Premier League - Villa stay unbeaten after Geordie snore

Premier League, Villa Park - Aston Villa 0 Newcastle United 0

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Premier League - Villa stay unbeaten after Geordie snore
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Fabian Delph of Aston Villa challenges Fabricio Coloccini of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United

Aston Villa temporarily went top of the table after a turgid 0-0 draw with Newcastle United at Villa Park.

Neither side seemed overly despondent at the full-time whistle with Villa collecting a point to go with their win at Stoke City a week ago while Newcastle earned their first point of the campaign after the 2-0 home defeat by Manchester City.

Newcastle defender Mike Williamson was sent off for a second yellow card having brought down Fabian Delph in injury time, but Newcastle were never in any real danger of conceding in the four minutes of time added on.

Villa have gone unbeaten in three home Premier League matches in a row for the first time since Nov/Dec 2012 with the pick of their performers being the revitalised Scotland defender Alan Hutton who produced a stout performance at right-back.

Villa are unlikely to remain top of the standings on Saturday night, but they will be content enough to stay unbeaten.

KEY MOMENTS

11' - CHANCE! Cabella with a corner. Not cleared by Villa, but a glorious chance for Gouffran is not taken as he misses the volley from five yards out.

18' - CHANCE! N'Zogbia goes for goal. Plenty of dip and swerve on that effort, but the ball flies wide of the goal. A few yards wide. Decent effort.

25' - CHANCE! Cabella sees the ball break to him seven yards out, but he somehow nudges the shot wide. Real chance there not taken.

39' - CHANCE! Agbonlahor inches away from connecting in the middle. Superb cross from Delph, but couldn't direct the header on goal.

54' - CHANCE! Janmaat drives the ball a few yards over the bar from 18 yards. Plenty of pace on that hit, but shot was always rising.

88' - CHANCE! De Jong has the chance to win it for Newcastle, but a superb block by Guzan to deny the visitors a late winner.

90 - RED CARD! Willamson late on Delph. Has to walk for that one.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND RATINGS

KEY STATS

Newcastle have failed to score a first-half goal for the 14th time in their last 18 Premier League matches.

There has not been a goalless draw in a Premier League match played on a Saturday lunchtime with a 12:45pm kick-off (local time) in over 18 months – since QPR’s 0-0 home draw v Norwich on Feb 2nd 2013.

Newcastle have failed to score in their opening two PL matches for the second successive season. It is only the fifth time in top-flight history they have done so (also 1900/01, 1971/72 & 2005/06).

Aston Villa have kept clean sheets in each of their opening two matches of a top-flight season for only the sixth time overall. They also did so in 1899/1900, 1900/01 and 1901/02.

Infostrada

TALKING POINT: Why was the match so bad? Who knows? Both teams were eager enough. It wasn't down to a lack of effort, but just lacked the quality in the final third. It would not be ridiculous to suggest these two are going to be mid-table this season.

MAN OF THE MATCH

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Alan Hutton v Newcastle (Reuters)

Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) - Has had more clubs than Tiger Woods, but is suddenly back to his best with Villa. Like a new signing for Paul Lambert.

PLAYER RATINGS

Aston Villa: Guzan 7, Hutton 8, Senderos 7, Vlaar 7, Cissokho 5, Westwood 6, Delph 6, Richardson 6, Weimann 5, N'Zogbia 5, Agbonlahor 6..subs: Baker 6, Bent 6, Sanchez 6

Newcastle: Tim Krul 7; Janmaat 7, Williamson 5, Coloccini 6, Dummett 6; V.Anita 6, Colback 6; Gouffran 5, Sissoko 6, R.Cabella 6; E.Riviere 5..subs: Taylor 6, De Jong 6, Perez 6

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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