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Barry Bannan crosses the ball, Mike Williamson manages to make a clearance.
Foul by Shola Ameobi on Emile Heskey, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Shay Given.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Emile Heskey on Shola Ameobi. Direct free kick taken by Danny Guthrie.
Shola Ameobi replaces Demba Ba.
Stephen Warnock delivers the ball, clearance by James Perch.
The ball is crossed by Barry Bannan, Mike Williamson manages to make a clearance.
A cross is delivered by Stephen Warnock, Davide Santon manages to make a clearance.
Barry Bannan sends in a cross, Gary Gardner takes a shot. Save made by Tim Krul.
Effort from the edge of the area by Gary Gardner goes wide of the right-hand post.
Unfair challenge on Demba Ba by Richard Dunne results in a free kick. Gary Gardner on for Ciaran Clark. Fabricio Coloccini takes the free kick.
Shot from 20 yards from Ciaran Clark. Tim Krul makes a save.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Danny Guthrie, Foul by Fabricio Coloccini on Darren Bent, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Shay Given.
Papiss Cisse produces a volleyed left-footed shot from 18 yards. Carlos Cuellar gets a block in.
The ball is sent over by Alan Hutton, save made by Tim Krul.
Shot from long distance by James Perch misses to the right of the goal.
Papiss Cisse is ruled offside. Shay Given takes the free kick.
Centre by Barry Bannan, save by Tim Krul.
Goal scored by Papiss Cisse from the edge of the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Newcastle 2-1 Aston Villa.The assist for the goal came from Jonas Gutierrez.
Darren Bent gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fabricio Coloccini. Fabricio Coloccini restarts play with the free kick.
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Barry Bannan.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Fabricio Coloccini on Robbie Keane. Free kick taken by Stiliyan Petrov.
Stephen Warnock sends in a cross, Darren Bent takes a shot. Blocked by Mike Williamson.
Papiss Cisse concedes a free kick for a foul on Robbie Keane. Direct free kick taken by Carlos Cuellar.
Darren Bent gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Guthrie. Darren Bent receives a caution for unsporting behaviour. Free kick taken by Danny Guthrie.
Emile Heskey joins the action as a substitute, replacing Charles N'Zogbia.
The ball is crossed by Danny Guthrie, save by Shay Given.
Gabriel Obertan has a drilled shot. Robbie Keane gets a block in.
The ball is delivered by Danny Guthrie, Close range header by Papiss Cisse goes over the crossbar.
Unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez by Barry Bannan results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Danny Guthrie, clearance by Richard Dunne.
The ball is sent over by Jonas Gutierrez, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.
Richard Dunne gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Demba Ba. Free kick taken by Demba Ba.
Danny Simpson crosses the ball, clearance by Richard Dunne.
The ball is delivered by Gabriel Obertan, Barry Bannan manages to make a clearance.
Robbie Keane has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Gabriel Obertan has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
The ball is swung over by Charles N'Zogbia, clearance by Mike Williamson.
Effort on goal by Danny Guthrie from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.
The ball is sent over by Stiliyan Petrov, Mike Williamson manages to make a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Stiliyan Petrov.
Robbie Keane gets on the score sheet with a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa.Charles N'Zogbia provided the assist for the goal.
The official flags Danny Guthrie offside. Shay Given takes the free kick.
Corner taken right-footed by Danny Guthrie from the right by-line, clearance made by Richard Dunne.
The ball is sent over by Charles N'Zogbia, clearance made by Davide Santon.
Danny Guthrie crosses the ball, Header from deep inside the area by Papiss Cisse goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Corner taken by Danny Guthrie from the left by-line, Alan Hutton manages to make a clearance.
Shot from 20 yards by Davide Santon. Blocked by Ciaran Clark.
Jonas Gutierrez delivers the ball, clearance made by Carlos Cuellar.
Danny Guthrie delivers the ball, Header from close range by Papiss Cisse misses to the right of the target.
The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.
Barry Bannan joins the action as a substitute, replacing Stephen Ireland.
The ball is swung over by Robbie Keane, comfortable save by Tim Krul.
Corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia, Danny Guthrie makes a clearance.
A cross is delivered by Charles N'Zogbia, Fabricio Coloccini makes a clearance.
Shot from just outside the box by Stephen Ireland misses to the left of the goal.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alan Hutton by Jonas Gutierrez. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Stiliyan Petrov.
Charles N'Zogbia produces a drilled left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Richard Dunne challenges Jonas Gutierrez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Richard Dunne receives a caution for unsporting behaviour. Tim Krul takes the free kick.
A cross is delivered by Gabriel Obertan, clearance by Stiliyan Petrov.
Charles N'Zogbia fouled by Danny Simpson, the ref awards a free kick. Caution for Danny Simpson. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.
