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Aston Villa v Newcastle match report, highlights and post match interviews.

Posted on April 11th, 2011 | 4 Comments |

James Collins seals the win for Villa.
James Collins seals the win for Villa.
As the teamsheets were read out and the players prepared for action, there was news that Shola Ameobi would not be playing, not even on the bench. Subsequently it turned out that he had picked up a knee injury on the morning of the game. It also became apparent that Alan Pardew would be using Fabricio Coloccini in a defensive midfield role today due to the ravages of injuries and suspensions in midfield. So it was that Ranger got his first Premier League start, alongside Peter Lovenkrands at the front.

To the game itself. Newcastle kicked off, there were a one or two chances including an excellent cross from Jose Enrique found an galloping, unmarked Joey ‘best English midfielder’ Barton in the area. However it was a fairly low headed chance which he ballooned over the goal. Another real chance came around the nine minute mark when Newcastle broke with Ranger. However, instead of doing the decent thing and squaring the ball to an unmarked Lovenkrands for what could have been a much better opportunity, he took a heavy first touch, ending up launching a fairly tame effort at Brad Friedel in the Villa goal.

On the game in general, it was apparent that Aston Villa were needlessly losing possession, but, on the other hand, the Magpies were failing to take advantage of these gifts in they way that they should have. The strikers were not served as well as they could have been, and it was Villa, despite their weaknesses and paucity of chances in this phase of the game who scored on 24 minutes.

Barton was penalised for bringing down Villa’s Ashley Young, who took the resulting free kick, an effort which landed straight on the shiny bonce of big defender, John Collins, whose header left Steve Harper with no chance in what was a very simple goal. 1 – 0 Aston Villa.

Ther gane continued to proceed in a rtaher scrappy way, though Aston Villa’s Stuart Downing deserved a special mention for some good, industrious work down Aston Villa’s left flank. The next moment of great interest came close the the half time whistle, when the aforementioned Downing got in a great cross to Makoun. After a bit of dribbling, he then got himself into position, producing a ball which cut through Newcastle’s back four to feed hitman, Darren Bent. He then finshed straight into the corner of Harper’s goal, however the effort was incorrectly rulled out by the linesman for an incorrect off-side, which hardly pleased Villa’s manager, Gerrard Houllier, who went into the half time break looking somewhat displeased at the injustice.

And so to the second half, which was even more disappointing from a Newcastle United point of view. As the half rolled on, chances for the Magpies started to become very thin on the ground, and manager, Alan Pardew scratched his head and seemed incapable of doing anything about it.

On the hour mark, Villa were claiming a penalty from referee, Stuart Attwell, with Darren Bent claiming that he was fouled by Steven Taylor’s arm in the box, but there was nothing doing. Villa’s one goal advantage still looked very safe against the toothless Magpies though. It was just after this that Alan Pardew decided to ring the changes in the Newcastle side, with Steven taylor coming off for Ryan Taylor, with Coloccini moving back into his usual centre back position. It didn’t do a great deal to change the game though and Villa continued to do most of the pressing. Houllier then foolows suit, replacing Jean Makoun with Nigel Reo-Coker. Around ten minutes after that, Houllier then brought on Carlos Cuellar for Kyle Walker. To round off the substitutions, Pardew then made the last of his substitutions, bringing off the disappointing somewhat disappointing Ranger and replacing him with Shefki Kuqi in the front line in the 84th minute. The substitutions weren’t over though as Houllier sends out old master, Robert Pires for the last few minutes of the game to replace Agbonlahor.

Meanwhile, it was around about this time that the Magpies could muster anything approaching a ‘fightback’. After around 75 minutes, they eventually started to get more posession, on around 80 minutes, a Berton free kick was shot straight at Friedel without troubling him overly, then another one by Ryan Taylor narrowly went over Friedel’s goal. Towards the end of normal time, a very well flighted cross by Barton finds the head of Lovenkrands, but his effort is headed straight at Friedel. Just after that, Barton was booked, probably as much for his continuous chuntering to Stuart Attwell throughout the game as anything else!

Finally, in more or less the last knockings of the game, Barton found Lovenkrands in space once again. This time the Great Dane forces a better save out of Friedel, but it was not to be. In a game where neither team really shone brightly, it was Aston Villa who took the three points in the end.

Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor (Ryan Taylor – 63), Mike Williamson, Sanchez Jose Enrique, Joey Barton, Danny Guthrie, Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez, Nile Ranger (Shefki Kuqi – 83), Peter Lovenkrands.

Subs: Tim Krul, Michael Richardson, Shane Ferguson, James Tavernier, Shefki Kuqi, Ryan Taylor, Ryan Donaldson.

Aston Villa: Brad Friedel, Kyle Walker (Carlos Cuellar – 78), Richard Dunne, James Collins, Luke Young, Stewart Downing, Stiliyan Petrov, Jean Makoun (Nigel Reo-Coker – 67), Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor (Robert Pires – 86), Darren Bent.

Subs: Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark, Nigel Reo-Coker, Carlos Cuellar, Andy Marshall, Emile Heskey, Robert Pires.

Refreree: Stuart Attwell.

Booked: Mike Williamson (Newcastle), Joey Barton (Newcastle).

Match highlights and post match interviews.

Match highlights, such as they are. I will try to update with some longer ones when they become available.

Alan Pardew blames injuries, suspensions and Ashley Young for Newcastle’s defeat.

Aston Villa manager, Gerard Houllier, seems well pleased with what he described as a “massive win” for his under pressure Aston Villa side.

Poll.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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4 Responses

  1. F*****g terrible game, both sides were crap and looked as if they belonged in the second tier, which may in fact be where they end up if there`s no implrovement.
    Only goes to show what happens when injuries and cards prevent a decent side from being pencilled in.
    But more than that it exposes the side for a lack of depth and as far as the bench was concerned, it should make any fan cringe.
    Well guess Pool have shown they are a bigger club than us, by trumping Enrique, some say fifteen million, doubt it ! but for that kinda dough I would sell him in a NY second.
    Face it the guys a good player, but i can get you two good full backs for that price.
    Sure spending some dough @ Pool, but hey they screwed Chelsea for fifty big ones, so why not.
    Which begs the question, will our sweatshop retailer splash some cash in the summer, or will it be free agents and cheapo`s.
    Understand Van Gaal and Jol may be available and if in fact there`s going to be money spent ? do you want Pardew to be the one to spend it ?
    We live in interesting times !

  2. chuck says:
    April 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    “F*****g terrible game, both sides were crap and looked as if they belonged in the second tier”

    It’s hard to disagree with that, Chuck.

  3. chuck says:
    April 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    “Understand Van Gaal and Jol may be available”

    They wouldn’t touch Ashley and Llambias with a bargepole Chuck, especially Hughton’s close friend and managerial mentor, Jol.