain Rooney cracked in a fine strike after Memphis Depay's shot was blocked.
Just when time seemed to be running out, Newcastle snatched a dramatic draw through defender Paul Dummett (89). However, Steve McClaren's side remain in the bottom three, a point adrift of Swansea.
West Ham came from behind to win 3-1 at Bournemouth, with brace from Ecuador forward Enner Valencia.
Midfielder Harry Arter (17) had put the Cherries ahead with a 25-yard effort for his first Premier League goal.
Bournemouth handed a debut to new club-record signing Benik Afobe and the striker sent a close-range header over.
West Ham, who saw forward Andy Carroll hobble off injured early in the first half, regrouped following the restart, and equalised on 67 minutes through a free-kick from fit-again midfielder Dimitri Payet, which went in off the underside of the crossbar.
The Frenchman, who was out of action for two months, then weaved into the area and crossed for Valencia (76) to slot home from close range as the visitors turned the match around.
Another well-taken free-kick from Valencia (84) made sure of a hard-earned victory which moves the Irons into the top five, a point ahead of Manchester United.