A cross is delivered by Jonas Gutierrez, Shay Given makes a comfortable save.
A cross is delivered by Stephen Warnock, save by Tim Krul.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Darren Bent. Indirect free kick taken by Tim Krul.
Gabriel Obertan replaces Ryan Taylor.
A goal is scored by Demba Ba from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa.Assist by Ryan Taylor.
Shot by Ryan Taylor from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.
Charles N'Zogbia crosses the ball, blocked by Danny Simpson.
Drilled right-footed shot by Robbie Keane. Tim Krul makes a comfortable save.
Darren Bent produces a drilled left-footed shot from 12 yards. Save by Tim Krul.
The ball is crossed by Alan Hutton, clearance made by Fabricio Coloccini.
The ball is sent over by Danny Simpson, Carlos Cuellar manages to make a clearance.
The ball is crossed by Ryan Taylor.
Davide Santon produces a cross, Stephen Warnock makes a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ryan Taylor from the left by-line to the near post, Darren Bent makes a clearance.
Demba Ba takes a shot. Richard Dunne gets a block in.
Effort on goal by Ryan Taylor from just inside the area clears the bar.
The ball is delivered by Danny Guthrie, Richard Dunne makes a clearance.
Davide Santon fouled by Ciaran Clark, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ryan Taylor, clearance by Darren Bent.
Charles N'Zogbia challenges Davide Santon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.
Papiss Cisse takes a shot. Save by Shay Given.
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Charles N'Zogbia, Tim Krul makes a comfortable save.
The ball is swung over by Robbie Keane, Fabricio Coloccini makes a clearance.
Papiss Cisse replaces Leon Best.
Drilled right-footed shot by Stiliyan Petrov. Save by Tim Krul.
Shot by Darren Bent. Tim Krul makes a save.
Leon Best has an effort at goal. Stephen Warnock gets a block in.
Charles N'Zogbia produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.
Foul by Stephen Warnock on Ryan Taylor, free kick awarded. Ryan Taylor takes the free kick.
Charles N'Zogbia gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Simpson. Tim Krul takes the free kick.
Davide Santon produces a cross, clearance by Richard Dunne.
Krul wants top six finish
Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul is in no mood to be patted on the back as he and his team-mates continue to defy their doubters.
The Magpies climbed to fifth place in the Barclays Premier League table as a result of a hard-fought victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park on Wednesday night.
Krul, whose penalty save from David Dunn proved crucial, is thrilled to see the men from Tyneside continuing to confound their critics.
However, despite having seen his club defy suggestions their fine start to the season would prove something of a flash in the pan, the 23-year-old Dutchman is refusing to sit back and enjoy himself.
Krul said: "We really want to push on for the second half of the season because we are up there and the chance is there.
"We really have to push on. I don't think we should rest on our laurels, we just have to really crack on now.
"We have got a fantastic squad and if we can prove we are a top-six team at the end of the season, that will attract more players to the club and then we can really push on."
Alan Pardew's squad will be boosted for Sunday's game by their sole January signing, former Freiburg striker Papiss Demba Cisse, who is available for the first time following his return, along with 15-goal leading scorer Demba Ba, from Senegal's ill-fated African Nations Cup campaign.
With Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote still involved in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the Magpies will be stronger still in a few weeks' time.
Krul said: "Demba has been amazing, and to get his mate with him, that's a bonus and I am looking forward to seeing them both back.
"Hopefully Cheick won't be too much longer because he is a fantastic player for us as well."
Newcastle's current standing - they entered the weekend with only Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea ahead of them and both Arsenal and Liverpool in their wake - has confounded those who expected them to slide down the table after their 11-game unbeaten start to the season ended.
Krul has been one of their stand-out performers to date along with skipper Fabricio Coloccini, Tiote and Ba, although the Den Haag-born keeper insists the plaudits have to be shared around.
He said: "The whole team has been amazing. I am glad everybody is getting praise.
"The defence in the first 11 games was amazing because we were unbeaten.
"It's great. We are working hard at it and we stand fifth in the league now, so we are doing great."
Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has hailed Newcastle legend Alan Shearer as "simply the best" after joining him as part of the Barclays Premier League 100-goal club.
Bent netted his 100th top-flight goal against QPR in midweek but heads to Newcastle still 160 short of hometown hero Shearer.
Bent, who will be hoping to fill Shearer's old number nine shirt for England at this summer's European Championships, knows it would be something special if he could mirror the now-retired striker's achievements.
He can go some way to maintaining some Shearer-esque form by scoring for a fifth successive game on Sunday, and he said: "I don't think I could ever be hero-worshipped like Shearer was at Newcastle. I'm not sure anyone could.
"He was a real icon of our domestic game - and world football too. He was someone I looked up to greatly.
"He is a real legend up there because he moved to Newcastle and stayed up there for the rest of his career. He is a true Toon icon.
