Villa, Newcastle share the spoils

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iol spt aug23 Villa-Newcastle AP Newcastle United had still to score their first Premier League goal of the season after a 0-0 draw away to Aston Villa.

Newcastle United had still to score their first Premier League goal of the season after a 0-0 draw away to Aston Villa in Saturday's early kick-off match.

The Magpies had gone down to a 2-0 defeat at reigning champions Manchester City on the opening weekend last Sunday.

But they could broken their duck at Villa Park when, with barely a minute of normal time remaining, Dutch midfielder Siem de Jong let fly from close range only for American goalkeeper Brad Guzan to block the shot.

Newcastle finished the match with 10 men after central defender Mike Williamson was sent off in stoppage-time for a second bookable offence.

But it was too late for Villa, 1-0 winners at Stoke last weekend, to make their numerical advantage count.

Saturday's other matches see title-contenders Chelsea at home to newly-promoted Leicester while FA Cup-holders Arsenal travel to Everton.

Managerless Crystal Palace face London rivals West Ham while Southampton play West Bromwich Albion.

Swansea, fresh from their shock opening day win at Manchester United, welcome Premier League newcomers Burnley to south Wales.

Louis van Gaal will go in search of his first competitive win as Manchester United manager when he takes the team to north-east side Sunderland on Sunday, while former Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp will return to White Hart Lane as manager of fellow London club Queens Park Rangers.

Sunday's other Premier League fixtures sees Hull, 1-0 winners over QPR last weekend, at home to Stoke.

The second round of league fixtures is completed by Monday's clash between Manchester City and Liverpool, last season's runners-up, at Eastlands.

By then former City striker Mario Balotelli could be a Liverpool player if his proposed £16 million ($27 million, 20 million euros) transfer from AC Milan has been completed, although any deal will come too late for him to be registered to play on Monday. – AFP


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