This was a good game between two well matched sides, and although Aston Villa took the lead after only 13 minutes through a nice goal from Agbonlahor, Newcastle came storming back, and eventually equalized through that man Leon Best again after 57 minutes.
After the equalizer, the game was end to end, but then Cabaye twice in the last five minutes almost scored to bring Newcastle a victory.
On 85 minutes he hit a wonder shot that had Shay Given somehow make a world class save, and then in injury time he was clear on the left a few yards from the goal, but from a tight angle he put the ball over the bar.
Newcastle were even a little unlucky not to finally win this game, but the performance was so much better than last Monday night – it looked like it was two different teams, so a very good performance from the lads today.
Newcastle kicked off and the play initially was fairly even but Newcastle were passing the ball around well and after 6 minutes Yohan Cabaye had a nice shot which just went side of Given’s left hand post.
And then Villa got the ball into Agbonlahor from the left wing, but Coloccini cleared immediately. After 9 minutes Best tried to go through alone and he was brought down just outside the penalty box by Charles N’Zogbia, , but the free kick came to nothing.
After the first 10 minutes Newcastle had made a good start to the game, and certainly were playing some decent free flowing football, and looked much better than they were at QPR.
But would you believe it, with Newcastle on top, Aston Villa scored, and a cross into the box had Agbonlahor tussling with Coloccini for it, but the Villa striker came away with the ball, with Coloccini falling, and Agbonlahor put the ball past Krul after 13 minutes.
It was against the run of play, but both Coloccini and Krul could and should have done better, as the ball was hit under Krul’s body. But it was a terrific finish by the England International who has been in excellent form this season.
Then Damba Ba had a great shot well saved by Shay Given, but the Senegal striker was marginally offside.
Tiote and Cabaye were playing well in midfield for the Magpies, and in particular Cheick Tiote was finally having a very good game, stroking the ball around for the Newcastle side.
But on 25 minutes Aston Villa should have been 2-0 up when a good run by Petrov down the left wing cut the Newcastle defense wide open, and the Bulgarian laid it off on a plate for Darren Bent.
But the former Sunderland striker somehow missed an open goal from about six yards out, as he hit the ball wide of Tim Krul’s right hand post.
And incredible let-off for Newcastle.
After 28 minutes a Cabaye corner from the right was met nicely on the volley by Steven Taylor, but unfortunately Shay Given made an excellent save to his left.
On 29 minutes Cabaye put Leon Best clean through with an incredible defense splitting pass, but Leon had ventured offside and the chance was lost.
But Newcastle continued to move forward and after 30 minutes a cross from the right wing from Danny Simpson got through to Gutierrez, who hit the half chance over the bar, and the Argentine should have done better.
Newcastle kept attacking ans were having more of the play and then on 35 minutes Gabriel Obertan made a dazzling run down the right wing, beating two men, and his cross reached Demba Ba, whose shot was deflected for a corner. – an excellent move by Newcastle.
In the last 10 minutes of the half Newcastle were attacking Villa all the time, and were roared on by their fans, even though the lads were 1-0 down.
But half time came and Villa were still 1-0 ahead.
Newcastle played so much better than they did on Monday night, but as luck would have it, they were 1-0 down after 45 minutes, and if anything Newcastle shaded the first half but couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net, as Agbonlahor had done brilliantly for Aston Villa after only 13 minutes.
There were no changes made at the interval and then after a couple of minutes Agbonlahor almost got his seocnd when he was fed the ball by N’Zobia and the striker hit the ball just past Krul’s right had post.
And then on 50 minutes from a Bannan free kick from the left, Tim Krul held the ball well, and snuffed out the danger.
Newcastle were putting their passes together well and were playing some good football, but6 on 56 minutes bent stole the ball from Tiote and sped down the left wing but Krul plucked the left wing cross out of the air.
The on 57 minutes a snap shot from Cabaye had Shay Given beaten but the ball hit the cross bar, but only second later the cross came in from the right and found best unmarked six yards from the goal, but he headed straight at Given but then smashed the rebound home with his left foot.
That was Best’s third goal of the season and his 9th goal in his last 17 appearances for Newcastle, but Best got a yellow card for over celebrating – you cannot be happy when you score a goal these days.
On 67 minutes Demba Ba tried a snap shot but the ball flew straight to Given, who saved easily.
And then would you believe it, on 68 minutes Alan Pardew took Best off and brought Shola Ameobi on. That seemed a very strange substitution by the Newcastle manager – to replace the player who has scored your last three goals over three games?
It was anybody’s game and it was good to see both sides attack each other, as the play was to and fro, and then Villa went close when Marc Albrighton went clear down the left wing, and his cross was inches wide of Krul’s left hand post – that was close.
After 80 minutes Marveaux came on for Demba Ba and on 82 minutes a good Albrighton cross was well punched clear by Tim Krul.
Then on 85 minutes Sammy Ameobi came on for Gutierrez.
And then Newcastle came close to winning this game twice, and it was French International Cabaye both times, who almost scored.
After 86 minutes Cabaye hit a wonder strike from 20 yards out that looked a certain goal, but somwhow Shay Given got over to his right to block the shot – – but not many goalkeepers would have stopped that shot.
And then in injury time Cabaye ghosted in on the left in the penalty area and was free three yards out , but he hit his shot over the bar, when he probably should have crossed it low across the line.
With those chances Newcastle could have had the winner, but make no mistake about it, this was a very good performance from the lads, and they never dropped their heads once, and in the end were just a little unlucky not to get all 3 points.
Aston Villa (4-4-2): Shay Given; Alan Hutton, James Collins, Richard Dunne, Stephen Warnock; Barry Bannan, Stiliyan Petrov, Fabian Delph, Charles N’Zogbia; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Darren Bent
Substitutes: Brad Guzan, Chris Herd, Shane Lowry, Gary Gardner, Stephen Ireland, Marc Albrighton, Nathan Delfouneso
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best, Demba Ba
Substitutes: Rob Elliot, James Perch, Danny Guthrie, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi