Toon 1 Aston Villa 1
By Footy Mad - Editor
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2012
Cisse took the honours last season with a winning goal in this fixture, but Newcastle's forward line never got into gear on Sunday.
NEWCASTLE 1 ASTON VILLA 1
Newcastle United: Krul, Danny Simpson (Bigirimana 38), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Anita, Gutierrez (Marveaux 86), Ba (Obertan 86), Cisse
Subs not used: Harper, Williamson, Gosling, Amalfitano
Hatem Ben Arfa produced a stunning equaliser as United huffed and puffed against Aston Villa and took a point from a fixture that looked a banker.
It took a rare piece of magic in a game that was boring at best - and crap at worst - and the France international put an unstoppable long-range shot past keeper Brad Guzan.
Ciaran Clark's first-half opener stunned the Magpies, and for long periods Alan Pardew's men were well off the pace.
Villa more than made a game of it with Tim Krul having to produce good saves to deny Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann, although Guzan hacked a 29th-minute Papiss Cisse shot off the line and claw out Yohan Cabaye's injury-time free-kick in an eventful contest.
But Newcastle were at times a shadow of the side which finished fifth last season, much to the frustration of a crowd of 48,245.
Stephen Ireland and Darren Bent both might have won it at the death for the visitors, but the visitors eventually had to settle for a draw.
Villa arrived sitting at the foot of the table without a point from their first two games and with former Newcastle stalwart Shay Given relegated to a seat on the bench as a result.
But if the Magpies thought the visitors were there for the taking, the belief proved horribly mistaken during the opening 45 minutes.
Paul Lambert's men were up for the fight from the off and although Karim El Ahmadi in particular was perhaps a little over-zealous at times, they knocked the hosts out of their stride.
It was a strangely disjointed performance from Newcastle, who continue to miss Cheick Tiote's influence in the middle of the park.
The service from wide-men Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez was decidedly sub-standard, and with front two Cisse and Demba Ba misfiring, Given's replacement Guzan was rarely extended with last season's swagger having seemingly deserted Pardew's team.
Sunderland old boy Bent served warning of Villa's intent with 19 minutes gone when he forced Krul into save, with Fabricio Coloccini blocking Weimann's follow-up, and the keeper had to deny Bent again seconds later.
But the home side did not heed the warning and were made to pay three minutes later when Barry Bannan was allowed time and space to cross from the left for Clark to head past the helpless Krul.
Steven Taylor bundled a Cabaye free-kick over the bar as the Magpies attempted to respond, but the home side were almost level with 29 minutes gone.
Ben Arfa's right-wing corner was overhit, but Ba managed to pluck it out of the air and drill the ball back across goal, where Cisse's shot seemed destined for the back of the net before Guzan somehow managed to keep it out with his foot.
Midfielder Vurnon Anita fired into the side-netting after Gutierrez had recycled the resulting corner to him on the edge of the box, but the Dutchman found himself having to change roles eight minutes later as Newcastle's decision not to sign a defender during the transfer widow returned to haunt them.
Danny Simpson went down clutching his hamstring and with Ryan Taylor and James Perch already injured, Anita had to drop in at full-back.
Ba fired across goal seconds later as the Magpies finished the half strongly, but without troubling Guzan to any great extent.
Villa returned not only determined to hang on to their advantage, but to extend it if at all possible, and as the Magpies continued to labour, they looked the more likely to score.
As the home fans grew increasingly restless, Newcastle responded and Ben Arfa might have done better when he headed Anita's 52-minute cross straight at Guzan.
Pardew had switched to a 4-3-3 formation before the break in an attempt to get Ben Arfa further forward, and the ploy eventually paid off with 59 minutes gone.
The Frenchman picked up possession on the left and cut inside before unleashing a searing drive which flew high past Guzan and into the top corner.
In the meantime, Krul had to pluck Ireland's well-struck shot out of the air and then had to get down well to deny Weimann with Villa still very much in the game.
Ben Arfa had a chance to fire the Magpies ahead with 23 minutes remaining, but curled his free-kick harmlessly over the bar.
Ba went close with a looping header from substitute Gael Bigirimana's 74th-minute cross, but Ireland passed up a glorious opportunity to win it six minutes later when he screwed his shot wide from 16 yards.
Bent was handed a similarly promising opening with six minutes left, but Bigirimana's timely intervention kept him at bay before Guzan palmed out Cabaye's last-ditch attempt.
NEXT NEWCASTLE UNITED FIXTURE ...
Monday September 17 20:00 Premier League Everton v Newcastle United
NEWCASTLE UNITED REVIEW 2011/12
Newcastle United fans have seen their team come a long way since earning promotion back to the Premier League in 2010 and nobody could have predicted the exciting season that lay ahead at the start of the 2011/12 campaign.
This was a season of rejuvenation as changes were made both on and off the pitch with fresh talent drafted in, in the form of Cissé, Cabaye, Ba and Obertan to name a few, and manager Alan Pardew delivering a brand of attacking football that earned him both the Barclays and LMA Manager of the Season awards.
