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Milner penalty keeps Villa's Champions League hopes alive

James Milner fired home a disputed penalty as Aston Villa win the Second City derby 1-0 against Birmingham.

BIRMINGHAM // James Milner fired home a disputed penalty as Aston Villa win the Second City derby 1-0 against Birmingham to strengthen their chances of capturing a Champions League spot. The penalty was awarded in the 83rd minute when Roger Johnson brought down Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor but Birmingham players argued their player had played the ball first. The victory lifted Villa into fifth place, level on points with Tottenham and above Manchester City but having played a game more.

Tottenham lost 3-1 at Manchester United on Saturday and City drew 0-0 at Arsenal. The other team in the race for fourth place, seventh-placed Liverpool, are in action later today at Burnley with five points to make up. * AP

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