An end-to-end opening 10 minutes brought few clear opportunities for either side, but the first serious sight of goal fell to Villa, with Charles N'Zogbia heading over the crossbar from a difficult angle.
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Yoan Gouffran had a fine opportunity for Newcastle two minutes later, but the Frenchman could not direct his effort towards goal having found space at the far post.
N'Zogbia again came close for Villa after 18 minutes, but his free kick just whistled wide of Tim Krul's post.
Remy Cabella was next to come close for Newcastle after finding space inside the Villa box, but the attacker could not sort out his feet in time and rolled his low strike wide of the post.
Both sides committed numbers forward in the latter stages of the first period, but could not make the breakthrough as the first half ended on terms.