Premier League – Newcastle United are relegated
Newcastle United were relegated from the Premier League after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
Click the links under the picture for all the reports from the final day of the season
The crucial goal came after 38 minutes when a corner fell to Gareth Barry whose 25-yard drive was going well wide but took a wicked deflection off Damien Duff and beat a stranded Steve Harper.
With Hull losing at home to Manchester United, a single goal would have been enough to extend the Magpies’ 16-year top flight stay but they departed with a whimper, failing to muster a single effort on target in the second-half.
After swapping television punditry for the Newcastle manager’s job, Alan Shearer won just one of eight matches and, having won only seven of their 38 league games, the Toon Army will be watching Championship football next season.
Newcastle had won just twice on their travels and started nervously. Gabriel Agbonlahor climbed above Fabricio Coloccini to meet a cross from the left but he saw his header just go over the top.
But Newcastle asked plenty of questions in the opening 15 minutes and had three decent chances.
Duff cut inside and saw his shot pushed around the post by Brad Friedel, who saw the effort very late and just a minute later Steven Taylor’s shot on the turn was cleared off the line by Carlos Cuellar.
Obafemi Martins then volleyed over from 16 yards after a great flick by Mark Viduka before at the other end, Craig Gardner’s rasping 25-yard drive was tipped over by Harper.
Villa then began to dominate the game and Harper had to come off his line swiftly to prevent Barry reaching a cross from the left.
James Milner’s free-kick was then saved at the near post by Harper but the keeper had no chance with the goal as he was completely wrong footed by the deflection.
It was almost two for Villa when John Carew’s cross was flicked just inches wide by Agbonlahor but the closest Newcastle came to an equaliser was in first-half injury time when Martins headed narrowly wide.
Villa dominated the second-half and Ashley Young was a whisker away from making it 2-0 when he curled an effort narrowly over the top corner.
A surging run from Milner ended with him dragging his shot wide from 20 yards before a terrible mistake from Nicky Butt almost condemned his side.
He was sloppy in possession 25 yards out and Barry capitalised but after checking back inside the defender, he curled his right-footed effort narrowly past the post.
Tweleve minutes from time Carew should have settled the match when he was unmarked seven yards out only for the big Norwegian to make a complete hash of his volley with the goal gaping.
Shearer brought Michael Owen on midway through the second-half but he was a peripheral figure and their first goal attempt of the second period only came with three minutes to go when fellow sub Shola Ameobi’s effort from 20 yards was high, wide and not very handsome.
Ameobi then headed over before hooking Martins’ cross over the top from eight yards but the Magpies can have no complaints as they go down with just 34 points.