Date: Monday 20th February 2017, 8pm
Live on Sky Sports
Venue: St. James' Park
2 - 0
mins A flag kick from "Firebomb
Corner" was quickly taken by Matt Ritchie, who exchanged passes with
Jonjo Shelvey before swinging it left-footed into the Villa box. Jamaal
Lascelles attempted to head it goalwards only for Mile Jedinak to stick out
a foot and block it.
The ball travelled a short distance before Mitrovic hooked it back goalwards
as he went to ground, falling for Ciaran Clark to instinctively get a boot
on it, diverting it into the path of Jedinak again.
The Australian midfielder's second attempt at a clearance was no better than
the first, and Yoan Gouffran poked the gift into the roof of the
Leazes End net from around three yards 1-0
Newcastle 1 Villa 0
59 mins Another corner and another goal, this one taken by Shelvey from
the Strawberry Corner (and earned by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone blocking
Shelvey's dipping free kick). The ball dropped towards the near post on the
edge of Villa's six yard box, Lascelles reaching it ahead of Tommy Elphick
and flicking it towards the net.
Stationed on the front post, Henri Lansbury had the task of clearing
the danger, but could only touch the ball onto the goal frame, the rebound
hitting his heel and diverting into the net. He clutched the post in
despair, while Shelvey and Lascelles led the celebrations in front of the
Strawberry Corner - the latter later admitting he thought he'd scored until
hearing Lansbury announced over the PA amid great applause.
Seconds before that announcement, the goal was replayed on the big screen at
the Leazes End, with those underneath it celebrating more lustily as they
realised who had scored. Class! 2-0
Newcastle 2 Villa 0
is a very difficult division. Every game is tough and we were playing against a
good team with very good players.
"They pressed well at the beginning and it wasn't easy
for us to play how we wanted.
"We needed to score to open up the game, and after the second goal it was
more open. We had more chances and more control of the game.
"The idea was
to play as well as possible because then you have more chances to win games. We
knew it could be difficult, but at the same time we know to keep going and keep
pushing then we'll have chances.
"Dwight Gayle seemed like he wasn't comfortable from
the beginning and then he said he was feeling something in his hamstring. We
don't know how serious it is. We have to wait."
Big Daddy said:
"We were better but unfortunately what weíve just witnessed
there is us. Weíve done OK but given a poor goal away. They are two
horrible goals to lose a game up here, thatís our achilles heel at the
"Weíve created three or four chances and we couldnít take one.
"The first goal is an awful goal
and if thatís not bad enough we give another one away 10 minutes later.
We make basic mistakes and every one is being punished.
"If that (own) goal doesnít sum us up then I donít know
what does. Itís hideous. I donít want to see it again because it was
bad enough the first time.
"All in all a very disappointing night. Itís been a tough eight
weeks and to be honest Iíve not known anything like it.
"I canít remember us getting two horrible scrappy goals like they
got tonight - Newcastle needed that to be fair because I thought we were
the better side."
A few weeks old, but still worth posting
Brucey in a kebab shop. No salad, thanks.
SJP - last 20:
2016/17 Won 2-0 Gouffran, og(Lansbury)
2015/16 Drew 1-1 Coloccini
2014/15 Won 1-0 Cisse
2013/14 Won 1-0 Remy
2012/13 Drew 1-1 Ben Arfa
2011/12 Won 2-1 Ba, Cisse
2010/11 Won 6-0 Barton, Nolan 2, Carroll 3
2008/09 Won 2-0 Martins 2
2007/08 Drew 0-0
2006/07 Won 3-1 Milner, Dyer, Sibierski
2005/06 Drew 1-1 Shearer (pen)
2004/05 Lost 0-3
2003/04 Drew 1-1 Robert
2002/03 Drew 1-1 Solano
2001/02 Won 3-0 Bellamy 2, Shearer
2000/01 Won 3-1 Glass, Cort, OG
2000/01 Drew 1-1 Solano (FAC)
1999/00 Lost 0-1
1998/99 Won 2-1 Shearer, Ketsbaia
1997/98 Won 1-0 Beresford
That's no win at SJP for Villa in their last eleven visits, since the
infamous 0-3 game of April 2005, when United ended with eight men on the
And the Villans have now failed to beat us home or away in twelve attempts,
since their 1-0 success at Villa Park in April 2011.
Matt Ritchie's home scoring run ended after netting in five successive
league and cup games at SJP - a tally that equals Papiss Cisse in 2012/13 and
Alan Shearer during 2003/04. The last player to manage more than five was Les
Ferdinand in 1995/96 (seven games).
Yoan Gouffran netted his nineteenth Newcastle goal - and seventh of the
season, matching his best-ever tally for the club, which was set during the
Henri Lansbury netted the second own goal of the season in Newcastle's
favour, fellow Villan Tommy Elphick managing the first at Villa Park in
United enjoyed a 1-0 interval lead for the thirteenth time in 36 league and cup
games this season. They've gone on to win 11 of those, drawn one (1-1 Villa
away) and lost one (1-2 Forest away).
This was Newcastle's first Monday victory in twelve attempts, since Demba
Ba's brace and Gael Bigirimana's only competitive goal for the club overcame
Wigan 3-0 at SJP in December 2012.
