1 Tim Sherwood received a boost for his task ahead as Aston Villa manager as he watched from the stands to see his new side beat Leicester City 2-1 to progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals.The former Tottenham boss was installed as successor to axed boss Paul Lambert this week, and this was a tie which proved he has a job on his hands to rescue the Villans from the clutches of Premier League relegation.It was a poor game which lacked any sense of attacking verve from either team until the late stages, and it took a moment of magic from Villa’s Leandro Bacuna to inject any sort of class into the proceedings.The Dutchman cut inside from the left to curl a wonderful strike beyond Mark Schwarzer and into the back of the net to give Villa what was a deserved 68th minute lead.The hosts seemed to have wrapped up the win with a second goal in quick succession, but Andreas Weimann’s finish at the back-post was ruled out for offside.Villa looked to have settled it after all when a Schwarzer blunder saw a tame Scott Sinclair effort trickle in on the stroke of the full-time whistle, and while Leicester pulled one back seconds later through a superb header from record signing Andrej Kramaric, it was too little too late to mount a late comeback.The game was mostly played in midfield as the sides struggled for control throughout and frequently exchanged possession, though the odd attack did result in some crucial saves from both goalkeepers.Shay Given’s magnificent fingertip stop from Matty James’ well-hit strike was the highlight of a drab first-half, while Schwarzer rushed out of goal to block a volley from an unmarked Christian Benteke.Foxes centre-back Marcin Wasilewski also went close from a corner, flicking on a header which just grazed the outside of the post, and Benteke had a goal rightly disallowed for offside in the first-half.With cameras picking up Sherwood leaving his seat some time before the half-time whistle, there were suggestions he was preparing a rousing team talk for his new side.And, whether true or not, the Villans certainly looked improved after the break, with an immediate attack resulting in Fabian Delph seeing his header loop up onto the roof of the net.Such was the lack of quality from both sides that spectators were perhaps sat in disbelief when Bacuna finally opened the scoring with a fine goal out of nothing, and the 23-year-old’s effort suddenly sparked the game to life.Villa, sensing they could add to their tally, ploughed forward and soon nabbed their second with help from Schwarzer, who got a hand to Sinclair’s low drive but couldn’t keep in under control, with the ball bouncing off the Australian and into the net.Leicester star Kramaric, who arrived at the club for £9million last month, mustered a moment of joy for travelling fans with a brilliant header in stoppage-time, rising high in the box to steer a magnificent effort past Given, but Schwarzer’s error proved pivotal as the Villans go marching on. Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna celebrates his goal against Leicester
A nearby dwarf galaxy is giving astronomers a unique view of what the first stars and galaxies in the universe may have looked like. The early universe was made up almost exclusively of the hydrogen and helium created shortly after the big bang. All the other stuff we have today was made by stars burning hydrogen and helium as fuel, fusing them into heavier elements, and then spewing them out when they explode as supernovae at the end of their lives. Models suggest that the first generation of stars, made almost exclusively of hydrogen and helium, were unlike anything we see today—huge monsters hundreds of times the mass of the sun pumping out intense high-energy radiation. Such stars are thought to have played a role in the epoch of reionization—a period before the universe was 1 billion years old during which all the gas it contained was stripped of electrons, becoming ionized—but they are too far away to be studied. Now, a team of astronomers has surveyed a dwarf galaxy called IZw 18 (pictured above), which has the least heavy elements of any galaxy in the nearby universe. They found a large region of the galaxy giving off a signal of helium being ionized. It takes intense radiation to knock electrons from helium, so the team suggests this month in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that IZw 18 may be the home of modern-day equivalents of those primordial, bright, supergiant stars. Studying them more closely could teach us more about conditions during the epoch of reionization.