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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
January 29, 2013
• 2:45 PM
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 30334
C. Benteke 49'
P. Cissé 19'
Y. Cabaye 31'
That is all from me Rhys Turrell, head over to Goal.com's main site for all the reaction to tonight's Premier League games, as well all the latest transfer news and gossip. Goodbye!
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will be delighted with his side's showing, and in particular those of his debutants. Yoan Gouffran was lively and energetic, while Moussa Sissoko showed the kind of pace and power that can prove vital in the English top flight. It's their first away win of the season, and that should give them a huge boost as they look to climb up the table.
And that is the final chance. Mike Dean calls time on a classic game of two halves. Villa dominated the second, but for all their pace and pressure they were unable to score other than the doubtful early penalty. Their awful showing in the opening period cost them here, and Paul Lambert must address that if Villa are to avoid dropping out of the Premier League.
90' + 4'
A long ball up into the area misses everybody and goes through behind Tim Krul's goal. That could be it for Villa.
90' + 2'
Villa are starting to run out of ideas a bit here. As Newcastle have dropped deeper and deeper, the pace of Agbonlahor has been negated, and the long hoofs forward to Benteke have not bought must luck.
Five minutes of added time will be played.
There is another scramble after a ball is lofted into the area. Ron Vlaar is up from the back, and he has a shot which is deflected, before Benteke also lashes a shot straight at an eager defender. Vernon Anita eventually hacks clear.
Yellow Card Shola Ameobi
Villa have gone a little more route one recently, with diagonal balls from both Lowton and Baker aimed for Benteke. They are not getting much change out of Taylor and Coloccini just yet, however.
There's an almighty goalmouth scramble in the Newcastle area, with the ball flying off every body part imaginable. In the end through, it is cleared out to Lowton whose resultant cross in is easily gathered by Krul.
Villa go close from a route-one effort. Guzan launches a ball forward and his hoof is missed by all the defenders and seems to confuse Benteke, who fails to get a proper connection.
Villa deserve a second goal on their second half showing, but with time running out, they may not quite manage it.
Newcastle are creating problems for themselves with some very frantic defending which is bordering on wild panic. Villa go close from a corner, but Nathan Baker's header is blocked by the bodies of several desperate defenders.
I have to agree with Nick there, Sissoko has had an excellent game, and he looks like he can add real quality to this Newcastle team.
Nick McGee reports: "Newcastle have calmed things down in the past 10 minutes or so and Alan Pardew is clearly looking to kill the game off, with the introduction of midfielder Vurnon Anita and centre-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who replaces the very impressive Moussa Sissoko."
Yellow Card Gabriel Agbonlahor
That said, in the last few minutes they have begun to dominate the ball a little more, partly I think due to the hosts getting a little tired after their hard graft earlier in the half.
Yellow Card Matthew Lowton
Newcastle win a free kick after a foul by Lowton, but his effort is poor, and easily gloved by Guzan. Newcastle have dropped off a cliff in terms of quality here, and that will be of huge concern to manager Pardew.
Nick McGee reports: "Twenty minutes to go here in the West Midlands and it is still Villa who are doing most of the pressing and forcing Newcastle to defend deep in their own half. In response, Alan Pardew has brought on Shola Ameobi in place of James Perch."
My man Lowton swings in a cross from deep on the right which is perfect for Benteke but the Belgian striker doesn't get a good connection on it, and his volley is wide. In any case he was offside, but Villa can take encouragement from creating the chance.
Weimann and Lowton do well down the right, and win their side a corner. Former Sheffield United man Lowton has been quietly very good at right-back for Villa tonight.
The home side have a free kick in a good area out on the right, it's swung in, but the delivery doesn't beat the first man.
Yellow Card Nathan Baker
Good pressure from Villa in the final third forces a mistake from Coloccini as he clears into touch. That increase in work rate and tempo could earn the Villans something out of this game.
N'Zogbia has probably been the standout man for Villa tonight, and he goes on a mazy run down the left, and a hefty kick from a defender is required to stop him.
Sissoko has faded a little in this half, and he picks up the ball in the Villa area after a free kick, but his cross-cum-shot goes miles into the air and is easily gathered by Guzan.
Yellow Card Christian Benteke
Great chance for Weimann! Benteke drives forward down the left, and spreads a wonderful ball across the edge of the penalty area to the unmarked youngster who takes a touch before shooting towards the far post. Tim Krul is equal to the effort, and he gloves the ball well clear of the penalty area. He perhaps should have scored, but in fairness, the Newcastle keeper did well.
Newcastle are just struggling to find the rhythm they enjoyed in the first half, but that is doubt due to the increase in desire from the hosts.
N'Zogbia and Agbonlahor link up well, with the latter feeding the former down the left, only for the Frenchman to lash a shot into the side netting.
