Bonjour! Bonjour! We are the Geordie boys

Posted by Marc Duffy

Yohan Cabaye doubles Newcastle's lead at Villa ParkGettyImagesFrenchman Yohan Cabaye doubles Newcastle's lead at Villa Park

Aston Villa had won two home games in the Premier League all season whilst Newcastle hadn't won a game away from home in any competition for 270 days. Something had to give and whilst Villa were losing cup games to lower league Bradford and Millwall, Newcastle were resting and adding to their squad with four new signings.

- Hughes: Villa sleepwalking out of Premier League

Heading to Villa Park I was more confident of a result than I had been all season away from home - if a rested, rejuvenated Newcastle couldn't beat Villa they might well never win another away game again.

Pre-match speculation focused on who - if any - of the new signings Alan Pardew would throw into this relegation six pointer. Two of the new boys won a place, with Sissoko in the middle of the park and Gouffran up top, rotating wings with Jonas.

Newcastle dominated the early stages and a perfect Moussa Sissoko through ball 19 minutes in found Papiss Cisse who slotted home. With service like this Papiss will hit the net as frequently as he did after signing last season.

Former Newcastle prospect Charles N'Zogbia hit the post in a rare Villa attack before the magnificent Yohan Cabaye doubled Newcastle's lead with an absolute beauty of a goal on 31 minutes. The British press have paid a lot of attention to Newcastle's French revolution this week, many questioning the wisdom of bringing in so many players from another league. As far as I see it, it's simple. Goal number one assister Sissoko and goal number two scorer Cabaye are top class midfielders who signed for a combined fee which was £13 million less than Liverpool paid for Jordan Henderson.

Going into half time it was very hard to see how a team who had only scored 8 goals at home all season could come back to win anything from the game, but again Newcastle came out on the back foot following Alan Pardew's half-time team talk.

Villa looked a different team from kick off and three minutes into the half a ridiculous tackle by Debuchy on Agbonlahor, who was running away from goal, was penalised with a penalty which was converted by Benteke. 2-1.

Newcastle played the whole second half on the back foot. Tim Krul was commanding in goal; he made one exceptional save and dominated his area which was vital given Benteke's physical domination of Steven Taylor. But for all of Villa's possession they never really looked like grabbing an equaliser.

Keeping in line with the season so far, Pardew made some bizarre substitutions - Shola Ameobi going on for James Perch and Yanga-Mbiwa going on to play in a holding midfield role looked strange - but winning three points was the most important thing. Again the Newcastle following were mystified by Jonas Gutierrez being granted another 90 minutes.

One of the things that made this victory so sweet was the memory of the Aston Villa fans gloating when Newcastle were relegated there in May 2009. Before tonight's game a few of us talked about this and agreed that if the roles were reversed, Newcastle supporters at St James' Park would have been indifferent about Villa's plight. They certainly wouldn't have celebrated it to the bizarre extent that Villa did. Villa were one of the founding members of the football league and have never played outside of the top division. Next season will be a whole new experience for a very old football club. Their fans can't complain too loudly about this. In fact the ones who turned up didn't do anything too loudly at all other than booing their team off at half-time. The attendance was 30,334, over 3,000 of whom were visiting Newcastle fans.

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy

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