With the new signings settling in well, and with a good core of players already at the club, Newcastle United undertook an incredible journey that saw them return to the upper echelons of the Premier League and secure a place in Europe the following season, only narrowly missing out on a Champions League place.
There was plenty to cheer this season as stalwarts of the team Fabricio Coloccini, Cheick Tiote and Jonas Gutierrez all solidified their reputations at the heart of the club and Tim Krul and Hatem Ben Arfa both delivered impressive displays.
Relive this exhilarating season in full with highlights of every game and every goal from the campaign including victories over Sunderland, Liverpool, Chelsea and a dominating demolition of 2010/11 champions Manchester United.
NEWCASTLE UNITED FC 2012/13
NEWCASTLE 1 ASTON VILLA 1 (Ben Arfa)
Krul, Danny Simpson (Bigirimana 38), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Anita, Gutierrez (Marveaux 86), Ba (Obertan 86), Cisse
Subs not used: Harper, Williamson, Gosling, Amalfitano
CHELSEA 2 NEWCASTLE 0
Krul, Simpson (Ryan Taylor 64), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon (Marveaux 74), Ben Arfa, Anita, Cabaye (Perch 77), Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse
Subs not used: Harper, Williamson, Gosling, Obertan
NEWCASTLE 2 SPURS 1 (Ba, Ben Arfa pen)
Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Perch, Santon; Ben Arfa, Cabaye (Anita, 71), Tiote, Gutierrez; Cisse, Ba (Obertan, 85). Subs not used: Harper; R Taylor, Williamson, Gosling, Amalfitano
NEWCASTLE 1 ATROMITOS 0 (Vuckic)
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Ryan Taylor (11 Vuckic), Obertan, Bigirimana, Perch (59 Tavernier), Marveaux (91 Amalfitano), Gosling, Ba.
Subs: Harper, Cabaye, Cisse, Campbell.
ATROMITOS 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (R Taylor)
Harper; Tavernier, Williamson, Perch, R Taylor; Bigirimana, Anita; Obertan, Gosling (Amalfitano, 64), Marveaux (Gutierrez, 71); Cisse (Campbell, 77). Subs not used: Krul, Santon, Cabaye, S Taylor.
CARDIFF CITY 4 NEWCASTLE 1 (Shola Ameobi pen)
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini (Williamson 46), Steven Taylor (Gosling 63), Santon, Obertan (Campbell 83), Tiote (Amalfitano 71) , Gutiérrez, Marveaux (Vuckic 46), R Taylor (Perch 28), Shola Ameobi.
HARTLEPOOL 1 NEWCASTLE 5 (Shola Ameobi, Marveaux 2, Obertan, Vuckic)
Harper (Alnwick 82), Simpson (Good 72), Tavernier, Williamson, S.Taylor (Vuckic 46), Perch (R.Taylor 72), Gosling, Amalfitano (Santon 80), Marveaux (Obertan 78), Sh.Ameobi (Ben Arfa 46), Bigirimana (Abeid 59).
DEN HAAG 0 NEWCASTLE 0
Krul; S Taylor (Gosling 65), R Taylor (Perch 71), Coloccini, Santon (Simpson 80); Obertan (Bigirimana 71), Tiote (Ameobi 71), Vuckic (Williamson 65), Gutierrez; Ba (Amalfitano 82), Cisse
BRAGA 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ba, R Taylor)
Harper; Simpson, Tavernier, Coloccini, R.Taylor; Sammy Ameobi (Obertan 88), Tiote (Cabaye 70), Gutierrez, Marveaux; Cisse, Ba (Vuckic 85).
OLYMPIACOS 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (S Taylor)
Krul, Perch, Williamson, S.Taylor (Dummett 46), Santon, Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 72), Bigirimana, Gosling (Abeid 36), Amalfitano, Vuckic, Shola Ameobi (Cisse 72).
FENERBAHCE 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Abeid)
Elliot, Simpson (Santon 68), Tavernier, Coloccini, R Taylor, Tiote (Bigirimana 59), Gosling (Abeid 73), Obertan (Shola Ameobi 75), Marveuax (Gutierrez 59), Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 46), Ba (Cisse 68).
MONACO 0 NEWCASTLE 1 (Ba)
Harper, Santon (Ryan Taylor 57), Simpson, Williamson (Perch 46), Gutierrez, Amalfitano (Obertan 62), Abeid (Tavernier 46), Bigirimana (Tiote 62), Sammy Ameobi (Vuckic 46), Shola Ameobi (Gosling 62), Ba (Marveaux 78)
CHEMNITZER 1 NEWCASTLE 0
Elliot; Tavernier (Simpson, 70), Williamson, Perch, R Taylor (Santon, 70); Obertan (Gutierrez, 77), Abeid (Bigirimana, 70), Gosling, Amalfitano; Vuckic (Shola Ameobi, 70), Sammy Ameobi (Ba, 77). Sub not used: Harper.