Newcastle earned a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday after goals from their Senegalese strikers Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. Robbie Keane was Villa’s best player on the day and scored for the Midlands club.
Newcastle deserved their win and will be delighted with the performances of Ba and Cisse. Aston Villa were the more dangerous side in the first half, however.
Charles N’Zogbia has shown improved performances of late and had the first shot in anger, but his effort went left and wide.
Bent had a gilt-edged chance in the 13th minute. Robbie Keane, who was Villa’s star performaer in the first half, played a great ball through to Bent and the striker’s shot was saved by Tim Krul. Stiliyan Petrov’s shot moments later went straight at the Newcastle player.
Papiss Demba Cisse came on for the injured Leon Best early on and had the first chance of his Newcastle career in the 17th minute. The Senegalese striker headed on a cross, but Shay Given saved easily. The ball broke to Ryan Taylor at the edge of the box but he shot well over.
Bent was denied again by Krul in the 27th minute. The England striker was played in by another quality Keane pass and his quick shot was well saved by the Newcastle stopper
Demba Ba was playing his first match since returning from the African Cup of Nations and he did not miss a beat as he scored in the 30th minute. Ryan Taylor tried to shoot but a heavy Stephen Warnock challenge made him mishit his shot. Ba controlled it in the six yard box and finished easily.
Cisse almost opened his Newcastle account in first half injury time. The striker ghosted into the area but his header went just wide.
Six minutes of injury were added at the end of the first half due to Taylor’s injury and Robbie Keane equalised in the fifth minute of time added on. N’Zogbia made a good run down the left side of the Newcastle box before crossing. Keane beat his marker and finished well.
There was a slow start to the second half and the first real opportunity came in the 61st minute. Gabriel Obertan crossed to the back post and Danny Guthrie played the ball into the area. Papiss Cisse headed just over, however.
Villa’s first chance of the second period came in the 69th minute. Warnock sent a low cross into the Newcastle box and Darren Bent’s shot was blocked.
Cisse scored a brilliant goal to give Newcastle the lead in the 72nd minute. Demba Ba crossed and Cisse controlled well on the edge of the box before finishing with aplomb into the top left hand corner.
Newcastle tried to drive home their advantage after Cisse’s goal. Perch shot just wide with an ambitious long-range effort in the 79th minute. Cisse then ran onto the ball in the 81st minute and unleashed a powerful shot on goal. Carlos Cueller managed to get a leg to the ball and divert it wide.
Villa had a couple of chances to salvage a draw in the closing moments and Ciaran Clark had a good chance in the 84th minute. Bent ran on to a through ball and played it back to Clark on the edge of the box. The Irish defender struck a powerful shot, which was punched away by Tim Krul.
A minute later, Gardner had an opportunity in a similar position but shot weakly wide.
In the 87th minute, Barry Bannan crossed and Gary Gardner headed goalwards. Krul did well to save and prevent Emile Heskey from getting to the rebound.