Best bags point for Magpies
Last Updated: 17/09/11 6:20pm
Best celebrates his equaliser after scoring his third of the season for Newcastle
Goalscorer gets yellow card for celebrations
Aston Villa and Newcastle remain unbeaten after Leon Best's second-half strike cancelled out Gabriel Agbonlahor's opener.
The two unbeaten sides in the Premier League continued their runs as neither could force a winner in an entertaining encounter at Villa Park.
Newcastle had gone into the game looking to preserve their record of not conceding a goal on their travels this season however Alex McLeish's men were ahead in just 13 minutes.
Barry Bannan worked the space to pick out Agbonlahor, his initial volley was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini, however he made no mistake with the second attempt with a low drive from close range.
Earlier Yohan Cabaye should have done better for the Magpies when he was teed up by Leon Best, however the Frenchman's shot flew wide.
Bent missed a glorious chance to double Villa's lead after 26 minutes when Stiliyan Petrov surged towards the byline and pulled the ball back, however the former Sunderland striker sidefooted the ball wide from eight yards out.
United eventually hit back through Best for his third of the season when, like Agbonlahor, he had two bites of the cherry and managed to finish off a Cheick Tiote cross after Given had first saved his header but could not keep out the striker's second attempt.
Following that goal however, Best received a yellow card for his exuberant goal celebrations.
Petrov was also booked for dissent, banging his fist into the turf, after bringing down Best.
Given was called into action several times throughout the match and in particular had to push a cross from on-loan winger Gabriel Obertan over the bar.
Scottish international Bannan, who was starting his first league game of the campaign, looked lively throughout the game and could have added his name to the scoresheet but saw his dipping volley from 25 yards just sail off target.
Villa pushed on from their opener and Steven Taylor blocked a Petrov effort after good work from Fabian Delph.
Stephen Warnock needed treatment for McLeish's men during the tie after stopping Obertan in mid-flow, however the defender was able to resume.
On-loan Manchester United winger Obertan was causing all kinds of problems for the Villa defence and picked out Demba Ba with a great delivery only for his shot to get deflected.
Villa were the ones who had to do most of the defencing as the match continued with Newcastle pressing well.
Obertan saw a shot go wide of the post after Coloccini flicked on a Cabaye corner.
N'Zogbia could have scored when he was played in behind the Magpies back four by the lively Agbonlahor, however he made a hash of the final ball.
Both bosses made tactical changes during the match which saw Villa's Marc Albrighton and Stephen Ireland come on in place of Bannan and Petrov, who handed the captain's armband to Richard Dunne.
Pardew also introduced Shola Ameobi and little brother Sammy for United.
Either side had the chance to take the three points as Villa's Bent saw his lob in the last 15 minutes denied by Ryan Taylor who cleared the cheeky effort despite it beating United goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Sylvain Marveaux could have then nicked the maximum points for the visitors but the Frenchman saw his volley travel over Given's bar.
Despite the tense finale, both sides came away with a point a piece as their unbeaten run continues in the Premier League.
|Aston Villa||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|2||Shots on Target||6|
|7||Shots off Target||7|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||35||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||34||33|