Newcastle United lost their star assest Joey Barton on a free transfer over the summer, due to comments made on Twitter. Aston Villa lost their star assests Stewart Downing, Ashely Young and Brad Friedel noteably during the transfer window. Who would have thought that the Toon were in a very similar position to us? Unbeaten and big players leaving.
Both teams continued their unbeaten starts to the Barclays Premier League after the points were shared despite the lacklustre preformance the Claret and Blue’s feed their hungry fans with.
Local boy Gabby Agbonlahor scored his third of the season, a blistering start to the campaign after a frustrating, injury hit season under the Frenchman Houiller, from 10 yards on 15 minutes.
Earning Newcastle a well deserved point, Leon Best hit the back of the net after Shay Given saved his inital header.
Going into the game many fans were optimisic, many wanting the win, however their’s heads telling them get another draw. I was also in a positive mind, expecting a win yet knowing it would be a difficult game. I was also secretly hoping that Stephen Ireland might start in place of an injured Emile Heskey. Ireland has a lot to prove, not just to Villa fans but to the media. Hidden in the shadows, forced out by Mancini and Gerard Houllier, he has been patiently waiting for his chance to shine. McLeish has given him that oppurtunity yet hasn’t played a full ninety minutes in a Premeir League game this season.
Instead of Ireland, Scotland whizz-kid Barry Bannan was named in the starting line-up, may I add an attacking team on paper.
Aston Villa started off the first half with a fast-tempo pace and some neat passing in the final third, despite Newcastle’s quick start. Gabby’s goal, although some may say against the run of play, came from a quick break. Newcastle’s near miss at the other end was then rued as Barry Bannan crossed a beauty into the box which Agbonlahor scuffed at first to then react quickest too when the rebiund came of Coloccini.
For the following ten minutes Aston Villa took control and produced several chances to edge their noses in front by two or three. Bannan’s perfectly lobbed effort just inches away and poacher Darren Bent should have doubled the lead when Stan Petrov’s squared cross feel to his feet.
United ended the half, dominating.
Villa came out of the block’s the fastest to start the second half. Gabby’s shot just sizzling wide of the post. However, in a complete copy of the our goal, Newcastle equalized through Best against the run of play.
Tiote’s deep cross was met by Best, who powered a header downwards. Irish keeper Given kept it out but the ball fell perfectly for the striker who tucked in from point-blank range.