Aston Villa v Newcastle United – Match Report
Tuesday 29 January 7.45pm
Aston Villa 1
Newcastle United 2 (Cisse 19, Cabaye 31)
Watch Highlights Here
The old saying about history being written by the victors stands true in football as much as it does anywhere else.
If you win then who can criticise your player selection, formation or substitutions?
Alan Pardew was the victor last night but when I saw him playing Perch and leaving Anita on the bench I did wonder…
The football the team played in that first half more than vindicated the manager’s selection but still not sure about how the substitutions panned out.
In order we had Shola for Perch, then Anita for Gouffran and finally, Mapou for Sissoko.
Surely with it ending up as a bit of a battle in that first half you would have kept Perch on, especially when whatever the original intention we ended up with Shola patrolling in front of the back four!
Newcastle did get the job done but it was a Harem Scarem last forty five minutes which in the final throes resembled everybody in black & white trying to put out a fire in a carry on film. Apart from the defence, it was impossible to tell who should have been playing where.
Anybody who has watched more than a handful of football matches knows how quickly things can change in a football match but….
Newcastle were absolutely brilliant in the first half, Sissoko topping a great 45 minutes with a defence splitting pass that Cisse has been crying out for.
Once our number nine had slotted that one away, United were even more dominant, if that was possible!
Half an hour on the clock and the ball drops to Cabaye just outside the box, a vicious swerving right foot volley and we’re two up…what can go wrong?
If you haven’t seen the game then it is hard to get across just how dominant Newcastle were, yes Charlie Insomnia hit the post but it was just about the only time they got in our half!
I think the signing frenzy won us the game today because as well as the contribution of Sissoko and Gouffran on the pitch, I think the expected presence of Sissoko led to Lambert going more negative than he otherwise would.
The second half of course was a different story, one to watch only through gritted teeth/through your hands/peeking over the sofa/whatever.
Villa made a couple of changes and went for it, Newcastle quite literally went to pieces.
From total dominance to not a shot on goal all second half, Newcastle were reduced to hoofing it anywhere. Villa weren’t subtle..which I think was the point!
Their total (non-) football saw an assault on our goal which led to the gift of a penalty from Debuchy, whether he actually touched the player is open to debate.
Nevertheless, with over 40 minutes left it was Benteke who converted the spot-kick and we endured a horrific forty minutes, plus five(!) minutes injury time.
Tim Krul was immense in that second period and if only his outfield players had shown the same composure. What you can’t ignore is that buying players in January means that it is never going to mean instant blending and we JUST got away with it today.
Villa deserved nothing because of their route one football, sly and nasty ‘tackles’ and obviously, their fans!
Their ten thousand empty seats might have been lifted by the second half charge but here’s hoping that the Championship beckons for them all.
Anybody who claims they don’t desire revenge is either a liar or somebody who is a better man (or woman) than you or me.
The Villa fans in modern times have always had a grudge against our club & fans and the pinnacle of that was the embarrassing over the top efforts to celebrate our relegation in 2009. If this result helps send them down then there won’t be any street parties on Tyneside but more than a few black & whiters will have a quiet smile to themselves over the summer if that happy event comes to pass.
Villa: Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Bannan, N’Zogbia, Bennett (Weimann 46), Bent (Agbonlahor 46), Benteke
Newcastle United: Krul, Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Perch (Shola 69), Cabaye, Gouffran (Anita 74), Sissoko (Mapou 80), Jonas, Cisse
Unused Subs: Harper, Williamson, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi
Ref: Mike Dean
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