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Result: Newcastle United narrowly edge Aston Villa

Papiss Cisse's goal is enough to help Newcastle United edge Aston Villa 1-0 in Saturday afternoon's Premier League clash at St James' Park.

Papiss Cisse's first-half goal proved enough to help Newcastle United edge struggling Aston Villa 1-0 in this afternoon's Premier League clash at St James' Park.

Papiss Demba Cisse of Newcastle United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park on February 28, 2015© Getty Images

The visitors started brightly, with Daryl Janmaat forced to clear behind his own goal from Christian Benteke's cross as Scott Sinclair was lurking at the back post.

On the quarter-hour mark, Gabriel Agbonlahor got the ball into the back of the Magpies net, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Benteke continued to create good chances for Villa, firing wide half an hour in before launching into an overhead kick that Tim Krul had to palm away moments later.

Despite the visitors' dominance, it was Newcastle that took the lead 37 minutes in when a Janmaat cross from the right was missed by the Villa defence, with Cisse controlling the ball and slotting into the net.

On the stroke of half time, Newcastle went close to doubling their lead as Emmanuel Riviere headed over from Sammy Ameobi's corner.

Massadio Haidara of Newcastle United is stretchered off injured during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park on February 28, 2015© Getty Images

After the restart Cisse was gifted a free header from Ameobi's free kick, but the effort flashed a couple of yards wide of Brad Guzan's goal.

Massadio Haidara was then forced to leave the field on a stretcher following an injury, with Ryan Taylor replacing him, and moments later, Tom Cleverley forced a save from Krul after pouncing on a Benteke flick-on.

Benteke continued to be a thorn in Newcastle's side as he fired a shot from a corner that needed a Fabricio Coloccini block to keep out, before bundling the ball into the back of the net from Ashley Westwood's low ball - only for the referee to disallow the goal for offside.

Follow that near-setback, the Magpies resumed their attack on Villa's goalmouth, with Taylor's kick forcing a save by Guzan and Ayoze Perez heading against the outside of the post.

Despite a much-improved performance by Tim Sherwood's charges, they were unable to find an equaliser late on as Newcastle secured all three points to remain 11th in the Premier League table.

Villa, meanwhile, have now suffered seven straight defeats and remain second from bottom.

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Papiss Demba Cisse of Newcastle United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park on February 28, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City32235467234474
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd31189461342763
3Leicester CityLeicester31175955371856
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham31167851391255
5Chelsea31159750311954
6Liverpool31157953371652
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs311471052351749
8Everton30146104138348
9Arsenal31136124335845
10Leeds UnitedLeeds31143144949045
11Aston Villa301351243331044
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves31108133141-1038
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
14Southampton31106153956-1736
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton31712123338-533
16Burnley3189142542-1733
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3188153251-1932
18Fulham32511162442-1826
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3159172859-3124
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3142251755-3814

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