ALAN Pardew says he was as pleased with Newcastle United’s battling second-half performance at Villa Park the fluent attacking play before the break.
Newcastle beat Aston Villa 2-1 last night to move four points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone.
Pardew’s side led 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from Papiss Demba Cisse and Yohan Cabaye.
But they couldn’t take their attacking fluency into the second half, and after Christian Benteke converted a penalty, United spent the rest of the game on the back foot.
However, they held on and claimed their first away win in any competition in eight months.
Pardew told the Gazette: “It was the kind of performance that if someone said to me ‘what would be the perfect night?’, it would to be fluent, play really good football, and then show another side – battling qualities and a spirit.
“We showed both sides of what you need to win a Premier League game. And then some.
“Villa absolutely bombarded us for 15 minutes before the end. We had to stand those bombs coming in.
“The first half was most impressive – (debutant Moussa) Sissoko was everything I hoped he’d be. It was a great aperitif for the season.”
Villa manager Paul Lambert was jeered as he made his way to the dressing room at the break, but his second-half changes – Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann were sent on – rejuvenated his team.
“Paul changes his team and personnel quite often,” added Pardew. “I knew he would make changes.
“We got caught out in the first five minutes, and when they scored a penalty, we were always then going to lose control of the game. We couldn’t grab it back.
“We were bombarded for 42 minutes, maybe more with added time, down the Holte End, and that ain’t easy.
“It gives us that extra win, which is important. We blew the Reading game, and now we’ve got it back straight away.”