Aston Villa 1 Newcastle United 2: Gouffran and Ben Arfa see off Villa

NET GAIN ... Hatem Ben Arfa scores Newcastle's opening goal at Villa Park.
NET GAIN ... Hatem Ben Arfa scores Newcastle's opening goal at Villa Park.
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YOAN Gouffran came off the bench to net Newcastle United’s winner at Villa Park this afternoon.

The forward’s second-half strike gave Alan Pardew’s side a deserved 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

Christian Benteke had cancelled out Hatem Ben Arfa’s first-half opening goal in the 67th minute.

But Gouffran – who replaced Loic Remy – gave United all three points with a neat finish after a shot from Ben Arfa was parried into his path by Brad Guzan.

Newcastle made a promising start at Villa Park, the scene of Moussa Sissoko’s debut last season.

That night Sissoko set up a goal for Papiss Demba Cisse in a 2-1 win for United.

And it was full debutant Remy who created Ben Arfa’s opening goal. A fortnight after his ball found Ben Arfa for Newcastle’s late winner against Fulham, he took the ball on the left after Villa only half-cleared their lines.

The forward got to the byline, and his cut-back was directed towards Ben Arfa by Cisse. For once, Ben Arfa had an easy finish from three yards.

Villa lost Jores Okore to injury with 30 minutes gone. He was replaced by Ciaran Clark, who put a good chance into the side netting as the half-time break neared.

For all their possession, Paul Lambert’s side had struggled to carve out clearcut chances, and Newcastle were always dangerous on the counter attack.

Andreas Weimann put an opportunity wide of Tim Krul’s goal late in the half.

Yohan Cabaye, making his first start of the season, wasn’t far away with an effort in first-half injury time after Sissoko played him in with a deft ball.

Villa fought back after the break, and Gabriel Agbonlahor should have done a lot better after Weimann found him with a right-wing cross. The striker somehow shot across goal with Krul almost certainly beaten.

A Ben Arfa shot was parried by Brad Guzan, and Cabaye’s corner was met by the right boot of Debuchy, whose shot flew just wide of the right-hand post.

Villa were soon level thanks to Benteke, who met an Ashley Westwood corner with a powerful – and unchallenged – header.

But their lead lasted just six minutes.

Ben Arfa again broke down the right, and his fierce shot was parried into the path of substitute Gouffran, on for Remy, by Guzan.

Gouffran kept his cool and beat Guzan with a well-placed shot.

United looked to take a hold of the game in the wake of Gouffran’s strike, and they created a series of late chances.

They couldn’t add to their advantage, but Gouffran’s strike was enough to in the end secure a third successive victory.

Twitter: @milesstarforth

ASTON VILLA: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Okore (Clark, 30), Luna, El Ahmadi (Kozak, 67), Westwood, Agbonlahor, Delph, Benteke, Weimann (Tonev, 88). Subs not used: Steer, Bacuna, Helenius, Sylla.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Anita (Tiote, 74), Sissoko, Cabaye (Sammy Ameobi., 89); Remy (Gouffran, 63), Cisse, Ben Arfa. Subs not used: Elliot, Dummett, S Taylor, Marveaux.

Goals: Ben Arfa 18, Benteke 67, Gouffran 73

Bookings: Delph 33, Yanga-Mbiwa 40, Cabaye 57

Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral)

Attendance: 37,554