Newcastle finally registered a home victory at the sixth attempt yesterday, but they left it until virtually the last kick of the game to do so.
A strike from Loic Remy in the third minute of stoppage time gave United the points after a forgetful game of football which had 0-0 written all over it.
To be honest I think United just about deserved the win on chances created as Paul Lambert’s pre-match proclamation of starting on the front foot never came to pass.
The home side were understandably edgy and the lack of confidence was visible in a first half which saw Loic Remy and Papiss Cisse spurn decent chances in front of the Leazes whilst Gabriel Agbonlahor will perhaps feel he should have done more with a couple of chances which proved to be Villa’s only real threat of the match.
The second half was a bit better with Vurnon Anita attempting to drive things on from midfield. However it was the introduction of another Dutchman that tipped the game in our favour.
Luuk de Jong offered us a link between midfield and attack and his willingness to close things down nearly resulted in the home side taking the lead after he robbed possession from the Villa defence on the by-line before squaring the ball across the box to an onrushing Loic Remy who had the simple task of guiding the ball into a half-empty net only to see his effort rebound off the post.
That was until de Jong’s deflected shot fell to Loic Remy deep into stoppage time. The French striker had his back to goal and was being marshalled closely by Ron Vlaar but his quick turn and thumping shot flew into the back of the net ensuring that it was United who picked up the points on offer.
All in all it wasn’t a great game and certainly won’t be listed anywhere near the top of our best performances, but it was a win which is what was needed above and beyond everything. The proverbial monkey off our back has been removed now and hopefully this result can inject some belief back into a squad that has lost direction in recent weeks.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko, Cheik Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran; Loic Remy, Papiss Cisse
Subs: Rob Elliott, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Luuk de Jong
Aston Villa: Brad Guzan; Leandro Bacuna, Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker, Ryan Bertrand; Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph, Karim El Ahmadi; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke, Andreas Weimann
Subs: Jed Steer, Yacouba Sylla, Grant Holt, Ciaran Clark, Marc Albrighton, Aleksandar Tonev, Joe Bennett