Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa: Villans still winless since opening day

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With more than five months of the 2015-16 Premier League season still to play, Aston Villa are in big, big trouble. Their total of six points won (from 16 games) heading into Saturday’s relegation six-pointer with Newcastle United meant they began the day a whopping 10 points from safety.

On the other hand, only Newcastle’s recent form (two straight wins in the league) made Steve McClaren‘s side, perennial strugglers themselves, anything more than token favorites. In the end, Saturday’s proceedings at St. James’ Park ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Relegation-threatened clubs typically face such a fate because they put forth poor footballing sides week in and week out. Along with failing to produce results, they also pretty typically fail to entertain their own supporters. On paper, Newcastle versus Villa should have been a double dose of terrible. In reality, it was two desperate sides fighting and scrapping for their PL lives, which is throughly entertaining.

After an opening half-hour that saw just two shots in total, the game sprang to life. Newcastle opened the scoring on 38 minutes (below video), when captain Fabricio Coloccini shanked home a right-footed shot to complete a clever set-piece routine. Siem De Jong whipped in the corner kick to the far post, where the Argentine defender was waiting. His effort on goal was scuffed and deflected into the back of the net by Brad Guzan.

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The two sides headed to the halftime break with the score 1-0 in favor of the home side, but Villa very nearly equalized barely 30 seconds into the second half, whe Jordan Veretout unleashed a left-footed screamer from outside the penalty area. The ball swerved through traffic, nearly wrong-footing Rob Elliott, but the deputy ‘keeper made the diving save at the last moment.

Newcastle’s best chance to double their lead came and went in the 57th minute. De Jong was left shaking his head, wondering how he’d managed to miss a header from three yards out with no one marking him or defending the back post. The shocking miss of the weekend.

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The inevitable equalizer from Villa came four minutes later (above video). Jordan Ayew created a yard of space wide left in the Newcastle penalty area, put the ball onto his powerful right foot and rifled the ball past Elliott and just inside the far post, signaling the first sign of life in Remi Garde’s (and Tim Sherwood‘s) side in many months.

With a handful of late chances failed to be taken by either side, a point apiece is just about is just about right, but will please one side, Newcastle, much more than the other, Villa, given the current league table.

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With the result, Newcastle remain in 17th on 17 points, while Villa stay bottom, five points off Sunderland in 19th and 10 points off Newcastle one place outside the relegation zone. Villa are winless since the opening day of the season and have won just four points from their last 16 league games.

Newcastle protesting Coloccini’s derby dismissal

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
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Newcastle United is thin at center back already, which makes the red card given to Fabricio Coloccini in Sunday’s derby loss to Sunderland hard to stomach.

Many understand referee Bobby Madley’s decision to award a penalty kick to Sunderland for Coloccini’s shoulder barge into onrushing Steven Fletcher, but public opinion seems to be on the Magpies’ captain’s side when it comes the red card awarded for denial of a goal-scoring opportunity.

[ MORE: Jagielka to miss two months with knee injury ]

Goalkeeper Rob Elliot was close to scooping the ball up when Fletcher flailed his arms and hit the turf. DOGSO? Maybe not, and Newcastle is protesting the decision.

From the BBC:

A Regulatory Commission will hear the appeal on Tuesday afternoon.

If the dismissal stands, the defender will miss Newcastle’s home game with Stoke on Saturday.

We expect the suspension to stand, though Madley’s peculiar performance bears another mention. Madley dealt out three yellow cards to NUFC, while giving noted hard man Lee Cattermole multiple verbal warnings but no cards.

Premier League roundup: Chelsea, Liverpool suffer stunning home defeats

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What a crazy Saturday we saw during Week 4 of the Premier League.

Both Chelsea and Liverpool were humbled at home by Crystal Palace and West Ham respectively, while Manchester City took full advantage of those slip ups by beating Watford.

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Elsewhere Tim Howard stood on his head to hold off Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, Arsenal ground out a 1-0 win away at 10-man Newcastle United and their were draws at Aston Villa and Bournemouth, while nine-man Stoke City lost at home to West Bromwich Albion.

[ MORE: Standings | schedule | stats ]

Here’s a quick recap of all the games with plenty of reaction, videos and analysis below.

Chelsea 1-2 Crystal PalaceRECAP

In Jose Mourinho’s 100th home game in charge of Chelsea, he lost a home match for just the second time in the Premier League. Bakary Sako put Palace ahead in the second half but Radamel Falcao jumped off the bench to head Chelsea level in the 79th minute. Moments later Palace were back in front as Joel Ward headed home the winner and the Eagles could have increased their lead late on. Chelsea is now eight points behind Manchester City after four games. Mourinho looks a worried man as the defending champs continue their slow start.

