Newcastle United 1 Aston Villa 0 match report: Loic Remy makes striking impression to take the heat off Alan Pardew

Pardew's team end a run of three successive Premier League defeats

St james' park

Alan Pardew instinctively thrust his right arm into the air. He was immediately engulfed by his back room staff. He did not run and he did not jump into the arms of supporters, as he had done last season, when in the closing stages of a campaign haunted by relegation, a late goal against Fulham brought delirium and relief tumbling down from the St James’ Park stands.

This time, after another dramatic, late, winning goal, when there were less than 90 seconds of injury-time remaining on Martin Atkinson’s stopwatch, Pardew pushed his two chief lieutenants, John Carver and Andy Woodman, to one side, and pointed defiantly towards the Milburn Stand, where he drew a smile across his face. That, he would reveal later, was in reaction to stories that he had to win this game to save his job, something that had been vehemently denied by the club. He was not finished. Then came more looks to the area to the side of his dugout, from where one vociferous fan had demanded to know, when the game was locked in a grim, goalless stalemate, what had been happening at the training ground for the previous four days. In the joy of that moment, however, anger was dissipating rapidly. There came a volley of applause from that small area of the ground, Pardew responded by applauding them back. It was not his goal, but after seven hours and 40 minutes without one, the relief and the lessening of the heat he had been feeling in 2014 was all too obvious.

As he pointed and proved points, Loic Remy, the goalscorer and mood changer of a football club and a city, took off his shirt and stood triumphantly on top of the electronic advertising hoarding in the corner of the Gallowgate End. He was mobbed by his team-mates. St James’ Park, which had only came to life in the 80th minute, when the excellent Mike Williamson produced a fine, saving challenge on Christian Benteke, exploded. The emotional spectrum swings with alarming speed from despair to delight. There had been more suggestions of protest beforehand. It was a flat atmosphere and Aston Villa, for whom Ashley Westwood was outstanding, had missed fine chances through  Karim el Ahmadi and Gabriel Agbonlahor in a one-sided first half. The second half was marginally better, and then, after that tackle, as a slightly perplexed Pardew correctly called, the ground and the team came to life.

“This stadium is like a breathing, living animal,” said Pardew. “We needed it to come alive to help us.”

It did, and then, with just two minutes remaining, after good work from Luuk de Jong, the game opened up for Remy. To the horror of his manager – and the colour in his face drained when he span to face the crowd this time –  the French forward struck a post. It seemed improbable that another chance would come, but once more it did, again after work by De Jong. This time, with the game at 91 minutes and 30 seconds, Remy showed breathtaking composure inside the Aston Villa penalty area, wrong-footing Ron Vlaar before cooly stroking his left-foot shot past Brad Guzan.

“His all-round game was terrific,” added Pardew. “The game seemed a little bit slower when he was on the ball, not as frantic. The quality players can slow the game down, like Cruyff. He can do that. He is going to be hot property.”

Remy very deliberately climbed the same advertising hoarding he had stood on in triumph following his goal at the game’s finish and gave his shirt to a young fan. He then pointed towards John Carver as he left the field and later revealed he had dedicated his goal to the Newcastle assistant manager following the recent death of his father, Fred.

For Remy, it was the end of an emotional period in his own life. Rape charges against him were dropped earlier in the month. This was his first game since then, and also since serving a three-game suspension after being sent off at Norwich.

“Until the game is finished I trust I can score and that is what happened,” he said. “I never felt my chance had gone. The last few games have been very difficult. We are now very relieved.”

No one more so than his manager.

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
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
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
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
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

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