Date: Tuesday 29th January 2013, 7.45pm
Venue: Villa Park
Conditions: damp and tense
Admission: £39 (£43 in 2011/12)
1 - 2
19 mins Debutant
Moussa Sissoko slotted an inch-perfect ball for Papiss Cisse to run onto and tuck under
Brad Guzan at the Holte End. Hopefully the letting off of a green smoke bomb
by one toon fan at this point isn't the start of
our lot following this stupid trend.
Bizarrely this meant Villa fans stood and applauded as our opener coincided
with their tribute to Stiliyan Petrov but the away contingent continued their
celebrations long after the home fans had sat back down again.
Incidentally, if Villa fans stand and applaud from 19:00 through to 19:59,
doesn't that mean they are making the gesture to their no.19 in the 20th
Jonas Gutierrez floated a cross into the box from the United right and
when the ball was only half-cleared by Ron Vlaar, it fell perfectly for Yohan
Cabaye to hit an unstoppable effort into the
top corner of the from outside the box - a goal from the
moment it flew off his right boot.
Half time: Villans 0 Magpies 2
Paul Lambert introduced Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann for
the second half and immediately they had an impact, when Agbonlahor tumbled in
the box after outpacing Debuchy,
who made a failed attempt to wrap his foot around the
ball and instead caught the man - a soft but correct decision. Christian
Benteke sent Krul the wrong way from the spot.
Full time: Villans 1 Magpies 2
"When you are looking for players and trying to find the secret
ingredient for your team, it's not always easy for players to come and fit
in as they did in the first half.
"I was a little bit surprised myself (by Sissoko) if I'm honest. I
don't think we would have won that game if we hadn't signed Sissoko. That is
how important that signing was. He did really well to get that deal over the
line in time.
"I thought he was magnificent and will
be a superb player for us. We were superb in the first half, as good as we
have been all year, and he played a big part in that.
"I envisage him playing in a role where
he can use his energy and power. I don't want to compare him to anybody but
he can play all three roles in that midfield.
"It was the kind of performance that if
someone said to me 'what would be the perfect night?', it would to be
fluent, play really good football, and then show another side - battling
qualities and a spirit.
"We showed both sides of what you need
to win a Premier League game - and then some. Villa absolutely bombarded us
for 15 minutes before the end. We had to stand those bombs coming in.
"We have worked really hard on
integrating the new players into things. They are not here to save us, they
are here to help us. That was my message to the established players.
"We had a nice evening in the hotel with them (the new signings) last
night and a really good team meeting. There was a good feeling about them
and a bit of a laugh with the French translations.
"I think it was obvious when Demba Ba went (we needed to buy) but the
new players coming in have given us the lift we needed.
"We were superb in the first half and we
played as well as we have played all year. They got an early goal and then
we had to show another side as we showed real fight.
"It was lovely to see us play the
football Newcastle fans want to see us play. It's been a real struggle for
us so far but we've got 14 big games left.
"It was a terrific day for us because we
were under a lot of pressure to win at Villa."
“He was meant to play, if I’m honest, but he got injured. It’s a real blow
for him, and it looks like two or three weeks, which is a real shame.
“He would have enjoyed that. I feel for Sylvain, a little bit. He’s hurt the
bone that runs across his foot.”
garbled in his best Gorbals:
"We paid the price for starting too slowly. We just never got going in the first
half. The second half, that's the way to play football. The first goal was really disappointing; the second goal, you sometimes can't
stop them - it was a terrific strike - and then you are facing an uphill battle.
"But I couldn't fault them for the way they played in the second half. It is the
first time I've seen a standing ovation when you've been beaten, especially at
"I just said to the players 'you can't play like that in the first half and turn
that performance in during the second half'.
"It is sometimes easier to play when you are 2-0 down because no-one expects
anything then. You've got to start like that - and we never started."
Newcastle's eighteen game winless run away from home in all competitions
was ended by this result, our first victory on the road since the memorable 2-0
success at Chelsea in May 2012.
That's our worst start away from home since....never. From
United's debut league season of 1893/94 onwards, they've never taken
as long to register a first victory win in any competition. This
season had seen us recently break that of the 1967/68 campaign, when a
first away win occurred on January 20th.
In terms of league matches only, the boys of 2012/13 have managed to
do better than their counterparts in 1895/96, when they failed to win
on the road until February 22nd.
In terms of a winless away run in the Premier League era, the twelve
match sequence that was ended by this victory is eclipsed by the sixteen
PL games endured between victory at Fulham in October 2003 and a three
point haul at Southampton in September 2004.
Alan Pardew handed debuts to Moussa
Sissoko, Yoan, Gouffran and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, bringing the
number of players to have represented us in the PL to 178.
Here's how that total breaks down by
actual country of birth (meaning for example that Hackney -born Shaka
Hislop is one of the 72 English players despite representing Trinidad
4 Argentina, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Senegal, Spain,
3 Nigeria, USA
2 Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Denmark, DR
Congo, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Italy
1 Angola, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, Central African Republic,
Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kosovo,
Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal,
Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay
Toon @ Villa Park - Premier League:
2012/13 won 2-1 Cisse, Cabaye
2011/12 drew 1-1 Best
2010/11 lost 0-1
2008/09 lost 0-1
2007/08 lost 1-4 Owen
2006/07 lost 0-2
2005/06 won 2-1 Ameobi, N'Zogbia
2004/05 lost 2-4 Kluivert, O'Brien
2003/04 drew 0-0
2002/03 won 1-0 Shearer
2001/02 drew 1-1 Shearer
2000/01 drew 1-1 Solano
2000/01 lost 1-0 (FAC)
1999/00 won 1-0 Ferguson
1998/99 lost 0-1
1997/98 won 1-0 Batty
1996/97 drew 2-2 Shearer, Clark
1995/96 drew 1-1 Ferdinand
1994/95 won 2-0 Lee, Cole
1993/94 won 2-0 Allen (pen), Cole
Full record against Villa:
This was our
67th league and cup victory against the Villans which is second only to
the 70 victories over Manchester City and one more than the 66 against
Arsenal. However, it has come in just 155 games, rather than the 166
against City and 171 games versus Arsenal.
The 245 goals scored are also just a shade behind the 248 scored
against Manchester City and three more than 242 netted past Everton.
Alan Pardew was able to celebrate victory in his 100th game in charge of
United, as his team won a game both managers had billed beforehand as a "Cup Final."
That cliché was as painful as it was predictable, but nevertheless this game had
much riding on it and pre-match almost had the feel of a derby - the events of
May 2009 on this ground making this a grudge match in the eyes of many black
and white followers.
United's first away success of the season was ultimately secured by Yohan
Cabaye's stunning strike, but only after an unbelievably nervous second half that will probably live as long in the memory as that fateful day
here when we bade a (thankfully) temporary farewell to the top flight.
There were four changes from the team beaten at home by Reading, with Steven Taylor returning
after a ten league game absence. He partnered Fabricio Coloccini after his
recent well-publicised travails while James Perch was preferred to Vurnon Anita
Both Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan were omitted from the squad due to
fitness issues, but our French contingent were in full effect nonetheless, with
messrs Cabaye and Debuchy joined on the field by debutant duo Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko.
They both acquitted themselves well, with the latter a crucial presence in midfield
and setting up our opener in a first half couldn't have gone much better for the Magpies.
On the front foot right from the off, Villa were second best and looked every
inch a side knocked out of two domestic cup competitions by lower league
opposition in the previous week.
Ex-mackem Darren Bent was so anonymous that his presence hardly registered with
Newcastle fans, while the sole moment of discomfort came when our former
Frenchman Charles N'Zogbia thumped an effort that flew back
off Tim Krul's post.
A slick exchange of passes gave lone striker Papiss Cisse a chance that he
gratefully gobbled up and then Cabaye's heat-seeker deservedly doubled our
advantage; the same player also close to emulating his dead-ball strike against
Reading from a free kick in a similar position.
However, despite Villa's well-known defensive weakness in the air, United's delivery
from corners and free-kicks remained poor and over elaborate when Bradford City
had amply demonstrated that a simple out-swinging ball could be attacked
successfully, in the presence of the Newcastle boss.
N'Zogbia was booked and then tripped Debuchy minutes later and as half
time approached Gouffran hit a shot narrowly wide, Mike Dean calling time on a
half that we didn't really want to end.
The second 45 however was a different story; Paul Lambert having managed to
reshape and inspire his struggling side with a couple of substitutions and a
more aggressive approach. That manifested itself in a string of fouls and
bookings and greater pressure towards our box, with Krul making a couple of
decent stops straight away before picking the ball out of his net after a
With United again demonstrating their inability to serve up successive 45
minute chunks of good form we were seldom seen as a forward force and began to
retreat further and sit deeper - giving Villa every encouragement to dominate,
although they creating few genuine opportunities.
clearances from Coloccini and Taylor followed as attempts to clear our
lines got ever more frantic and wasteful, with reinforcements from the bench
desperately required. And although our eventual success in this game meant that
the nature of our replacements was glossed over, concerns remained - and at the
time were the subject of much conjecture, if not booing.
