Barry rescues point for flat Villa

Aston Villa's UEFA Cup qualification hopes were dealt a blow after their 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.

England midfielder Gareth Barry levelled from the spot with 17 minutes remaining after Boro defender Luke Young was harshly ruled to have handled a volley from Villa winger Ashley Young.

Stewart Downing had given the visitors a deserved half-time lead with his seventh goal of the season as Boro regained their pride after the FA Cup debacle against Cardiff at the weekend.

Southgate was given the perfect reponse by his players to that shock cup reversal and Boro could have wrapped the game up with steadier finishing before the Barry spot-kick.

Downing caused constant problems down the left flank while skipper Emanuel Pogatetz was a solid performer at the back.

Villa seldom fired on all cylinders and are now seven points adrift of fifth-placed Everton.

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