Newcastle United 2-1 Aston Villa – as it happened
A directionless Aston Villa were flattered with their one goal from Robbie Keane while Newcastle’s new boy secured three points with an excellent half volley. Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool tighten sphincters.
Image from Well Offside.
90 min + 3: An insultingly scrappy end to the game, Aston Villa desperate but unable to get a cross into the box. Newcastle win the ball, run to the corner, keep possession intelligently, and that’s it. It’s full time. Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool cack themselves.
90 min + 2: Newcastle playing for time in the corner, allowing me to do something else instead of watching the game. Thanks, Newcastle.
90 min; Cross cross cross cross cross, poor clearance poor clearance poor clearance. Imagine if Aston Villa could pass. Shola Ameobi replaces Demba Ba.
88 min: Villa are having most of the possession. Bannan receives the ball on the right from Gardner. His cross is to Gardner, diving foward, but it’s straight at Krul. The ball bobbles free for a split second, Heskey lunging at it just as the ‘keeper manages to get back onto it. Shola Ameobi warms up.
84 min: Tim Krul flaps away somebody’s cleanly hit strike after Bent lays it off. Let’s say it was Bannan. Gary Gardner comes on for Clark. Woot woot. His first chance is to chip Krul from just inside the D, but it can’t come down quickly enough. Much like this game can’t end quickly enough.
81 min: Obertan pulls the ball back, it comes of a defender’s heel and Cisse’s left foot shot is going wide, but is deflected out for a corner, which is etc.
80 min: Newcastle continue to press but Aston Villa defend deeply. Perch is reduced to shooting from about thirty five yards, but he screws it wide. Newcastle should anticipate being able to close this game out easily, but of course they probably thought that in the first half.
76 min: Aston Villa attack down the right and Gutierrez boots Clark from behind, injuring himself in the process. On the plus side, only a quarter of an hour to go and then I can torture myself watching Fernando Torres’ hat-trick against Manchester United.
72 min: Goal! Newcastle United 2-1 Aston Villa (Cisse). Brilliant. A cross is aimed by Santon to to Ba, who misses it. It drops to Cisse on the edge of the box, he stoops to control it an lets fly with a thunderous half-volley into the top corner to Given’s right. It was a fantastic finish.
71 min: Aston Villa cunningly work the ball back to the keeper from the corner, and Heskey concedes a free kick challenging for his punt. Brilliant stuff.
70 min: A decent chance for Villa. Warnock receives a long ball on the left, and pulls back a great pass for Darren Bent, lurking in the box. His snap shot is right at a defender though, and the moment passes. Harry Redknapp laughs at home. He probably isn’t laughing, he’s probably quite worried. Santon concedes a corner.
68 min: Darren Bent tracks back this time, as Guthrie breaks forward. He slides in from behind as Guthrie runs across him, getting himself booked for his trouble.
66 min: Aston Villa are going to try to add a bit of flair and creativity to their side, replacing the quiet Nzogbia, who must have been tackled forty or fifty times today, with the livewire Emile Heskey. Well, I suppose Heskey was good against Argentina on the left about a decade ago.
65 min: Just a load of rubbish now. Obertan gets the ball after about 500 misplaced passes and shoots straight at a defenders legs. Eventually Given claims a cross, but there are twenty five minutes left, for God’s sake!
61 min: Gutierrez cuts in from the left, using great strength and control to maintain possession, and wins a free kick as Bannan refuses to let go of his arm. The free kick is taken by Guthrie, but cleared as far as Santon on the half way line. The ball finds its way back to Santon on the left, finding Cisse in space. He should do better than the off target header he manages, but Newcastle are threatening again.
60 min: Excellent tracking back from Obertan on the right, tackling Nzogbia and cleaning him out with a sliding tackle simultaneously. An example of an inverted WM against a regular 4-4-2, perhaps?
57 min: Robbie Keane eludes his markers to pick up a ball from a throw in on the left, and does an Obertan, the ball going high and, yes, wide of goal. Aston Villa try a long ball to Bent from Bannan, but he’s marked by a ridiculous four Newcastle players.
55 min: Obertan torments Dunne, running at him at pace while the defender backs off in that manner for about thirty yards, taking him from halfway to just outside the box, where he slices a shot high and wide of the goal.
54 min: After Cisse brings down a cross from Obertan, who the Senegalese striker had originally set free down the right, Guthrie volleys over with his left foot. It wasn’t close.
53 min: Nothing comes from it. I hate corners. Nzogbia wins one, as if to punish me, by putting Coloccini under pressure after he had been tackled. This one’s wasted too.
48 min: At half time Stephen Ireland was replace by Wee Barry Bannan. Ireland was anonymous in the first half, and probably will be in the second, I reckon. Obertan lays the ball of to Simpson in the corner, who wins the, erm, corner for Newcastle.
46 min: Almost a goal right from the start for Newcastle. There’s pinball in the box as Ba and Cisse box get chances from close range, both blocked with late challenges from Aston Villa.
45 min: Almost inevitably, we start the second half.
You can find the goals here, on 101 Great Goals.
