Newcastle United beat Aston Villa 2-1
London: Newcastle earned their first away win of the season as strikes from Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye saw off Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park.
The Magpies took the lead in the 19th minute as new signing Moussa Sissoko found the Senegalese striker inside the area, who made no mistake with a smart finish.
After Charles N’Zogbia struck the post for the home side, Cabaye doubled the visitors’ lead with a spectacular volley into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Benteke converted from the penalty spot just five minutes after the break but Villa failed to find the all-important equaliser as the away side held on for vital three points.
Paul Lambert made three changes to his team that lost to Millwall in the FA Cup last Friday with Christian Benteke Nathan Baker and Barry Bannan recalled in place of Fabian Delph, Andreas Weimann and Eric Lichaj.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew handed debuts to new signings Yoan Gouffran and Sissoko while fellow new-boy Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had to settle for a place on the bench. Steven Taylor replaced Mike Willliamson in central defence while James Perch came in for Vurnon Anita.
The Magpies started the game on the front foot and controlled the early stages and nearly took the lead inside five minutes when Mathieu Debuchy’s cross ricocheted kindly for Jonas Gutierrez, but the Argentine’s snap shot at goal was blocked by Ciaran Clark.
Pardew’s side upped the pressure on the Villa goal and duly took the lead in the 19th minute through Cisse, who dispatched an effort low past Brad Guzan after latching onto Sissoko’s defence-splitting through-ball.
Villa responded almost immediately when N’Zogbia drove at the Newcastle defence and fired a vicious 25-yard shot at goal. The ball beat the outstretched hand of Tim Krul but clattered against the post before being hacked clear.
This misfortune was to cost Lambert’s side as Newcastle doubled their lead through a fantastic strike from Cabaye soon after, the midfielder finding the top corner with a superb volley after Gutierrez’s cross was headed into his path by defender Ron Vlaar.
After the break, Villa came out fighting and tested Krul immediately through substitute Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke, with the front pairing seeing efforts paired by the Dutchman when well placed inside the box.
Lambert’s side’s luck began to change when substitute Agbonlahor was fouled in the penalty area by Debuchy, although contact looked to be minimal. Benteke made no mistake converting the spot-kick into the bottom corner, sending Krul the wrong way.
This further inspired Villa to push forward and they should have been level when Weimann was put through on goal, but he was unable to beat Krul with a dipping effort from a tight angle.
The Magpies backline was almost unlocked late on when Baker rose highest to meet a corner, but Gutierrez was there to make a crucial block to deny the defender as the visitors held on for a long-overdue victory.