Liverpool 0-3 West Ham UnitedRECAP

What a win for the Hammers as they shocked Liverpool to win at Anfield for the first time since 1963. West Ham led 2-0 at the break after Manuel Lanzini scores his first goal for the club, then Mark Noble added another. In the second half both Philippe Coutinho and Noble were sent off but Diafra Sakho added another goal late on to seal a superb win for the Hammers after they had gone 42 games without a win at Anfield. For Liverpool, it was their first defeat of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 EvertonRECAP

Tim Howard put in a Man of the Match display to deny a goal-shy Harry Kane as Everton and Tottenham battled out a 0-0 stalemate at White Hart Lane. Howard stopped from Kane in a one-on-one duel in the 23rd minute and the USMNT star made a string of fine saves to keep Spurs at bay. Everton’s best chance was Arouna Kone’s second half header which went just wide, while two nasty injuries to Tom Cleverley and Moussa Dembele saw both men stretchered off.

Manchester City 2-0 WatfordRECAP

Second half goals from Raheem Sterling (his first for City) and Fernandinho sealed a comfortable win for City as Watford failed to score for the third-straight game. The Hornets struggled to get any stranglehold on the game and it’s now a perfect four wins from four to start the season for Manuel Pellegrini‘s side who are top of the table heading into the international break.

Newcastle United 0-1 ArsenalRECAP

The Gunners made hard work of this one. Despite playing 74 minutes up a man after Aleksandar Mitrovic‘s red card, an own goal from Fabricio Coloccini was the only difference between the two teams as Arsene Wenger‘s side continue to limp through the opening weeks of the season. A win is a win, but plenty of credit has to go to Newcastle for battling on and making a game of this.

Aston Villa 2-2 SunderlandRECAP

A double from Scott Sinclair had Villa ahead but the Black Cats fought back to grab a point as M’Vila had opened the scoring with a cracking free kick and another new boy, Jeremain Lens, leveled things up to share the spoils. Neither Villa or Sunderland will be happy with a point, but as new players continue to bed in, not the worst result in the world.

Bournemouth 1-1 Leicester CityRECAP

Callum Wilson‘s stunning bicycle kick looked to have handed the Cherries all three points for the second-straight game but a late penalty from Jamie Vardy, which he won, stole the victory away from Bournemouth down on the South Coast. Leicester’s unbeaten run is now stretched to four games, while the Cherries will rue more points dropped at home after dominating.

Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal: Gunners play up a man 74 minutes, need own goal to win

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  • Arsenal denied first half penalty kick
  • Mitrovic takes early red card for NUFC
  • Coloccini own goal does the trick
  • Magpies still winless under Steve McClaren

Arsenal beat 10-man Newcastle at St. James Park on Saturday, but didn’t do much to sate the critics who say the London club needs a striker in the transfer window.

Aleksandar Mitrovic kept up his salty play in the Premier League, as the ex-Anderlecht man saw red in the 16th minute for Newcastle in dooming the home side to 10 men.

But Arsenal only broke through when Fabricio Coloccini redirected a shot into his own goal. The Gunners did deserve an early penalty that was not awarded, but looked relatively docile against a stingy Newcastle unit.

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Both the Magpies and the Gunners came out with gusto, but Arsenal found the first true chance in the 10th minute, as Hector Bellerin‘s pass forced Tim Krul into an in-close save on Theo Walcott.

Arsenal had a penalty shout three minutes later when Florian Thauvin trod on the back of Bellerin’s legs in the box, but referee Andre Marriner must’ve had a poor angle on it.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

source: AP
(AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Then Mitrovic came down hard on Francis Coquelin‘s ankle, and Newcastle’s new forward made it three cards in four matches, this one red.

Newcastle won’t be getting any love in the fair play table, earning a second red card in four weeks of the season after Daryl Janmaat was sent off for a pair of first-half yellows against Swansea City.

Krul made a good save on Alexis Sanchez’s long shot in the 32nd minute, but Walcott should’ve buried the rebound. Instead, the Englishman boosted the ball over the goal with an awful touch. 0-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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Arsenal broke through in the second half with an own goal from Newcastle’s Coloccini, as Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot was redirected by the defender past Krul.

The shot was going wide, but Coloccini dragged his back foot in a wayward attempt to block it, instead moving the trajectory inside the far post.

VIDEO: Premier League Team of the Week — Round 3

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After a fine performance against Norwich City, Stoke City’s Jack Butland gets the nod in goal for the Premier League Team of the Week for Round 3.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany headlines the defense, as the big Belgian has been a driving force in City’s great start to the season.

In the midfield, Riyad Mahrez makes the team for the third straight week after coring the equalizer in Leicester’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham. The Algerian now has four goals through three matches, which is tops in the league.

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Mahrez is joined by Manchester City’s midfield maestro David Silva, and West Brom’s James Morrison, who scored both of the Baggies’ goals against Chelsea.

Up top, Pedro finds himself in the Team of the Week after grabbing a goal and an assist in his Premier League debut, alongside Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis and Player of the Week Callum Wilson.

Here’s the team of the week. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.

Matchweek 3

Goalkeeper: Jack Butland (Stoke City)

Defenders: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Scott Dann (Crystal Palace), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle)

Midfielders: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), David Silva (Manchester City), James Morrison (West Bromwich), Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace)

Forwards: Pedro (Chelsea), Bafetimbi Gomis (Swansea City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)