Papiss Cisse has the dubious honour of having taken the two worst shots of the evening so far. His left-footed effort from the edge of the area is miles wide under minimal pressure. Newcastle have adopted a counter-attacking approach, and they'll need another goal to make this game safe.
It's lofted into the area, but nothing comes of it, and in the end referee Mike Dean signals for a foul by the attacking side. Positive work from the hosts though.
Weimann has done well too, and he's won his side a corner.
The complexion of this game has totally changes, with Villa playing with real pace and purpose now. Agbonlahor's pace in wide areas has really helped with that.
Yellow Card Jonas Gutierrez
Gutierrez has worked himself up into a tiz after Weimann tackled him from behind and hurt the big Argentine. It's a messy tackle, but nothing more than that.
On reflection, you have to question Debuchy a little there. Agbonlahor was going away from goal, and he certainly didn't to be touched.
Penalty Goal Christian Benteke
Gabriel Agbonlahor chases a ball in the area, and under very minimal pressure from Debuchy tumbles over. A penalty is awarded, much to the dismay of the Frenchman, and Benteke steps up and casually slots in the bottom-left corner of the net. Villa are back in this, but my was that a soft a penalty.
Benteke has an effort too, after creating some space, and Villa look up for it here.
Aston Villa start the second half with more tempo and quality than they showed in the entire opening period. Substitute Weimann forces a save from Krul, and the crowd voice their approval.
Villa are making a double substitution at the break, with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann replacing Darrent Bent and Joe Bennett. The home side were booed onto the pitch by their own fans.
Here are the thoughts of Goal.com reporter Nick McGee: "Half-time at Villa Park and boos envelop the majority of the stadium after an abject first-half display from the home side. Paul Lambert's men have lacked fight, creativity and any source of inspiration, whilst Newcastle have been utterly magnificent, controlling the game and creating chance after chance. 'Le Toon' as they have become known in some circles, thoroughly deserve their lead given to them thanks to a goal from Papiss Cisse and an outrageous volley from Yohan Cabaye."
Paul Lambert has a lot of work to do - his side have been awful. There's no attacking invention to their play, and they have looked weak and clueless in possession. An extra body in midfield may help shore up that part of the pitch, but Charles N'Zogbia aside, they are going to need a vast improvement in performance from everyone else if they are to get themselves back into this game.
The half-time whistle sounds, and Newcastle can be very happy with their first half showing here. They have totally outplayed Aston Villa, and the new men Gouffran and Sissoko have been outstanding so far. Santos and Debuchy have also done well in wide areas. Cisse took his goal with wonderful composure, and Yohan Cabaye has put in a late bid for goal of the month with his outstanding strike.
45' + 1'
Aston Villa have one final chance with a free kick after a unnecessary foul by Cisse. The cross is hung-up in the area, but Tim Krul gets up high and plucks it out of the air under almost no pressure from any attackers. Poor effort from the home side.
Two minutes of added time will be played.
Nick McGee reports: "This game is meandering to half-time with Newcastle still dominating possession and dictating play, I don't know what Paul Lambert is going to say during the interval, but it needs to be good."
Aston Villa are pressing forward better now, but they are struggling to pass the forward progressively, and it's all a bit to easy for the visitors to defend.
Yellow Card Charles N'Zogbia
And they almost do so, a free kick from inside their own half takes a few deflections and eventually comes out to N'Zogbia on the right-wing. He crossed centrally for Benteke, who takes it down well under pressure from Taylor, but he is shackled wide, and his shot is hurried and off-target.
Five minutes to the break, now would be a great time for Villa to grab a goal out of nothing.
Villa try to build a head of steam, but they run into a sterdy wall of Newastle defence. With Debuchy and Santon flanking Coloccini and Taylor, the Magpies all of a sudden look very strong at the back.
It's difficult to put into words just how timid Aston Villa have been. They've been totally suppressed by Newcastle, who have taken full advantage of all the time and space that the hosts have afforded them. A half-time rollocking from Paul Lambert looks a certainty.
The free kick takes a deflection off the wall, but Newcastle respond better and force another shot on goal which causes mild panic in the Villa area.
It's a well-deserved lead for the Magpies, and they now have a free kick on the outside of the area, with Cabaye will fancy a crack at.
Goal Yohan Cabaye
Fantastic strike from Cabaye. He's been the forgotten Frenchman of late with all the latest additions on Tyneside, but my what a strike this is to remind us all of his class. Newcastle build-up well, and Gutierrez swings in a cross from the right under no pressure. His decent ball is headed clear by Vlaar, but only as far as Cabaye, who takes a touch on the chest and belts a volley into the corner of a helpless Brad Guzan's net. Wonderful strike.
More attacking pressure from Newcastle. Sissoko links up with Debuchy down the right, and the former whips in a cross, but it's hoofed clear by Ron Vlaar.
It's another corner for Newcastle, after nice build-up play involving Gouffran and Debuchy. They waste the delivery, though, and the attack ends.
