Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United  1 - 2

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Premier League: Newcastle 3 Chelsea 2

2 February 2013 18:18

Moussa Sissoko scored twice as Newcastle United overcame Chelsea 3-2 in a thriller at St James' Park on Saturday.

Jonas Gutierrez flicked a header home to give the hosts the lead, but Frank Lampard and Juan Mata turned the English Premier League clash on its head after the break.

But Sissoko, a January signing from Ligue 1 side Toulouse, struck twice to earn Newcastle a crucial victory.

On his return to Newcastle, Chelsea striker Demba Ba was booed and jeered whenever the ball went near him in a quiet start that saw Petr Cech make simple saves from Yoan Gouffran and Davide Santon.

The visitors worked their way into the match patiently and should have taken the lead on 15 minutes.

Mata's excellent chipped pass found Ashley Cole on the left and his cut-back fell to Lampard, but the midfielder lashed over with his left foot.

Alan Pardew's side were well on top as Yohan Cabaye warmed Cech's gloves from range and Papiss Cisse wasted a gilt-edged one-on-one chance with the Czech shot-stopper.

Ba had a great chance to silence the home support as he raced clear on Tim Krul off Lampard's pass, but he fired his first effort at the Dutchman and nodded his follow-up wide while being caught in the face by Fabricio Coloccini's boot.

Cisse wasted another one-on-one after Sissoko's effort was charged down, but the home fans were soon cheering as Santon's cross from the left was flicked home by Gutierrez to give Newcastle a deserved lead.

Ba played on after his challenge with Coloccini, despite appearing to have broken his nose and having a bandage applied, but was substituted immediately after the goal, with Fernando Torres replacing him.

After 10 quiet second-half minutes, Lampard equalised in stunning fashion as the 35-year-old let a throw-in from the left run across his body before launching a 30-yard effort past Krul.

The visitors were soon in front as Branislav Ivanovic charged down the right before finding Torres, who set up Mata to curl into the far corner.

Newcastle were flagging but they rallied magnificently and, after Cisse was denied by a great intervention from John Terry, drew level as Gouffran was set clear by a long clearance.

His effort was parried by Cech into the path of Sissoko, who tucked in the rebound on his home debut.

Both sides pushed for a late winner and it was Newcastle who found it as Santon burst down the left before cutting back to Sissoko, who thundered a low effort past Cech.

Article

Pardew thrilled with Sissoko debut

30 January 2013 01:06

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has lauded Moussa Sissoko after the debutant played a key role in his team's 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Tuesday.

The French international, who joined the Premier League outfit last Friday, took just 19 minutes to make a mark in his first taste of English football by setting up Papiss Cisse for the opening goal.

Yohan Cabaye doubled Newcastle's lead before half-time and Pardew's struggling side held on to secure their first away win of the season, much to the manager's delight.

"When you're looking for players and you're trying to find the secret ingredient for your team, it's not always easy for them to come out as fit as they did in the first half," he said.

"I was a little bit surprised myself if I'm honest, Sissoko really grabbed the game by the horns, and that's what we needed."

Newcastle have added five French players during the January window, with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Mathieu Debuchy also joining, and, despite Sissoko's excellent display, Pardew feels it will take some time for the new recruits to settle in.

"The French boys certainly felt the difference between Premier League and Ligue 1," Pardew said.

"A team comes out in Ligue 1 two down, they're going to try and pass through you and create a moment, not in the Premier League, they're coming at you full steam and we got caught out there. That's where they have to learn quickly.

"We worked really hard this week on integrating players, they're not here to save us, they're here to help us. We had a nice night last night in the hotel, you kind of sensed that there was a good feeling amongst them all."

The home loss saw Villa drop into the relegation zone on goal difference as their poor run of form extended to just one win from their previous 10 Premier League outings.

But manager Paul Lambert was upbeat at full-time after a valiant second-half display nearly saw the Villans snatch a point.

"That's the first time I've seen a standing ovation when you've been beat, especially at home," Lambert said.

"But it's sometimes easy to play when you're 2-0 down because nobody expects anything then, you come out of the traps and get the early goal and you become relentless after that, but you've got to start like that."

