Newcastle Gets First Premier League Away Win; QPR Ties Man. CityBob Bensch
Newcastle defeated Aston Villa 2-1 for its first away victory of the season in English soccer’s Premier League, while last-place Queens Park Rangers drew 0-0 with defending champion Manchester City.
Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye scored for Newcastle, the last team in England’s top four divisions to record a win away from home. Wigan rallied for a 2-2 draw at Stoke and Sunderland and Swansea finished goalless in last night’s other matches.
Newcastle’s victory at Villa Park ended a run of 17 winless games away from home in all competitions this season. It moved the Magpies up one place to 15th, four points ahead of the three teams in the relegation places at the bottom of the standings.
“We defended well and worked really hard for the result,” striker Yoan Gouffran, who joined from Bordeaux on Jan. 23, said on Newcastle’s website after his debut.
Cisse opened the scoring in the 19th minute by taking a pass from Moussa Sissoko and drilling a low shot past Brad Guzan into the corner of the net. Villa’s Charles N’Zogbia hit the post three minutes later and the visitor then doubled its lead in the 31st minute as Cabaye sent a volley from outside the area past a diving Guzan.
“We were superb in the first half and we played as well as we’ve played all year,” Magpies coach Alan Pardew told the BBC. “In the second half they got an early goal, which gave them a lift, and then we had to show another side to our game. It’s a battle, it’s a fight and everybody played their part.”
Christian Benteke pulled Villa within 2-1 with a penalty kick early in the second half after Mathiew Debuchy brought down Gabriel Agbonlahor. Jonas Gutierrez later cleared a header off the line to preserve the Newcastle win.
“They were relentless in the second half but it was just too little too late,” Villa manager Paul Lambert told the British Broadcasting Corp. “We had loads of chances to pull it back.”
Villa extended its winless run in the league to seven matches and dropped into the relegation zone below Wigan on goal difference.
QPR rebounded from being knocked out of the F.A. Cup on the weekend by League One’s MK Dons by holding Manchester City to the draw at Loftus Road in west London.
QPR is now unbeaten in four league games, following a win at Chelsea and draws with Tottenham and West Ham, to move within three points of Reading in 19th place.
“It was another big point for us,” QPR manager Harry Redknapp said in comments on the team’s website. “ We defended fantastically all over the park, everybody worked hard.”
Manchester City owned a 9-3 edge in shots and saw QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar deny Gareth Barry and David Silva, while Pablo Zabaleta hit the crossbar with a header.
“When you play like this away and you don’t win, it’s incredible -- we lost two points here,” City manager Roberto Mancini said in comments on his team’s website. “We did everything to win this game but we didn’t score.”
City sits in second place with 52 points, four fewer than Manchester United, which plays Southampton tonight.
Wigan’s point from the comeback at Stoke moved it above Villa and out of relegation up to 17th place.
Ryan Shawcross put Stoke in front in the 23rd minute and Peter Crouch made it 2-0 three minutes into the second half. James McArthur scored for Wigan two minutes later and Franco Di Santo tied the game in the 61st minute. Stoke is winless in its last five league games.
Sunderland failed to record a shot on target at home against Swansea and was saved from defeat by Titus Bramble in injury time.
The Swans managed only four shots on goal themselves and their best chance was wasted by Nathan Dyer, who shot wide from close range with about 10 minutes remaining. Bramble then kept the game scoreless when he blocked a shot by Danny Graham, who’s been linked with a move to Sunderland, from close range in the third of four added minutes.
In tonight’s other games, Arsenal hosts Liverpool, West Brom is at Everton, Tottenham visits Norwich, Fulham plays West Ham and Chelsea is at Reading.