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
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine