NEWCASTLE UNITED 3
ASTON VILLA 1
FA Barclays Premiership
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Craig Hope reports
NEWCASTLE United collected all three points thanks to some last-ditch defending and clinical finishing at the other end.
The Magpies raced into a two-goal lead after strikes from James Milner (5) and Kieron Dyer (7), and could have had the game wrapped when Scott Parker struck the bar with a dipping effort after 18 minutes.
It was Milner's fourth goal in as many home games and yet another cracker from outside the area. The former Villa star turned provider just two minutes later when his centre was headed home by Dyer, with a static Sorensen helpless in the visitor's goal.
But United's early domination certainly wasn't a sign of things to come and Villa bombarded the hosts' goal for the remainder of the first period.
Debutant Ashley Young halfed the deficit for the Midlanders with a 25th minute drive after United failed to clear a corner.
And despite having chances to snatch a second-half equaliser, it was Glenn Roeder's men who broke away in the dying moments, Antoine Sibierski firing home from close range to clinch the points amid sighs of relief from the Toon Army.
90+3min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (3-1) : Duff runs at a backpedalling Villa defence down United's left, the winger cuts inside and beats Cahill before squaring for Sibierski who ends his 13-match goal drought by firing right-footed past Sorensen from 12 yards to seal the points for Glenn Roeder.
90+2min - Mellberg charges forward and slides a pass through for Angel, but he is unable to take it in his stride and luckily for United it runs out of play.
90min - The fourth official announces three minutes added time.
90min - Dyer is clipped by Petrov and the Bulgarian is shown a yellow card.
88min - Agbonlahor picks out Berger but his reverse pass has too much on it for Villa's frontmen and runs out for a goal-kick.
87min - Kieron Dyer is still full of running and is unlucky not to get on the end of a neat exchange with Milner as he burst into Villa's box.
85min - Juan Pablo Angel replaces Wilfred Bouma.
83min - Carr plays al loose pass 20 yards from United's goal which is seized upon by Young, the Villa debutant crosses but Titus Bramble is on the scene to avert the danger.
77min - Oba Martins spins 30 yards from goal and chips a delicate ball into the path of Sibierski, the Frenchman shows strength before lifting it out wide to Duff, he cuts inside Bardsley and fires a right-footed shot flashing across goal and behind for a goal-kick.
76min - Petrov makes an angle 20 yards from goal but Taylor refuses to dive in and stands up to block the Bulgarian's shot.
71min - Berger's first contribution is to pick out Young on the edge of United's area with a great pass, he takes it on a stride and cracks a right-footer which Harper keeps out before diving on the loose ball.
69min - United fans won't be too unhappy to see the back of John Carew and he is replaced by Patrick Berger.
68min - Young get away from Huntington but the United youngster does well to recover and makes up ground to slide and concede a corner. Barry's flag-kick is fisted away by Harper and MIlner is eventually pushed over by Young with a needless challenge.
65min - A promising passage of attacking play ends in Duff being tumbled over by Young 45 yards from goal. The short free-kick is completely wasted and ends with Bramble firing a long ball forward which runs out for a goal-kick.
61min - United break at pace through Duff who exchanges with Martins, the Irishman crosses low to the near post but Cahill gets ahead of Sibierski to prevent the striker from proding home.
58min - Steven Taylor's last ditch header prevents an equaliser after Carew's flick falls to Barry's feet in the area, the Villa skipper rolls Stephen Carr and hooks the ball over Steve Harper but luckily for United Taylor is there to head behind. From the corner Carew heads home but the goal is ruled out for shirt-pulling by the big Norweigan.
56min - Clever play by Carew sees him get away from two United challenges before being scythed down by Huntington and the full-back enters Howard Webb's book. Barry's whips the free-kick through a crowd of bodies and into Harper's grateful arms when any touch would have resulted in a goal.
55min - Villa are back on the attack and Bardsley sends a dangerous delivery flashing across goal but there is no-one there to meet it and the ball goes behind for a goal-kick.
51min - Parker's late challenge takes out Carew and he is lucky not to get a yellow card. Bouma's free-kick is headed back across goal by Barry and when Carew misses the return Young volleys spectacularly wide and it goes out for a throw-in next to the East Stand.
46min - Villa are on the attack from the kick-off , Bouma whips a left-wing cross to the back post where Agbonlahor climbs above Huntington and Harper claws his header away with a great reaction stop before Taylor hacks it clear.
45+2min - Parker wins the ball after a crunching tackle on McCann and sends Milner away down the right. He drills it across goal and Duff has a shot blocked from 20 yards. Villa break away and Parker catches Young late in a dangerous position. Young picked himself to take the free-kick but could only strike it against the wall and it was the final action of the half.
45min - The fourth official announced three minutes added time.
44min - Newcastle regain some of their momentum towards the end of the half and Dyer feeds Milner on the right. He cuts inside one challenge and picks out Martins but the Nigerian can't time his leap and heads over disappointingly from six yards.
43min - A poor header from Taylor is picked up by Barry who clips a clever ball forward for Carew and his volley from the angle is punched away by Harper at his near post. United break through Dyer but when Duff has a shot he drags it wide.
