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Shearer sinks the Villa
Aston Villa missed the chance to return to the top of the Premiership when Authentic Prada Outlet Online Uk they were made to look ordinary by a resurgent Newcastle, with Alan Shearer proving he is ready for England duty next week by opening the scoring after just four minutes. ‘Typical Shearer,’ John Gregory said. ‘I can’t believe Agatha Ruiz Prada Online Shop he’s gone so long without scoring.’
Ruud Gullit, anxious to play down reports of Authentic Prada Bags For Sale Philippines a rift between himself and Newcastle’s most expensive signing, had suggested earlier in the week that Shearer was still the best striker in the country and ought to be an automatic choice for England. Glenn Hoddle, who names his team to face France at Wembley on 10 February this Thursday, said much the same thing in his interview with the Times yesterday, although for some reason it was not given much prominence.
After a week full of Stan Collymore’s stress problems – the Villa striker has now checked into the Priory Clinic for a week, Gregory revealed – and Hoddle’s dippy, verging on sinister, philosophising, it was a relief to see a footballer doing his talking on the pitch for a change. Shearer applied himself with vigour, looking much happier in a team who Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Book Bags appeared to have rediscovered their old confidence, ending all arguments about his fitness for France. Just for good measure he even demonstrated he has not lost the knack of kicking opposing defenders in the head by the touchline and getting away with it, though this time the contact that led to Ugo Ehiogu’s departure after 40 minutes was clearly accidental.
It was a bad day Authentic Prada Gauffre Bag for Villa defenders. Steve Watson, making his first Premiership return to St James’ Park, was given a roasting down the left by Stephen Glass, whose crosses led to the first two goals and could have brought Shearer a hat-trick. Gareth Southgate was far from his usual dependable self at the heart of the Villa defence, and his young partner, Gareth Barry, was similarly unable to counter the threat Newcastle posed in the air. Only some wayward finishing in the second half let the visitors leave with their credibility more or less intact. ‘Our defending was sloppy, we were awful in the first half and couldn’t get back into it replica prada bags,’ Gregory said.
Villa had a chance Authentic Prada Online Shop straight from the kick-off, with Shay Given having to rush from his area to head clear from Paul Merson, but it was the more celebrated forehead of Shearer that brought about his first goal in the Premiership since September three minutes later. Glass’s cross from the left was Are All Prada Handbags Leather quick and accurate, though the Villa cover was conspicuous by its absence as Shearer rose alone in front of goal to plant a firm header past Michael Oakes. Authentic Prada Shoes Sale
Shearer had the ball in the net again after 25 minutes but saw his header from Nolberto Solano’s corner disallowed for a shove on Southgate. No matter, Newcastle had a second three minutes later, when a determined Shearer burst through the middle and freed Glass on the left. Another early centre, this time a low one, was met by Temuri Ketsbaia. Oakes dived bravely at the feet of Shearer when a mistake from Southgate almost led to a third goal, but what best summed up the way Newcastle were playing was a goal they nearly scored after 35 minutes, when an acrobatic clearance by Solano was turned into a shooting chance for Ketsbaia by a thoughtful pass from Gary Speed.
Their failure to press home a clear advantage began to look worryingly ominous from their point of view when Merson pulled a goal back on the hour with an elegant half-volley from 20 yards out, though the home side retained enough defensive solidity to keep Villa out while continuing to miss opportunities to make the game safe. Shearer was the chief culprit, putting a free header wide and another on Best Prada Outlet Italy top of the net from two more Glass crosses, though when Andreas Andersson came on for Ketsbaia he all too predictably joined in. The Swede could have had the goal of the season when he got on the end of another sweeping attack initiated by Shearer and continued with pace and imagination by Dietmar Hamann and substitute Garry Brady. But he headed over the bar with the Villa defence nowhere to be seen.
Steve Howey put the last chance wide, with a back header that rolled the wrong side of a post, before Black Prada Doctor Bag Merson just missed securing a wholly undeserved point for Villa with a late volley. Privately Gullit might be worried Newcastle were still within catching distance at that stage, but publicly he is not saying so. ‘We had a lot of chances, but we can just be happy with the result,’ he said. ‘I would say that was the best 90 minutes I’ve seen from us this season. We were hungry, people were battling for each other. I’m very pleased.’
Gregory, who confirmed Collymore would not be available for selection next week, was just the opposite. ‘I’m not going to use Stanley as an excuse. I don’t think it affected our preparation or anything,’ he said. ‘But it has had an effect on me. I feel tired and drained. It is something I could have done without.’