The former Norwich boss received the public backing of owner Randy Lerner on Monday and, while often seen as a hallmark of an imminent dismissal, Lambert is keen to repay the faith shown in him and steer Villa away from danger.

"Randy's been great, I've got nothing bad to say about him and it's always good to get support from the people that hire you and all I can do is do my best to try and turn it around. I've a good relationship with him," he said.

Article

Pardew: Survival my responsibility

29 January 2013 13:56

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says the club's top-flight survival is now down to him after the arrival of five new faces in January.

Pardew's men, who sit 16th in the English Premier League, have welcomed Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Mathieu Debuchy and Massadio Haidara to St James' Park this month.

Ahead of his 100th game in charge of Newcastle against Aston Villa on Tuesday, the Englishman said he had no excuses should his side be relegated.

"I think the challenge for me is to get a team quickly here. We've worked on that. The importance of the fixture is hard for them to comprehend," he told reporters.

"What happened to this club four years ago at Aston Villa (when Newcastle were relegated) is a message that will be difficult to portray to them unless you felt it.

"The most important thing is that we get performances and we hit the ground running with this team.

"There are some players that you just know are at the level, are going to hit the ground running and I don't envisage Moussa Sissoko having a problem in this division or settling in quickly."

Pardew, 51, also underlined the importance of the club's owner Mike Ashley witnessing Newcastle's recent demoralising home defeat to relegation rivals Reading.

"I think it was a significant move that the owner was there (for the 2-1 defeat by Reading)," Pardew said.

"In some ways, it was a watershed game in terms of the problems we were having – his reaction and that of (managing director) Derek (Llambias) has been very strong.

"Therefore, when I turn around at Aston Villa I'm going to see a lot stronger bench and it gives me a much greater chance of turning a situation around or improving a situation, or actually making sure the situation doesn't change.

"I think the signings have shown he (Ashley) is committed to the club because you don't sign players at that age if you're not committed to the club.

"If it was a short-term option he probably would have given me the signal to go and buy some older players to make sure we stayed in the division. If they were any good next year, it wouldn't really matter.

"His vision is much more long-term than that and that's why we've bought the players we have. That didn't happen because of the Reading game."

Article

Premier League preview: Aston Villa v Newcastle

28 January 2013 13:13

Aston Villa and Newcastle will both attempt to arrest dramatic form slides when they meet at Villa Park on Tuesday.

Paul Lambert's men currently sit one point clear of the relegation zone and have a goal difference of minus 25 - six worse than bottom-placed Queens Park Rangers.

Having been eliminated of the FA and League Cups by lower-league opposition, Villa have also failed to win any of their last six league games dating back to a shock 3-1 triumph against Liverpool at Anfield in mid-December.

The Magpies are in the league spot directly above Villa, two points clear of the drop zone, and have lost four of their last five domestic encounters this season.

Strong rumours have persisted about Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini returning to his home country for personal reasons but it appears the Argentine will remain at the club until the end of the season.

Despite their dire form, Villa have not dipped into the transfer market because of a lack of funds and have instead decided to promote youth from within and build a young side.

Newcastle have been the opposite with manager Alan Pardew signing five French players during the January window including French internationals Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

The loss Newcastle seems to be ruing the most is the departure of talisman Demba Ba, whose absence is even more pronounced by the poor form of Papiss Cisse.

There is doubt over several Villa first-team players for the clash with Nathan Baker (hamstring), Richard Dunne (groin) and Fabien Delph (ankle) all undergoing fitness tests while Chris Herd (ankle), Marc Albrighton (ankle) and Gary Gardner (knee) will be absent.

Pardew will not be able to call upon the services of Ryan Taylor (knee), Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) and Dan Gosling (knee) with Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Danny Simpson (toe) in doubt.

The two sides met at St James' Park in September with Newcastle's Ben Arfa cancelling out Ciaran Clark's first-half goal.

Newcastle have not won at Villa Park since February 2006 but Villa have an awful home record this season scoring an equal league-low eight goals in front of their own fans.

Physical target man Christian Benteke has scored seven of Villa's 19 goals this season and Lambert will be looking for his players to provide the big Belgian with some quality service.

French international Yohann Cabaye returned from a two-month injury lay-off against Reading last weekend and Newcastle will be hoping the playmaker can get match sharp and pull the strings in midfield.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25