40min - United need half-time desperately it must be said and Young wins another corner for Villa. It is played short to Barry but his cross is headed away by Huntington, when Bardsley returns Carew heads well wide and Mellberg is unable to keep it in.
36min - Villa are very much in control and James Milner has to clear for a corner after Young tries to slip in strike partner Carew. The corner is only half-cleared and when it returns a scramble ensues. First Carew heads off the post from Barry's cross and when Barry steadies himself Parker throws himself in front of the Villa skipper to make a great block. The visitors aren't finished and when Agbonlahor crosses from the right, Milner's attempted clearance sees him sky it up and looping back towards his own crossbar but Harper is fouled by Carew as he tries to make the take and there's respite for United in thre form of a free-kick.
33min - Injury forces Nicky Butt to withdraw and he is replaced by Antoine Sibierski.
32min - Young almost scores from the exact same position after Harper punches Barry's corner only as far as McCann and his miscued volley falls to Young who lashes it goalwards but Harper keeps it out and Huntington puts it behind. From the second corner Young dummies at the near post before Carew shows good strength to aly it back to McCann but he blazes over from 10 yards when he should have equalised.
30min - Agbonlahor springs the offside trap and races away down Villa's right but Huntington does well to get back and put behind the near post delivery.
27min - Carr trips Young and from Petrov's delivery Steven Taylor heads clear and averts the danger with Carew breathing down his neck.
25min - VILLA GOAL (2-1): Barry's whipped corner is cleared at the back post by Parker and Huntington heads only as far as Young who rattles a right-foot shot in from eight yards on his Villa debut to half the deficit.
23min - Brilliant recovery play by Steven Taylor after Ashley Young chased down a McCann throughball, the United centre-back outpacing the Villa forward and ushering the ball to the safety of Steve Harper.
21min - John Carew gets away from Bramble on Villa's right but the United defender sticks with him and deflects Carew's cross into the hands of Harper.
18min - Scott Parker rattles Villa's crossbar from 25 yards after picking up a loose ball before exchanging passes with Dyer and scooping a shot over a static Sorensen. That would have been game over.
15min - Huntington fails a hooked Petrov throughball and when Agbonlahor retrieves his centre is met by Carew but he scoops over the bar from 12 yards after getting front of Taylor.
10min - Taylor tangles with Carew and brings down the Norweigian 35 yards out. Petrov clipped a ball into the area and Petrov's header was blasted clear by Huntington. Parker helped it on to Martins on the halfway line and sent a defence-splitting pass for Dyer to run onto, but with just Sorensen in front of him Petrov got back to cut across Dyer and clear.
7min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (2-0): Milner took a right-wing corner that Villa headed clear only as far as Butt 25 yards out, he sprayed it back to Milner and his cross was inch perfect for Kieron Dyer to send a looping header beyond a static Sorensen and into the far corner to double the lead. It was the midfielder's fifth strike of the season.
5min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-0): Nicky Butt slipped a pass forward to James Milner 30 yards from goal. The winger rode the sliding challenge of Gavin McCann before side-stepping Cahill and firing a left-footed screamer from the edge of the box past Sorensen for his 4th goal in as many home games.
4min - The first real chance of the games comes when a Milner clips a ball down United's right and Parker's centre is taken from the head of Martins by a covering Bardsley to deny the Nigerian what would have been an easy header from six yards. The resulting corner is cleared by Gary Cahill.
1min - Mellberg lifted a free-kick in United's area, the danger was only half-cleared but when Petrov returned the ball Carew was too slow in coming back into an onside position and the flag denied Young who thought he had an opening.
Newcastle get the game underway attacking the Leazes End
GLENN Roeder handed starts to both Titus Bramble and Damien Duff on their return from injury for the visit of Aston Villa to Gallowgate.
Steve Harper began his 40th Premiership game for the Magpies in place of Shay Given, who injured a hamstring in the 2-2 draw with West Ham 11 days ago.
That meant a place on the bench for Pavel Srnicek, while Steven Taylor returned from suspension to partner Bramble at the heart of United's defence.
Martin O'Neill resisted the temptation to ease his new signings into the Villa setup, and both Ashley Young and John Carew were included in the starting line-up to make their debut for the Midlanders.
Ex-United favourite Aaron Hughes was named among the substitutes for the visitors.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Stephen Carr, Kieron Dyer, Obafemi Martins, Damien Duff, James Milner, Scott Parker, Titus Bramble, Nicky Butt (Antoine Sibierski,33) Steven Taylor, Paul Huntington
Subs not used: Pavel Srnicek, David Edgar, Alan O'Brien, Andy Carroll
Aston Villa: Thomas Sorensen, Olof Mellberg, Gareth Barry, Gavin McCann, John Carew (Patrik Berger, 69) Stilian Petrov, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Wilfred Bouma (Juan Pablo Angel, 85) Ashley Young, Gary Cahill, Phillip Bardsley
Subs: Stuart Taylor, Steven Davis, Aaron Hughes,
Referee: Howard Webb