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Match Analysis: Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle United

Match Analysis: Villa 1-2 Newcastle
© PA Photos
Sports Mole casts its eye over Newcastle's first away win of the season at fellow strugglers Aston Villa.

Newcastle United finally claimed their first away win of the Premier League season against fellow strugglers Aston Villa this evening.

The Magpies dominated the first half and went in at the break with a 2-0 lead. First, Papiss Cisse collected an eye-of-the-needle pass from debutant Moussa Sissoko and slotted under Brad Guzan before Yohan Cabaye hit a dream volley from 25 yards that dipped into the far corner.

Villa manager Paul Lambert had started with both Christian Benteke and Darren Bent up front but withdrew the latter at half-time and it paid off soon after. Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann invigorated Villa and the former won a penalty that Benteke dispatched to give Villa hope of gaining something from the game.

They were unable to find a second goal, despite a barrage of attacks in the second half, as Newcastle eked out three precious points to pull clear of the Premier League drop zone that Villa drop into because of the loss.

Here, Sports Mole pores over a classic 'game of two halves' at Villa Park.

Match statistics:

Villa:
Shots 10
On target 4
Possession 46%
Corners 3
Fouls 16

Newcastle:
Shots 10
On target 7
Possession 54%
Corners 4
Fouls 9

Was the result fair?

Tough call. As mentioned earlier, this really was a completely different game after the interval. Newcastle were by far the better side from the off and deservedly led thanks to the precision of Cisse and Cabaye. They couldn't carry on this level of intensity in the second 45 though and it was all Villa. The Villans will think that they deserved a point and perhaps they're right, but it's always a tough ask to earn a draw after conceding twice.

Villa's performance

Almost unbelievably different after half-time. Lambert didn't keep Bent on the field after his no-show in the first half and brought on the duo Agbonlahor and Weimann to liven things up. They impacted the match instantly and it was Agbonlahor who won the penalty for going down (very softly) under challenge from Mathieu Debuchy.

Newcastle's performance

Manager Alan Pardew installed new signings Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran straight into the starting lineup and the French duo played their part in a dominant first half. Sissoko in particular looked assured on the ball and his pass for the opener was a gem. Villa came out resurgent in the second and Newcastle didn't deal well with the sudden upturn in energy from their opponents. They conceded quickly and that meant having to hang on for the remaining 40 minutes of play, a feat they just about managed. It's a first away win of the season for the Magpies and that can, in part, be attributed to the first-choice back four Pardew was able to pick.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Yohan Cabaye: It could have gone to either Cabaye or Sissoko but the former just nicks it for his stunning goal in the first half. Villa cleared a dangerous cross but unfortunately for them it flew out to Cabaye who took a single touch before dipping his volley into the far corner.

Biggest gaffe

There were no real gaffes tonight but maybe it should go to Mike Dean for his award of the penalty, which seemed awfully soft.

Referee performance

Dean was a card-happy boy tonight and it was justified on almost all occasions. The tackling was old-fashioned and made for a tasty game. The ref did perhaps get one decision wrong though when awarding Villa a penalty for Debuchy's challenge on Agbonlahor.

What next?

Villa: Lambert's men will look to put an end to this run of poor form when they visit Everton on Saturday.

Newcastle: The Magpies are also in action on Saturday afternoon as Chelsea visit St James' Park.

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Newcastle's new signing Moussa Sissoko shields the ball from Barry Bannan of Aston Villa on January 29, 2013
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Result: Newcastle claim victory at Villa
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City36265576294783
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd362010670422870
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool36189963422163
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7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Everton36168124643356
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds36165155753453
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
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15Burnley36109173351-1839
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
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RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320

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