Aston Villa vs Newcastle match report: Honours even in dull draw at Villa Park

Aston Villa 0 Newcastle 0

Villa Park

It says everything about Aston Villa’s lack of menace yesterday that the most dangerous moment conjured up by a man in home colours came when Roy Keane (below), their new assistant manager, accidentally flung a water bottle straight at manager Paul Lambert’s private parts down in the technical area.

That symbolised the lack of cutting edge from a Villa side who, still missing the injured Christian Benteke, did not manage a single shot on target and owed the point gained against Newcastle United to Brad Guzan’s second-half saves from Daryl Janmaat and Siem de Jong.

Yet to suggest this was a straight rerun of last season’s home woes – when Villa suffered a record 10 defeats in Birmingham – would be unfair as Lambert was quick to point out afterwards. “That was a game that we’d have lost last year,” he said. “It’s a great start for us after the doom and gloom towards the end of last season. We were resolute, had another clean sheet and some really big performances.”

Villa now have four points and their first back-to-back shutouts since last November, following their opening-day win at Stoke. Not a bad start and the home fans who did turn up in the disappointingly low 30,267 crowd – a consequence partly, perhaps, of the early kick-off and the T20 finals taking place at Edgbaston – will have seen a particularly dynamic performance from Alan Hutton on his first appearance at Villa Park since May 2012. Lambert was delighted with both Hutton and his new left-back Aly Cissohko, saying: “I thought he and Cissokho were outstanding.”

It was a day for full-backs to shine given the equally impressive display from Newcastle’s £6m summer recruit Janmaat. A member of Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands World Cup side, he was up and down the right all afternoon and came as close as anybody to breaking the deadlock in the second half when he had a flying header turned over by Guzan and then shot just wide following a surge into the box.

An early run by Janmaat led to the best opening of the first half too when Yoan Gouffran’s deflected shot fell to Rémy Cabella close to goal but the French winger slipped as he shot and the ball trickled wide. With Jack Colback helping Newcastle gain control in midfield in front of watching England manager Roy Hodgson, the visitors looked increasingly likely winners.

“We absolutely dominated the second half,” said Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager. They should have won it but centre-back Mike Williamson – sent off late on for a second booking after obstructing the lively Fabian Delph – missed his kick when unmarked at the back post. Then De Jong, on his debut, failed to beat Guzan with a fierce shot after being put clear by fellow substitute Ayoze Perez. “Willo should have headed it instead of trying the left-foot volley and then Siem had a massive chance,” added Pardew, who has yet to see a Newcastle goal this term. “We’ve got a good solid team and it’s just about getting the goals.”

Lambert could say the same. Villa’s only real threat came in the first period with a Charles N’Zogbia header on to the top of the net and free-kick narrowly wide. He was able to give Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez his debut as a second-half substitute yet what Villa need above all is Benteke, whose anticipated return next month cannot come soon enough.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world