We all know that Martin O’Neill wears spectacles, and it appears as though the Aston Villa manager was wearing the rose-tinted variety on Monday night, after watching his team lose 2-0 at Newcastle. Obafemi Martins struck twice in the second half to give the Magpies a deserved victory, although the Villans gaffer is lamenting the fact that his team couldn’t put away their first-half chances.
While it’s true that the visitors shaded the match before the interval, the only real glaring miss was Gabriel Agbonlahor’s air shot, with Martin Laursen’s header well covered by the man on the line and Ashley Young’s shot well smothered by Shay Given. Nevertheless, Setanta reports that O’Neill reckons the team had enough first-half chance to comfortably win the game.
“On the first half performance, we probably should have been out of sight.
“We had great chances to win the game and couldn’t get our noses in front. We had a number of chances and I thought we played exceptionally well first half.
“Second half we were far from our very, very best. I thought we would conjure up the chances but it never really fell for us. But we shouldn’t have lost.
“Gabby [Agbonlahor] has a great chance and he mishits it in front of goal and normally he would put it in the net. But we had a number of chances – Martin Laursen hit the post early on.”
The Premier League is proving to be interesting this season, with teams near the bottom of the table making life extremely difficult for visiting teams. Newcastle limited their opponents to a handful of chances, and it’s clear that Villa were closed down and harried extremely well throughout the match. Are Aston Villa supporters still confident that their team can challenge for Champions League places this season?