Bent and Benteke are not quite linking up too well so far. They haven't played together often, and at the moment that is showing. It's worth noting though that the service up to them has been poor.
Michu, RVP and Moussa Sissoko. It's probably too early to put him in the category of signing of the season, probably, but he looks very good tonight.
Aston Villa come within inches of equalising. Benteke tussles for a long ball forward, he fails to get it, but the ball bounces down to N'Zogbia, and he belts a left-foot volley towards goal which cannons off the crossbar. So close from the former Magpies man.
Assist Moussa Sissoko
Goal Papiss Cissé
Newcastle open the scoring. He's been the man of the match so far, and Moussa Sissoko has now proven his quality with a wonderful assist for the opening goal of the game. He picks up the ball in central midfield, and plays a wonderful defence-splitting pass through to Papiss Cisse who on the right corner of the penalty area takes a first touch before slidiing the ball past Guzan. Great finish, great goal.
Newcastle win another corner, and this time they do put it into the six yard box. No one is able to get a good contact and the ball drifts clear.
Davide Santon, who has looked very lively down the left for Newcastle so far forces a good save from Brad Guzan. That's the first shot on target if I'm not mistaken.
First real chance for Villa. Charles N'Zogbia drives forward well from central midfield and slips a ball into Benteke on his left. The Belgian closes in on goal, but he's denied by a sliding tackle from Coloccini. Much better from Paul Lambert's side.
That said, the home side are now beginning to work the ball a bit better in possession, but as yet they have failed to create a goalscoring opportunity.
Sissoko is playing a role not dissimilar to the one Yaya Toure plays for Manchester City. His pace and power in an advance position is causing a few problems for Villa, and he's finding support from Gutierrez and Gouffran. The home side need to wake up here.
Nick McGee reports: "If Newcastle fans were worried about whether their new players would settle they needn't have done so. Moussa Sissoko has looked very promising so far in the early stages and almost created the first goal as his cross fell to Jonas Gutierrez, whose close-range shot was excellently blocked by Ciaran Clark."
The Mapgpies win a corner, and despite Aston Villa having a reputation for awful defending from set-pieces, Newcastle attempt a fancy routine involving pinging the ball outside the area. Big waste.
It's all Newcastle here, with Gouffran finding lots of space and linking up well with Debuchy and Sissoko.
The first real shot of the night comes from Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse. And it is awful. High, wide and not handsome from 30 yards or so.
Oh dear, Darren Bent looks to be in a spot of bother. There's some very neat build-up play and the England striker is clipped by a defender and he stays down on the turf. He should be fine after some treatment, however.
It's been all Newcastle so far, with new boys Sissoko and Gouffran seeing plenty of the ball. Villa seem content to allow Newcastle to pass the ball across the field, but it's early days, and I expect the home side to press harder as the half wears on.
Positive start from the visitors, as the ball finds its way into the penalty area, but Papiss Cisse is unable to control.
Newcastle will kick-off and get this relegation battle underway.
The two sides are out exchanging pleasantries, and kick-off is just a few minutes away.
Nicholas McGee is Goal.com's reporter at Villa Park tonight: "The tension is slowly rising at Villa Park, but all the noise is coming from the Newcastle fans, who are waving several French flags and seem generally excited at the prospect of seeing their new stars in action for the first time."
For what it is worth, I'm backing the away side tonight. That said, with both Darren Bent and Christian Benteke starting for Villa, they all of a sudden look like a real threat up front.
We're 10 minutes away from kick-off at Villa Park. Feel free to get in touch with me throughout the game with your comments and predictions. You can do so via Twitter (@rhysturrell).
So out of the four debutants he could have picked, Alan Pardew has opted for just two with Sissoko and Gouffran earning first starts for the Magpies. Steven Taylor returns to the heart of defence alongside Fabrizio Coloccini.
Newcastle: Krul; Debuchy, S.Taylor, Coloccini, Santon; Perch, Cabaye; Gouffran, Sissoko, Gutierrez; Cisse. Subs: Harper, Williamson, Anita, Yanga-Mbiwa, Bigirimana, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi.
The big news for the home side is the recall of Darren Bent from the Premier League wilderness. The ex-Tottenham and Sunderland striker started and scored in the FA Cup defeat to Millwall last week, and he will partner Christian Benteke up to for the Villians tonight. Elsewhere, Nathan Bakes returns at left-back.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker; N'Zogbia, Bannan, Westwood, Bennett; Bent, Benteke. Subs: Given, Ireland, Agbonlahor, Holman, Bowery, Weimann, Lichaj.
Here is tonight's team news, starting with the hosts.
I'm Rhys Turrell, and I'll be taking you through all the action from Villa Park as these two sides aim to pull clear of the Premier League drop zone.
Good evening everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Aston Villa vs Newcastle.
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