A late save by Brad Guzan denied Newcastle United their first win of the season in the Barclays Premier League as they and Aston Villa scrapped their way to a 0-0 draw at Villa Park.
Newcastle had not mustered a shot on target in their 2-0 defeat by Manchester City last weekend, and Alan Pardew's men again struggled to create many clear chances in the first half.
Villa had been happy to sit deep and break on their opponents, and Newcastle noticeably pushed on after half-time, although their best openings fell to right-back Daryl Janmaat, who was unable to open his account for the club.
Pardew's side came into the contest with form against Villa and, although they extended their unbeaten run against the Birmingham club to seven matches, a lack of cutting edge will have frustrated the Newcastle manager.
Mike Williamson was shown a second yellow card in stoppage time, but it failed to inspire Villa into a late charge and they ended the game without a shot on target.
With home form having been an issue for Villa in 2013/14, they began with a counter-attacking approach often deployed in away games. While that limited their possession, the pace of Charles N'Zogbia, playing his first game at Villa Park since April 2013, looked a threat on the counter. The Frenchman had the first sight of goal 18 minutes in as he curled a 20-yard free-kick wide.
Despite seeing plenty of the ball, Newcastle struggled to penetrate Villa's backline, although Remy Cabella again looked impressive after an eye-catching debut against City.
The France playmaker slipped Emmanuel Riviere into the left channel, but a narrow shot was comfortable for Guzan low to his left. Then more Cabella creativity opened up space for Vurnon Anita, but the Dutchman's effort lifted high and wide.
Newcastle looked much more dangerous after the interval, with their defenders going closest. Janmaat twice troubled Guzan in the half's opening 10 minutes, forcing the American to tip a stooping header over before fizzing a left-footed drive just off target.
Williamson completely missed the ball after Cabella's right-wing corner as a Newcastle goal looked to be imminent.
Paul Lambert replaced N'Zogbia with debutant Carlos Sanchez in the search for more control in midfield, while Siem de Jong was introduced as Newcastle looked to bolster their attacking numbers.
Darren Bent was afforded a warm reception as he was reintroduced to the Villa fans after a season away from the club on loan at Fulham, but the England man's presence did little to boost the home side.
De Jong had a gilt-edged chance to snatch the game in the closing stages, but Guzan denied the Dutchman one-on-one and Newcastle had to settle for their first point of the season, despite Williamson's dismissal in stoppage time.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "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."
"Cissokho was outstanding and he was that good, they had to put [Moussa] Sissoko back to stop him. Philippe has been great, he's a great talker in the game. A lot of people criticised him coming here but so far he's been terrific."
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew: "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."
|31 Aug 2014||v Hull (H)|
|13 Sep 2014||v Liverpool (A)|
|20 Sep 2014||v Arsenal (H)|
|27 Sep 2014||v Chelsea (A)|
|04 Oct 2014||v Man City (H)|
|18 Oct 2014||v Everton (A)|