Feb 23, 2014, 10:53 AM EST
Newcastle fans have waited long enough for a goal.
The Magpies left it late and frustrated the fans of St. James Park on numerous occasions, but Loic Remy atoned for a horrific miss just minutes earlier by bagging Newcastle’s first goal in their last six games to earn a big win.
The home side had gone 450 minutes without scoring before Remy sent a defender to the ground and thundered home the winner two minutes into stoppage time.
It was a deserved win for Newcastle, who had pummeled Brad Guzan‘s net for 90 minutes. Until the winner, the American had been up to the challenge, but the pressure was just too much in the end.
Aston Villa very early on utilized an effective offsides trap, and it pegged the Newcastle strikers back much to their dismay. It forced the pair to rethink their runs, causing the Magpies to play in a way that nullified their strengths, and Brad Guzan kept hold of the clean sheet on multiple occasions.
The hosts were clearly on the front foot early on, making numerous attempts – almost successfully – to slot through both Loic Remy and Papiss Cisse. Moussa Sissoko was bright in the midfield, coming close to sending the strikers through a few times.
The visitors at the back continued to play their offsides trap, catching the pair of Newcastle strikers straying too far forward thrice in the opening 25 minutes.
A rather plain first half nearly ended with a bang, but Papiss Cisse took the best chance of the opening 45 and blazed it way over the goal. The Senegalese received a ball from Loic Remy all alone in the middle of the box, but without time for a touch he fired right away and put it into row Z.
It would have been an outstanding way for the home side to end the first half, literally on the last kick before the whistle. However, Newcastle’s most dangerous player thus far failed to capitalize.
The second half saw more offsides traps from Aston Villa, all successful in halting Newcastle’s attack. The home side was well on top, but they were forced to build around the wings, clearly not Pardew’s original tactics.
Paul Dummett, Newcastle’s left-back, had a great attempt, receiving a dish at the top of the box and looking to curl the ball into the corner but it flashed over the bar.
Dummett’s attempt marked Newcastle’s supremacy, and just after it was Yoan Gouffran who came close to opening the scoring.
Finally things opened up in the final 10 minutes as both sides threw caution to the wind. Loic Remy tested Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan but the American saved well diving down low, again ensuring his outstanding match.
Villa went to counter, but Benteke couldn’t slot through Agbonlahor and Newcastle retained possession and poured on more pressure. With just a minute remaining in regulation, the hosts produced their best chance of the day but still couldn’t capitalize.
Luuk de Jong dispossessed Ron Vlaar deep in Villa’s half, and in the disarray Remy was alone in the box. De Jong found him, but the Frenchman with the goal gaping hit the post and Newcastle’s brilliant opportunity vanished.
It appeared that would be their final chance, but as stoppage time came, they got one more opportunity. After De Jong picked up the ball at the top corner of the box, he cut back inside and fired on goal.
The shot was immediately blocked, but it fell to Remy who settled with one touch, cut back the other way sending Vlaar to the ground, and unleashed the winner past Guzan.
Newcastle’s victory is their first since January 18th and pushes them past Southampton into eighth in the table. The point would have been valuable to Aston Villa if they could have held on, but instead they remain mired in 13th, four points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle – Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Tiote (Gosling 89′), Anita, Gouffran; Remy, Cisse (de Jong 72′).
Goals: Remy (90+2′)
Aston Villa – Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand (Bennett 76′); Westwood (Sylla 61′), Delph, El Ahmadi, Weimann; Benteke, Agbonlahor.
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