Date: 3rd September 2012 at 10:14am
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After Villa’s mauling at the hands of a resurgent Everton the Barcodes could be forgiven for expecting an easy three points. Cisse and Ba probably fancied their chances against a defence that has already shipped four goals, with their fans smelling blood. It just goes to show then that -with inflammatory relegation predictions already aimed at Villa and fans railing against lower league buys- that after two games such talk is no more than twaddle.

Indeed, if it was not for a Hatema Ben Arfa wonder strike on 59 minutes stealing the headlines Villa’s dominance would have been all the talk of the Toon. Although Newcastle conjured some threatening moves during he game, with Cabaye conducting from midfield they offered little that was mopped up by Vlaar and Co. Cisse was unable to convert probably his best chance, Guzan saving expertly to deny the Newcastle hitman, on a ground where Villa have not fared well. Strike partner Ba offered little threat having been well managed throughout by a steely back four showing. Special mention for Matt Lowton here who was tremendous up and down the flank all afternoon.

It was Villa’s passing game though that left Newcastle having to adapt and change formation as they sought an answer to the visitor’s short, sharp well threaded interplay, with contract seeking Ireland once again pulling the strings from the middle. Though it was Holman who set the tempo, harrying and chasing down the ball like a man possessed. As competition for places heats up at Bodymoor Heath his performance will not be lost on Lambert -and on this outing neither will Bannan’s. The diminutive Scott put in a sterling performance at inside left/left midfield supplying a beautifully weighted cross for Clark to head home on the 22nd minute.

Villa fans will feel that if not for confidence,Bent would have put the game beyond doubt. Cutting on to his left in the penalty box his low placed shot was parried by Krull’s legs early on, with a second good opportunity equally well intercepted toward the end. Bent found himself in space at the edge of the box after another killer counter attack. A lack of confidence led to an extra touch, with the ball begging to be hit first time. Bigirimana was thankful as it enabled him to nick the ball away. Perhaps the best opportunity though came to Ireland ten minutes from the whistle when he wasted both space and time in the box, spooning a clear shot wide. If anything needs to be worked on it is Villa’s finishing. The penetration is now starting to come though the final shot will need some work. However, with players now getting into the right positions surely the goals will come and with it more confidence.

Villa fans will be relieved to see the return of Gabriel Agbonlahor. Back in his natural forward position he wasted no time in bursting past a flagging a Coloccini on the break. His touch, speed and power have been greatly missed since the start of the season and will no doubt leave Paul Lambert with a selection headache.

The manager seemed incredibly pleased with the players and a hard earned point. Alan Pardew not so. He may well be scratching his head as he tries to work out how to balance the intense demands of both the Premier League and the marathon that is the newfangled Europa League. On this showing consistency was lacking as was tactical nuance though with players like Cisse, Ba, Ben Arfa and Cabaye in your side Newcastle have the potential to go along way in both.

It is perhaps fare to acknowledge also that Tiote was a big miss for them today as was Ryan Taylor, who has sadly been ruled out for the season. Titoe’s power and force will be crucial as they go forward in both competitions.


13 Replies to “Vital Match Report, Newcastle v Villa”

  • There best chance was the free kick where I felt Villa should had gone onto score one or two more. Ireland must rue those chances and keep up his efforts of the last two games.

  • Ireland, such a shame, one of those chances put in and his confidence would soar. Bent needed to bury one of the two chances as well, all about confidence.

  • Great report. Things are looking good if we can get some more confidence in the side. Just imagine what the scoreline might have been if Bent and Ireland had more confidence. Great to see Villa passing well and working hard. We need a good home result to

  • Considering I had wrote us off for this one before the match was delighted with the change and hard work put in seems a bit unfair considering how well the team played that Guzan should be man of the match but cant argue with it great display by the keepe

  • Excellent report Grizzly. I was going on about getting a second so we had some breathing space, but it just wasn’t to be. Decent all round performance from one and all really, but we must try to cut down on the fouls and yellow cards……

  • I look forward to our game against Swansea revenge for last season me thinks they wont have ~Warnock on the field to score goals for them this time… We are also long over due for an EPL victory…

  • Not only is this result great but the respect from Alan Pardew towards Paul Lambert and Villa before and after the game was gratifying. Rarely do Villa get such genuine and kind words from anyone who isn’t a Lion. Also for, perhaps, the first time in m

  • Great Performance by the Villa- I actually enjoyed watching us and felt that we looked more likely to win than lose- which I haven’t felt in a long time- all last season I can’t remember even the matches we won did we dominate in terms of possession and c

  • In the same way as two bad results don’t equal relegation, one good one isn’t a marker for success. Lets not get too carried away. Hopefully this can be a platform to build on and as confidence grows players like Ireland and Bent will get better and bette

  • Nice one mate. Great result to build on before the break but the best thing was the style of play, that was most promising for me. I for one have been very happy with the young lower league signings, if Lowton is anything to judge off we could have found

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