45 min + 5 min: Goal! Newcastle United 1-1 Aston Villa (Keane). From nowhere. Nzogbia collects the ball on the left, scoots past a couple of defenders until he gets close the byline when he absolute wellies a ball into the danger area, where Keane’s run meets the ball perfectly, where he can’t miss. Aston Villa have been terrible this half but go into the match level. It’s half time.
45 + 3 min: Demba Ba attempts to flick on Guthrie’s cross, but although it’s too high for anyone to reach, it almost finds the top corner.
45 min + 2: Now Cisse is down injured, stretching for a cross at the near post that he can’t get on target. What are footballers made of these days?
44 min: Newcastle concede a corner, and it could have been worse. Nzogbia advances on goal but a sliding tackle puts the ball towards Keane. He tries to slide the ball for Nzogbia to shoot, but the Frenchman can only earn a corner, which is wasted. There will be a tedious 6 (SIX) minutes added time. Keane then humps a woeful cross straight at Krul.
41 min: Gutierrez catches Hutton just as he’s about to cross on the right. The Argentine is limping, possibly yet another injury for Newcastle. Petrov’s cross is squared deceptively towards Ireland, who leans back and curls a shot just wide. It was a clever idea as he was in plenty of space, and he should have got the shot on target.
38 min: Danny Simpson’s been booked. What for? Good question. Obertan’s low cross is almost reached by Demba Ba but Aston Villa are able to cross. They break forward, and Richard Dunne ends it when the ball runs away from him as he advanced. He tripped Gutierrez from behind, and earned himself a booking. That’s fairly stupid. Apparently he was already in a funk, having told his manager to fuck off after the goal went in. Nzogbia now, a shot from the left at a tight angle hitting the side netting.
36 min: Warnock with a decent cross from deep, but Krul is able to get to it unchallenged as Bent hadn’t anticipated it. Aston Villa are struggling here.
34 min: Gabriel Obertan is brought on for Ryan Taylor, stretchered off.
30 min: Goal! Newcastle United 1-0 Aston Villa (Ba). Guthrie’s deep cross is cleared poorly by Dunne, Taylor gets to the rebound, his shot deflected to Demba Ba on the left of the area. He controls it with his shin and turns into the goal with masses of space to aim at. The goal hadn’t exactly been imminent, but Newcastle have been so much better than Aston Villa so far. Taylor is down injured after that shot, getting caught by Dunne’s attempted block.
29 min: Robbie Keane’s playing. Well, he’s on the pitch.
27 min: Taylor’s cross is too long for Ba and Jonas picks the ball up at the far post, only to lose it with a loose pass backwards. Aston Villa manage to lose possession even quicker than that. Newcastle are the better side, and look it, but nobody is creating any thing clear cut yet.
25 min: Stephen Warnock is dead. Sorry, typo. He’s fine and will be back on soon.
23 min: Jonas with some guff. Stephen Warnock goes down after a clash of heads with Taylor on the edge of the box. He’s hurt his head!
21 min: A weak shot from thirty yards by Demba Ba is deflected for a corner. Taylor takes, and is, suprise, cleared at the near post only for Newcastle to regain possession swiftly, and they build from the back.
18 min: The handsome Santon skips past Clark on the left, drawing a foul and earning a free kick for Newcastle. Taylor’s free kick is flat, and cleared at the near post. It’s put back into the box for the other men to leather it over.
16 min: Cisse’s first chance. Taylor curls in a cross from the right, and Cisse reaches behind him to head from the near post towards goal, but he can’t get enough power on it.
15 min: Bent pulls the ball back on the touchline, but there’s nobody near him and Coloccini concedes the corner. Krul claims the corner easily.
13 min: It looks like Cisse will be the striker to come on. In the mean time Bent picks up the ball on the left, round the back of the defence, but his left-footed strike is just within reach of Krul to tip away. And yes, Cisse is on for Best.
12 min: Best has gone down after a challenge by Dunne, I think. It was a fair tackle but caught the striker at the same time. He’s receiving treatment, and Cisse is warming up should he not recover.
1o min: Right, the crowd seem fairly muted so I’m going to assume nothing’s happened.
1o min: I’m back. Possibly.
1 min: Off we go, then. The football continuing in its usual manner, and me in mine: my internet breaks.
I found the team news! I’m a journalist!
I am not a journalist. I’m barely a writer. I’m not a writer. Oh look, Demba Ba is back.
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Ryan Taylor, Guthrie, Perch, Gutierrez, Ba, Best.
Subs: Elliot, Cisse, Ben Arfa, Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Obertan, Ferguson.
Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Cuellar, Dunne, Warnock, Ireland, Petrov, Clark, N’Zogbia, Keane, Bent.
Subs: Guzan, Heskey, Bannan, Weimann, Lichaj, Baker, Gardner.
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Newcastle United are still maintaining a decent run despite their African Cup of Nations absentees, and Aston Villa are still raising suicide rates from their already ludicrous rates in the Midlands. I’m hoping Newcastle win 15-0 because I’d love Aston Villa to be relegated.
Team news when I get it, which is between now and when I can summon up the effort to steal it from elsewhere.