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Newcastle United 6 Aston Villa 0: match report
Published : 22 Aug 2010 15:41:51
Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll showed why he is being tipped to represent England as his excellent hat-trick ensured that Premier League football made a sensational homecoming to St James' Park as the Tyneside club humiliated Aston Villa. Carroll, 21, struck three huge blows for newly-promoted Newcastle, and had a hand in goals for Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan, with a personal performance that was significant is so many ways. Related ArticlesNewcastle United v Aston Villa: as it happenedGo on Randy, give job to serial snogger MaradonaCity violated rules in pursuit of Milner, says LernerMacDonald: Aston Villa need big nameTransfer TalkSport on televisionFor starters, it show that Carroll and his club have benefited from a season of re-building and development in the Championship, and that Chris Hughton's side have what it takes to flourish. But it also demonstrated that target-man Carroll is not only a worthy successor to the watching Alan Shearer as the club's No 9, but also that he can follow his childhood hero into international football. The way the swashbuckling 6ft 4in Carroll prospered against Richard Dunne and his defensive colleagues means Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald's hope of securing the post on a long-term basis have faded on the day USA coach Bob Bradley publicly declared his interest in the job. While the defeat, and Stephen Ireland's uneventful debut, will raise questions about Villa's ability to cope without former manager Martin O'Neill and midfielder James Milner, it proved to be cathartic for Newcastle who were relegated from the Premier League on the last day of the 2008-09 season thanks to a defeat by Villa. But it could have been so different because John Carew had given Newcastle a let-off just two minutes before Barton opened the scoring when he blazed a penalty high over the crossbar after Steve Harper had felled Ashley Young near the by-line. Invigorated by that escape, Newcastle suddenly raised their game, pushed Villa on to the back foot and the moustachioed Barton ensured that his team made the most of that escape in stunning fashion to settle local nerves with his first Premier League goal since Oct 2008. Newcastle went route one in search of a goal, when Steve Harper punted the ball to former England Under-21 international Carroll, and the ball eventually found its way to Barton thanks to Kevin Nolan and Jonas Gutierrez, and, as Stylian Petrov dawdled when he should have closed down, he let fly from 22 yards and the fizzing ball swerved past Brad Friedel. Barton had double cause to celebrate as he can now look forward to shaving off the moustache that he promised would linger until Newcastle secured their first top-flight win of the season. However, of far more significance is that his endeavours sent his club on their way to victory. Nolan, playing off Carroll, doubled the lead in the 31st minute. After Jose Enrique crossed, Carroll out-jumped Stephen Warnock at the far-post and skipper Nolan stooped to nod the ball past Friedel from close range after the American had repelled his first header. Villa's defence was now at sixes and sevens and, when Barton sent over a corner, Mike Williamson headed the ball back in the direction of the unmarked Carroll who thumped a low shot past Friedel in the 34th minute. Believe it nor not it could have been worse for Villa as appeals for a penalty were ignored by Atkinson after Alan Smith was accidentally tripped by Dunne. MacDonald sent on Emile Heskey as he sought to find a way back into the game but the former England striker's main contribution was to act as villain of the piece as his entry was greeted with loud boos from unforgiving fans. Carroll, rightly handed the sponsors' man of the match award, doubled his own tally for the afternoon in the 67th minute as the Villa defence disintegrated again, failing to clear a Barton corner, and the Gateshead-born forward volleyed home from eight yards out after Williamson won a skirmish on the edge of the box. Nolan then increased the lead further in the 87th minute with a close-range volley, after Shola Ameobi won a Barton corner. Fittingly, the outstanding Carroll completed the rout in stoppage time when he outpaced Dunne to slot a left-footed shot past Friedel.