Newcastle vs Aston Villa match report: Papiss Cisse gives John Carver a second win as manager but the wait goes on for Tim Sherwood

Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 0: Cisse's first-half goal, which he celebrated with Jonas Gutierrez on the Newcastle bench, saw Carver's side get back to winning ways

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The Independent Football

Just shy of six years ago, Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League at Villa Park on the final day of the season. There were mocking banners and much derision from Aston Villa’s supporters.

There is a cyclical nature to much of football. Aston Villa are not relegated but their latest loss, their seventh straight in the league, means they are beginning to realise next season could be one spent in the Championship.

It is a sobering thought and it is one reason why the Aston Villa support was so large at St James’ Park yesterday. In the game’s closing moments, when they could not make use of the six added minutes that the referee, Lee Mason, added to the game, they were taunted by Newcastle’s fans. “You’re not laughing anymore,” they sang.

There is no laughter coming from anyone at Villa. They have taken three points from the last 36 available. It is a chronic run and the enormity of the task at hand for their new manager, Tim Sherwood, is sinking in. Newcastle are no great shakes and would have been beaten once more by a decent side but Villa, for all their honest endeavour, are not that.

They could rightly feel hard done by in defeat. For at least the opening half they were the side with greater desire and urgent intent. Christian Benteke volleyed narrowly wide and was denied by a fine save from Tim Krul when he went for glory with an overhead kick. Both Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood could also have put the visitors ahead before they switched off in the 37th minute and gifted the lead to their hosts, who had been stuffed 5-0 at Manchester City in their previous game.

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Jonas Gutierrez enjoys the warm-up ahead of Newcastle v Aston Villa

Daryl Janmaat, one of the few successes for Newcastle this season, crossed from the right and Papiss Cisse (right) controlled the ball and then fired his side to victory.

Sherwood could not believe how simple the goal had been. “We were the better team in the first half,” he said. “As the game wore on, we had a bit of anxiety and we tried to hit the front men too early. We tried to mix it up, we wanted to stretch them.

“What I saw today was a lot of desire and heart and running. We need to see more quality. We have to take something from every game. We need six wins to the end of the season. We have 11 games left.”

For Villa, with 22 points in 19th place, it is a huge ask. They thought they had equalised in the 71st minute when Benteke shot past Krul after a low Westwood cross, only for the effort to be ruled out for offside. Fabricio Coloccini also made a great block to deny Westwood.

Newcastle struck the woodwork, through the substitute Ayoze Perez, and Gabriel Obertan should have done better after breaking through.

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Cisse celebrates with his Newcastle team-mates

The day’s greatest cheer had come earlier, when Jonas Gutierrez, on his way back after cancer, had warmed up, although he spent the game on the bench.

“I think we got a battling response,” said the Newcastle head coach, John Carver. “It wasn’t scintillating football. There were two nervous sides but the result was more important than the performance. It’s been a long week after last weekend. The players were a bit nervous and I was a bit nervous. The expectancy of this crowd is huge.

“I know it wasn’t pretty and not breathtaking but it was a win and that’s the important thing.

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Papiss Cisse celebrates his goal against Aston Villa with Jonas Gutierrez

“When you come off the back of a 5-0 drubbing, it’s pleasing that we kept a clean sheet. We’ve dug in there and fought every inch of the way to get a result.”

Newcastle United: (4-2-2) Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara (Taylor, 61); Obertan (Gouffran, 78), Sissoko, Abeid, Ameobi; Cisse, Riviere (Perez, 73).

Aston Villa: (4-4-1-1) Guzan; Hutton, Okore, Clark, Lowton (Bacuna, 82); Cleverley, Westwood, Delp, Sinclair (N’Zogbia, 66); Agbonlahor (Weimann, 73); Benteke.

Referee: Lee Mason

Man of the match: Colocinni (Newcastle)

Match rating: 6/10

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