EPL: Pardew draws a blank

EPL: Pardew draws a blank
Aston Villa's Alan Hutton (L) challenges Newcastle United's Remy Cabella during their English Premier League soccer match at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England August 23, 2014.

The Magpies failed to register a shot on goal in their opening -day defeat at home to Manchester City, and this was another game of few chances, with Remy Cabella sending one wide when he might have done better and Villa keeper Brad Guzan denying both Daryl Janmaat and debutant Siem de Jong, and Pardew felt his side did enough to win.

The Magpies boss, who saw defender Mike Williamson sent off in the dying seconds having collected two yellow cards in quick succession, said: "I thought we had really good control of the game - particularly in the second half. We absolutely dominated, but couldn't find the moment.

"When you get a lot of new offensive players, they're so keen to do well. You could almost see Remy Cabella trying too hard to force the moment. You can't really do that in football - you have to let the moment come to you. I'm please d with the team. I think there's a good solid base to it. We know we need to threaten with goals and that will win us games. There were a lot of good signs again, but we haven' t scored yet and that will be hanging on us." On whether he planned any more transfer activity before the window closes on September 1, he added: "We've got our finger on the pulse, as we've shown all summer.

"Whether we can get another body in or even two before the window shuts, I don't know, but I think there will be some movement - maybe one or two going out as well. We'll see." While Pardew can take some comfort from the performance and outcome  which halted a five game losing streak away from home from the end of last season - there was little to cheer Villa manager Paul Lambert, whose side rarely threatened.

EMBARRASSING

Watched from the stands by England manager Roy Hodgson, it was Villa who actually appeared likelier to score early on, with Gabriel Agbonlahor having a shot blocked by Williamson in the fifth minute.

Williamson nodded tamely wide at the other end, then diverted a Villa cross to the Newcastle far po st, where Charles N'Zobgia could only head it onto the top of the net. Yoan Gouffran had an embarrassing moment soon after as he completely mis-kicked while trying to convert a flicked-on Magpies corner.

Former Newcastle winger N'Zogbia looked more potent in the 17th minute as he curled a free-kick narrowly wide. The visitors then saw a free-kick of their own sent high over the bar by Jack Colback, before Cabella passed up a good opportunity in the 25th minute, shooting wide while off-balance after the ball deflected his way in the area.

It proved to be the clearest-cut chance of a half which saw the Villa fans regularly chanting Roy Keane's name wh en the assistant manager made his feelings known in animated fashion .

The deadlock was closer to being broken shortly after the interval when Williamson nodded back to the diving Janmaat, whose header was parried over by Guzan.

Janmaat then arrowed a strike just the wrong side of the top corner with Guzan at full stretch, and the away team's pressure continued as the ball dropped nicely for Williamson in front of goal, only for the defender to be come the latest player to completely fluff his attempted finish.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time wh en Williamson picked up his second booking in the space of just a few minutes following a challenge on Fabian Delph.


This article was first published on August 25, 2014.
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