Saturday, 14 September 2013

Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle match report September 14th 2013

Aston Villa suffered their third defeat in a row as Newcastle made off with all three points in a 2 – 1 victory at Villa Park.

Goals by Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran – each side of a reply by Christian Benteke - sent the Toon Army home happy and left Paul Lambert’s team hovering in the lower regions of the Premier League.

It was a case of de já vu for Villa as the demons of their poor home form of last season came back to haunt them. A Newcastle team unchanged during the summer transfer window, dominated on a bright and sunny autumnal afternoon and assumed control of the match from the very first whistle.

The home team barely touched the ball and Newcastle’s dominance was rewarded in the 18th minute as Loic Remy went clear on the left. His cross came off Villa captain Ron Vlaar’s outstretched leg straight into the path of Ben Arfa who had the simple task of firing in from six yards.

Alan Pardew’s side were in complete control of the first half but Villa came out fighting at the start of the second and created a few good chances. However, it was a tactical substitution which led to the Villa equaliser. In the 67th minute Lambert sent on Libor Kozak for Karim El Ahmadi and the change confused the Newcastle defenders who failed to deal with the power of Benteke who soared above everyone to head the ball into the net from an Ashley Westwood corner.

The equaliser lifted the home fans and unsettled the visitors and it was a case of wondering who would go on to score a winner. Step forward man-of-the-match Ben Arfa who, on 73 minutes, picked the ball up on the right hand side of the area, cut inside Antonio Luna and fired a powerful shot which Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan could only parry to his right and into the path of Gouffran who coolly fired into the empty net.

Such was Newcastle’s dominance that Gouffran, Papiss Cisse and Ben Arfa should have added more as the Villa team tired.

Newcastle thoroughly earned their victory and showed a much more mature side than on previous occasions whilst sparing the blushes of Director of football Joe Kinnear, the man partly responsible for their lack of activity in the recent summer transfer window.

With Moussa Sissoko playing a vital role in anchoring the midfield and Remy, Gouffran, Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa always looking dangerous, the Toon army were well worth their second win of the campaign.

 Manager Alan Pardew described the Frenchman as "unplayable" and said he was very pleased with his team's performance.

Paul Lambert acknowledged it was a "frustrating" afternoon and said his team started the game too slowly and played catch up for the rest of the match 

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