Alan Shearer's first goal in more than 1,000 minutes of FA Carling Premiership
Newcastle United onto the victory trail against Aston Villa.
man headed home Stephen Glass' cross after just four minutes, and Temuri
Ketsbaia made it two
pulled a goal back with a fine shot, but the 2-1 scoreline did not truly
were strangely indifferent, especially at the back, and looked toothless
up front until they sniffed the
Gullit's side created more than enough opportunities to win comfortably,
only keeper Michael Oakes and
led the way with a sterling display, and there were good performances
too from Ketsbaia
was hit yet again by his injury jinx, with defenders Laurent Charvet
and Andy Griffin failing late
Villa started with Merson and Julian Joachim in attack, but troubled
insisted this week that things were starting to come right for his team,
and the evidence of the
United were rampant in attack and effective at the back, and Shearer's early strike did wonders for their confidence.
striker, skipper in the absence of the injured Rob Lee, powered home
frustrated at his lack of opportunities under Gullit, continued to state
his case with the sort
went into referee Rob Harris' notebook for carrying on with his shot
neat ball inside former Magpie Steve Watson was perfect for Glass, and
when he slid his cross along the
And it could have been even better for the Magpies.
had already had an effort chalked off for pushing when Gary Speed found
stepped inside Gareth Southgate and laid the ball back for Ketsbaia,
but although he connected well
Villa had little of any value to look back on, Joachim going wide with
a clever volley
But more worrying was their frailty at the back with Shearer giving Southgate a torrid time.
problems were not helped when Ugo Ehiogu had to leave the field after
getting a kick in
continued in similar vein after the break, Oakes turning away Dietmar
But Villa got themselves back into the game after 61 minutes with a superb strike from Merson.
Barry's ball was laid off by Joachim and the former Arsenal and Middlesbrough
But United seemed undeterred, and went on to create a hatful of further chances.
shot just over after Harris unwittingly deflected Speed's ball into
the box, and Oakes produced a fine stop
Andersson, on for Ketsbaia, should have done better when he got away
from Riccardo Scimeca but shot
went high with a diving header from substitute Brady's 82nd minute cross,
but Given had to be on his toes
keeper was grateful too see a Merson volley fly just wide deep into
injury-time as Villa gave it one last throw