"If I could be half as much of a icon for Villa as he is at Newcastle, it would be amazing. It would mean I was doing something right in claret and blue!"
Bent has scored 19 goals in 38 games since joining Villa just over 12 months ago - an average of a goal every two games.
He accepts he has work to do to catch up with Shearer, though, adding: "Alan is way out in front in that 100 goals club that I've been privileged to join. He's simply the best striker to have ever come out of this country. I have nothing but admiration for him.
"He's one of the three very best strikers to have played in the Premier League along with Thierry Henry and Andy Cole. For me they are the best three."
Bent can expect a hot reception from the Newcastle fans after his spell at local rivals Sunderland, but he is keen to celebrate Monday's 28th birthday a day early.
Villa will give a late fitness check to striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, who missed the QPR game with hamstring and back injuries.
Cisse scores on Magpies debut
Papiss Demba Cisse announced his arrival in English football with a stunning debut goal as Newcastle beat Aston Villa 2-1.
The 26-year-old Senegal striker thumped a 71st-minute volley past former Magpies keeper Shay Given to win a pulsating Barclays Premier League encounter in which the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half, but could not make the most of their chances.
Cisse, who was introduced as an early replacement for the injured Leon Best, saw international team-mate Demba Ba fire the home side into a 30th-minute lead but, after Darren Bent had twice been denied by keeper Tim Krul, Robbie Keane levelled deep into first-half stoppage time.
However, Alan Pardew's men improved after the break and, to the delight of a crowd of 48,569, managed to see out time to bank another three points.
Newcastle ran out determined to reclaim the fifth place into which they had climbed as a result of Wednesday night's hard-fought victory at Blackburn, and with Ba back in harness.
He was to be joined within 14 minutes by new signing Cisse in what was to prove an eventful first half.
Villa lost the corresponding fixture last season 6-0, and they returned in determined mood this time around.
Bent may not have enjoyed the best of fortunes on his visits to Tyneside with former club Sunderland - his reception was entirely predictable - although he might have silenced the boo boys with 13 minutes.
Keane's pass put him in behind full-back Danny Simpson and Krul did well to save from a tight angle before fielding Stiliyan Petrov's well-struck follow-up less than comfortably.
In the meantime, Best had left the field having been hurt in a block tackle with Stephen Warnock and was replaced by Cisse, who arrived to rapturous applause.
The newcomer tested Given with a flicked 16th-minute header, but it was the visitors who continued to enjoy the better of the half with Bent once again denied by Krul after being played in by central defender Richard Dunne.
However, the first goal eventually arrived, against the run of play, at the other end, and the identity of the scorer was no surprise.
Dunne got up well to head Danny Guthrie's cross away from Ba, but when Ryan Taylor smashed the ball back across goal, the former West Ham frontman thumped it past Given to claim his 16th goal of the season.
But as the celebrations broke out, the medics rushed on to the pitch to tend Taylor, who had been hurt in a collision with Warnock in the build-up and left the field on a stretcher with his right leg in a brace.
Charles N'Zogbia fired into the side-netting and Stephen Ireland curled an effort just wide as Villa continued their quest for an equaliser.
However, Ba, full-back Davide Santon and Cisse might all have increased Newcastle's lead in a flurry of activity at the end of the half.
But the game's second goal eventually went the way of the visitors in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Keane met N'Zogbia's cross unopposed in front of goal to volley home.
Villa boss Alex McLeish replaced Ireland with Barry Bannan at the break, but saw his side almost concede the lead for a second time within two minutes of the restart.
Given, who played with such distinction for Newcastle over 11 and a half years, uncharacteristically fumbled after Guthrie had crossed, but neither Ba nor Cisse were able to take advantage.
The game was becoming increasingly open with N'Zogbia for the visitors and Taylor's replacement Gabriel Obertan for the home side enjoying acres of space.
The former Manchester United man worked his way into a promising position with 55 minutes gone when he isolated Dunne and created space to shoot, but he sliced his effort well wide.
Cisse's first big chance arrived with 62 minutes gone and this time from the left when Guthrie clipped the ball invitingly towards him, but the striker could only lift his header over the bar.
Villa eventually responded and, as N'Zogbia made way for Emile Heskey, briefly relieved the pressure.
However, Newcastle regained their lead with 19 minutes remaining, and did so in style.
Jonas Gutierrez's left-wing cross was too high for Ba, but it fell nicely for Cisse to control with his chest before dispatching a left-foot volley high to Given's right.
James Perch drilled a long-range effort just wide and Given had to turn away another Cisse volley, but Krul managed to beat away Ciaran Clark's missile before gratefully grasping substitute Gary Gardner's point-blank header to preserve his side's lead.
"Who will win the PL title this season - 2013/14?"
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