Jonas in particular looked to be running on empty out on the left, but the
first change saw the combative James Perch make way for Shola Ameobi, who
seemed not to have received the instruction to actually run around....
Now lacking a player prepared to go toe to toe with Villa, the pressure
increased and Anita's arrival saw him replace the
tiring Gouffran: perhaps a less contentious
replacement than the equally fatigued Cabaye, given the negative reaction from
the SJP crowd against Reading.
In fairness, Sissoko was by now visibly wilting and our final replacement saw Mapou
Yanga-Mbiwa introduced to English football in a central midfield role that did
nothing to help him settle For Shola to be by then acting as a makeshift third central defender
while Mapou wandered around in midfield in a daze, showed that we were
well and truly in panic mode.
Before that replacement, Steven Taylor had actually come over to the bench and told our new no.13 to sit back
down again after he was stripped and ready to replace the number 27 - who was
by then routinely coming
second best to Benteke as his lack of match fitness became more evident.
That was an
off-the-cuff, on the pitch decision that could have been calamitous and one
that should have been made by those paid to do so. Thankfully it didn't matter,
Entering the closing stages, time seemed to stand still as Villa launched wave
upon wave of attacks, although many elongated passes into the box were harmless
and second balls invariably dropped to a black and white shirt. At this point,
our hopes of victory
were genuinely in the balance - with both Anita and Ameobi struggling with the pace
despite only recently arriving.
A flick of the boot by Jonas on the line and then a vital tackle by makeshift
midfielder Yanga-Mbiwa kept Krul's goal intact as captain Colo and his men
threw themselves in the way of everything.
Both Debuchy and Cabaye were nursing knocks as the clock inched forward towards the 90
minute mark and then agonisingly through an additional five minutes (although
in truth we'd wasted at least that) with Cabaye by now treading water as a
Somehow though, United held out to secure a first away win of the season. And
amid the inevitable relief and euphoria, banishing the memories of that relegation nightmare on this ground and at the
same time dropping Villa deeper into the mire was cause for much celebration. The new arrivals certainly gave the side a boost but perhaps it was the
decision of our captain to stay and fight, that was the difference between
delight and despair, as he inspired his side to success.
Despite the positivity that this result engendered, our second half performance was as shambolic as it was
heroic and while our French foreign legion was instrumental in the victory,
their contribution could have been catastrophic.
Debuchy's ludicrous challenge on Agbonlahor for the penalty was
worryingly unprofessional, given that Pardew's half-time rabble-rousing must
have also hammered home the point about keeping things tight for 15 minutes,
frustrating the home fans, giving them nothing to build on etc. etc.
It was also admitted by our manager that the "French lads tired"
although that was a massive understatement as Gouffran and Sissoko were out on
their feet well before their replacement. Both had played their part and "hit
the ground running" but it'll be some time before they can run at Premier League pace for 90
minutes - with Dutchman Anita arguably still not there yet.
Pardew's contention that "they are not here to save us, they are here to help us"
is crucial and Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Obertan and Marveaux need to continue
to translate the messages were given out pre-match
by Steve Harper, Shola, Taylor and others.
It's the "ancien regime" who need to do the jobs that messrs Owen, Viduka, Martins, Bassong, Duff
and Geremi failed so badly to do last time, not the new lads. Anything they
contribute is a bonus, with no less a craftsman than Thierry Henry taking the
best part of a year to settle in this league.
Quite how we got away with 45(+5) minutes of incredibly sloppy football is
inexplicable but doing so probably made it a more memorable and glorious victory. It
was scarily similar to the previous defeat at home to Reading but crucially, Villa had no
Adam Le Fondre to take advantage.
stunner had come in addition to a Cisse strike, unlike the Reading game
where it had followed a series of misses from our number nine. We needed that
cushion, as our second half display was almost as bad as Villa's in the opening
half. Thankfully though they remain a poor side with minimal investment in this
window - we should improve over the coming weeks regardless of when Ben Arfa
returns as the new lads start to gel, but Villa fans should be very, very
Having been forced to play teams composed of the players available to him for
much of this season, Pardew's selections and substitutions will be vital in the coming weeks and as the new
signings bed in, their withdrawals will need to be both timely and
thoughtful. On this occasion they were neither.
Our exit from the ground was surprisingly similar to the way we departed in the
relegation season - bolting for the exits as soon as the final whistle sounded,
leaving others to salute the team in rather better circumstances than back in
2009. The perplexity remained at what had been witnessed. but the desire to depart
this time as soon as possible was based on very different emotions.
This time we'd got away with it.