Houllier relieved by derby win

Villa ended a sequence of three successive Barclays Premier League defeats thanks to goals from Stewart Downing and the fit-again Emile Heskey. Albion could only manage a last-minute consolation from Paul Scharner.

It was the perfect tonic for Houllier after fans had criticised his behaviour on returning to Liverpool for Monday's clash at Anfield which saw Villa beaten 3-0.

He said: "The defeat at Liverpool hurt us, more with the way it happened. We needed to sort out a few things. We were a bit shaky at times which is normal when you are having a bad run.

"But I was pleased with the attitude of the players. When you go through a bad patch, you need to keep cool and more focused on a few things.

"West Brom are a good team. They won at Arsenal and Everton, and drew at Manchester United, and came here full of confidence. The feeling is one of relief and I was proud of the response of the players."

Source: PA

Source: PA