Aston Villa 0 Newcastle 0: Benitez’s men fall into bottom three after dismal draw

Beach balls and, ironically, black and white plastic spheres regularly bounced across the pitch on a day of protest when a goalless draw leaves the Toon staring relegation in the face.

Mocking home fans, already down and out, taunted the travelling Toon Army with chants of: “You’re Going Down With The Villa” as news filtered through that Sunderland had beaten Chelsea.

Newcastle, despite going five vital games unbeaten, are on the brink of a Premier League exit.

Boss Rafa Benitez said: “It’s bad – and simple. We have to wait now and it obviously depends on what Sunderland do in the week.

“I think we can still survive but it is down to them more than us.”

Acting Villa manager Eric Black was left gobsmacked by the balloon frenzy.

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