Papiss Cisse broke the deadlock at St James’ Park as Aston Villa lost 1-0 to Newcastle United.
The first half started evenly, with both teams seeing plenty of the ball in the opening stages. Aston Villa appeared to be increasing possession in their favour, with Scott Sinclair and Christian Benteke bringing saves from Tim Krul.
Newcastle took the lead against the run of play when Daryl Janmaat’s cross found Papiss Cisse in the box, and he dragged his shot smartly into the corner.
In the second half. both sides continued to go close, and Aston Villa tried a more direct approach, which eventually saw Benteke tap in at the back post only to realise he was offside. Ayoze Perez almost sealed it for Newcastle when he headed against the crossbar from the back post, but neither side were able to convert.
After an injury to Massadio Haidara, Villa were given six minutes of added time to equalise, but had so little imagination that even a defence as poor as Newcastle’s held on untroubled.