NUFC last 13 Monday matches:
Dec 2012 Wigan (h) won 3-0
Dec 2012 Fulham (a) lost 1-2
Aug 2013 Man City (a) lost 0-4
Sep 2013 Everton (a) lost 2-3
Apr 2014 Arsenal (a) lost 0-3
Sep 2014 Stoke (a) lost 0-1
Apr 2015 Liverpool (a) lost 0-2
Sep 2015 West Ham (a) lost 0-2
Dec 2015 West Brom (a) lost 0-1
Mar 2016 Leicester (a) lost 0-1
Dec 2016 Sheffield Wednesday (h) lost 0-1
Jan 2017 Blackburn Rovers (a) lost 0-1
Feb 2017 Aston Villa (h) won 2-0
This was the tenth time Steve Bruce has
squeezed into the away dugout at SJP during his managerial career. He's now lost
five, won three and drawn two:
2016/17 Newcastle 2-0 Aston Villa
2014/15 Newcastle 2-2 Hull City
2013/14 Newcastle 2-3 Hull City
2010/11 Newcastle 5-1 mackems
2008/09 Newcastle 2-2 Wigan Athletic
2006/07 Newcastle 1-5 Birmingham City
2005/06 Newcastle 1-0 Birmingham City
2004/05 Newcastle 2-1 Birmingham City
2003/04 Newcastle 0-1 Birmingham City
2002/03 Newcastle 1-0 Birmingham City
Although we've played Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City more
times than Villa in all competitions home and away, only Man City have been
beaten the same number of times (71) and we've now scored one more goal against
This was our 49th success at Gallowgate against Villa - more than any other club
- and the 164 goals netted on Tyneside against them is the most by some
distance. Tonight was Villa's first league visit for a non-top flight game here
since February 1938, a game that we won 2-0.
returned to the top
of the table as a result of this victory, on what was ultimately a very happy
Monday indeed for Rafa Benitez and his side.
The performance may not have been a classic - while a recurrence of Dwight
Gayle's hamstring issues gave cause for concern - but the comedy provided by
Villa was absolutely priceless.
Visiting manager Steve Bruce had urged Henri Lansbury to enjoy the abuse from
home fans following his cheating antics when playing against us for
Nottingham Forest earlier this season.
But the ex-mackem boss - whose red and white past was loudly referenced by
home fans - couldn't possibly have foreseen that Lansbury would become the
toast of Tyneside, memorably registering an own goal to seal victory for the
revenge, karma, come-uppance, call it what you like, this was beyond
satisfying - and infinitely preferable to seeing the preening twit either sent
off or carried off.
Lansbury's 59th minute effort made it 2-0 to the home side, after Yoan
Gouffran's seventh goal of the season had given United an interval lead that
they never really looked like surrendering.
Naming nine of the side that started at Norwich, Benitez added Mo Diame and
Dwight Gayle in place of Ayoze Perez and Alesksandar Mitrovic. However
the Serbian would make his entrance barely half an hour into the game,
replacing Gayle after he suffered a recurrence of his hamstring problems.
The Magpies had struggled to fashion anything in the way of scoring chances
and Villa had come closest to an opener, Karl Darlow beating away a deflected
cross by Jonathan Kodjia.
In keeping with much of what preceded it, Gouffran's goal was a messy affair -
finding the Leazes net from close range after a scramble in the box following
a 42nd minute corner.
Lascelles was also
involved in our second, side-footing Shelvey's corner goalwards for Lansbury
obligingly helped it over the line. The cheers that greeted the
announcement of his OG were huge - and as were choruses of "One Henri
Lansbury" replacing, "Henri Lansbury is a w*nker".
Darlow made a fine stop from Birkir Bjarnason to keep it at 2-0 but there were
no more second half scares as United coasted home, Matt Ritchie and Jack
Colback both close to adding a third.
Villa were reduced to ten men for the six minutes of added time when Scott
Hogan's ankle crumpled beneath him with all three subs already used, but the
game was already well won by that stage.
With Gayle joining Hayden on the sidelines, there was a measure of
satisfaction (and relief) at seeing both Colback and Mitrovic supply
confidence-boosting performances here, both showing much-needed discipline and
The reaction to the flags and banner-led call to arms was also encouraging,
inspiring some of those within the ground and improving the atmosphere
immeasurably from the last weeknight home game, against QPR. Having said that,
the absence of a breakthrough in the first half did cause noise levels to dip
- despite the continuing Rafa chants from the Strawberry Corner.
It's difficult to gauge how important these visible shows of support of the
team in general and the manager in particular are, but after doubts arose in
January over our future direction they seem both significant and
The presence of Benitez in the dugout gives this club credence and maintains a
level of interest in us overseas that a second tier football club has no right
to expect. If there's a genuine desire to progress, then he gives us colossal
advantage when it comes to profile raising and opportunities to increase our
commercial worth. For the fans, we just want to see the team perform and
achieve something rather better than striving for fourth bottom of the top
league with a puppet.
Leading Spanish football newspaper AS carried a report of this match
and made specific reference to the new Rafa banner, calling it "a new
gesture of admiration", with "new banners to encourage the
team and give colour to the stands at St James' Park". Similar flags
for messrs Pardew, McClaren - and Carr - remain mysteriously unordered.
As for that United banner, there's no more visible affirmation of the unity
that currently exists - its presence in the ground at all proof of a more
enlightened attitude at SJP. It seems a far cry from "Cockney Mafia
Out", but parallels between Keegan and Benitez can still be drawn all too
The biggest battles this season may yet be off the pitch.