Papiss Cisse’s first-half goal was enough to keep Tim Sherwood winless in the Premier League as Aston Villa boss, as hosts Newcastle United picked up a 1-0 win at St. James Park on Saturday.
Cisse slotted home after a cross from Daryl Janmaat, and then celebrated with newly-returned cancer battler Jonas Gutierrez on the bench as the Magpies stayed 11th with 35 points.
Villa on the other hand remains in trouble, still in the relegation zone. Their 22 points are even with Burnley and QPR, but their goal differential is the worst of the three.
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Scott Sinclair nearly put Villa up before the match was 4 minutes old, tapping a cross from Christian Benteke wide from a tight angle.
And after a spell of several long clearances and bad link-ups from both sides, Benteke’s left-footer in the 24th minute went off the outside of the net.
And then the big Belgian tried a bicycle kick four minutes later that Tim Krul dove to push wide.
Krul was again called into duty on 34 minutes, as Sinclair’s one-touch left-foot shot in close was caught by the keeper.
Though Villa controlled the half, Newcastle hit the scoreboard first. Cisse collected a cross from Daryl Janmaat and lashed it past Brad Guzan to make it 1-0 in the 37th minute.
An unmarked Riviere headed a Sammy Ameobi corner wide in the 42nd minute, directing it across goal but off target.
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Substitute Ayoze Perez almost made it 2-0 when he headed a long cross off the near post in the 76th minute after Guzan went for and missed the pass.
Six minutes of stoppage time was not enough for Sherwood’s boys to regroup and find an equalizer.
Newcastle United: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini (c), Williamson, Haïdara (Taylor, 61′); Obertan (Gouffran, 78′), Sissoko, Abeid, Ameobi; Rivière (Perez, 73′), Cissé.
Goal: Cisse (37′)
Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Lowton (Bacuna, 82′), Sinclair (N’Zogbia, 66′), Delph, Cleverley, Westwood, Agbonlahor (Weimann, 73′), Benteke