Aston Villa and Newcastle played out a scoreless draw on Saturday in their Premier League match at Villa Park.
Neither team will be fully satisfied with the result, but Newcastle will perhaps view the draw as two points lost after creating the better chances over 90 minutes. The Magpies finished the match with 10 men after defender Mike Williamson drew a red card in the closing moments for his second booking.
The draw leaves Villa with four points through two matches, an encouraging total considering Villa were among many pundits' relegation picks before the season.
But manager Paul Lambert likely will be disappointed with the performance as Villa failed to register a shot on target and were unable to build on last weekend's season-opening win at Stoke.
Up next for Villa is another home match, this time against Hull next Sunday.
Newcastle, meanwhile, claimed their first point of the season following last weekend's home loss to champions Manchester City. Alan Pardew's side will host Crystal Palace next Saturday.
Both teams had chances to score in the first half, Villa coming close in the ninth minute through Charles N'Zogbia, whose header landed on the roof of the net. Eight minutes later, N'Zogbia curled a free-kick just wide of the top corner.
Newcastle should have gone ahead in the 25th minute when a Yoan Gouffran shot deflected into the path of an unmarked Remy Cabella at the back post. But the former Montpellier man shot wide of the target, spurning a golden chance.
Cabella then turned provider in the 32nd minute, slotting a pass to Emmanuel Riviere on the left. Riviere directed his low shot on target, but it rolled straight at Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who saved comfortably.
Newcastle started the second half on the front foot and created two good chances in the opening minutes. In the 51st minute, a lofted free-kick flew to the back post, where Williamson headed back into the middle for Daryl Janmaat. The Dutch defender powered a header on target, but Guzan tipped over to keep the match scoreless.
Five minutes later, Janmaat came close again, rifling a shot narrowly wide of the top corner after cutting in from the right flank.
Villa introduced summer signing Carlos Sanchez for his debut in the 62nd minute, the Colombian replacing N'Zogbia in attack. Newcastle then brought on Siem de Jong for his Premier League debut, with Vurnon Anita making way in the 70th minute.
Two more substitutions followed shortly thereafter as Villa brought on Darren Bent for Kieran Richardson and Newcastle introduced Ayoze Perez for Riviere.
Bent was nearly involved in a chance in the 79th minute as Delph weaved his way through the Newcastle half and crossed into the box, but Bent was ruled offside even before his header looped over the bar.
Perez then had an opportunity for a late winner in the 84th minute. Paul Dummett picked out the unmarked forward with a deep cross to the back post, but Perez volleyed wildly over the bar.
The visitors had an even better chance four minutes later after a defensive miscue in Villa's end saw De Jong bear down on goal. The Dutchman drove a powerful, high shot on target, but Guzan made a fine reaction save before smothering the rebound.
Newcastle were then reduced to 10 men in the 90th minute, when Williamson was sent off for his second bookable offence. The dismissal hardly mattered, though, with the two sides playing out four minutes of stoppage time uneventfully.
|Carlos Sanchez (for N'Zogbia, 62')||N/A||6.2|
|Darren Bent (for Richardson, 76')||N/A||6.0|
|Nathan Baker (for Cissokho, 81')||N/A||6.3|
Ratings via WhoScored.com
|Siem De Jong (for Anita, 70')||N/A||6.4|
|Ayoze Perez (for Riviere, 77')||N/A||6.3|
|Steven Taylor (for Perez, 90')||N/A||No rating|
Ratings via WhoScored.com
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert (via PremierLeague.com):
I couldn't ask the lads for any more. But bearing in mind we've got (Christian) Benteke to come back, (Libor) Kozak to come back, I'm pretty sure if one of them was there we'd have got at least a couple of goals. Christian should start training after the international break and we'll see how he is.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew (via PremierLeague.com):
If you look at Manu's (Riviere’s) record, he's got a good record. In pre-season we were all thinking he's going to kick off straightaway but he's had two games and he's hardly had a chance.
I think he had one left-footed chance, which isn't his stronger foot, today so I do feel that he's going to score goals for us. Young Ayo (Perez) came on and unfortunately had to be sacrificed when we lost (Williamson) but we've got goals in this team. It doesn't really overly concern me, but at the moment that's going to be put against us as we stand.