Aston Villa dominated Newcastle at Villa Park this evening – picking up two goals and a clean sheet (and obviously three points).
Steve Bruce returned to Villa Park once more this evening as manager of Newcastle United – with Aston Villa’s second of a glut of games following their midweek loss to Manchester City.
Matt Targett forced Karl Darlow into an early save with an attempt from range in the early periods of the game, but both sides looked willing to press and attack.
Ollie Watkins had an opportunity in the 10th minute at Targett played a curling ball towards the near post. The forward couldn’t get enough of a touch on the ball as it bounced wide.
Just three minutes later and the forward scored, however. Targett again played an early ball that caught Fabian Schar out, with the centre-back flicking the ball into the air in a central area, allowing Watkins to rise above Darlow and head over the ‘keeper into the net.
The next 20 minutes fell into end-to-end attacks, but nothing coming through these attacks for both sides.
Ollie Watkins thought that he had bagged a second in the 33rd minute, with a tidy finish after working his way into the left side of the box – but the VAR ruled the forward offside, correctly.
Aston Villa found themselves 2-0 ahead four minutes before time as Bertrand Traoré played the ball to Jack Grealish on the left, who opened up space and played the ball back to the Burkina Faso international, who side-footed his shot first time. The shot was glorious, hitting the bar and nestling into the bottom right corner.
The home side went in at the break ahead, looking in control of the affair.
Aston Villa started the second half much like they finished the first. Ollie Watkins forced Darlow into a save in the 48th minute, which eventually, after a few deflections, fell to Douglas Luiz – who sliced his passed shot wide from an excellent position.
Andy Carroll was booked in the 53rd minute for a horrible, late challenge on Marvelous Nakamba. Just three minutes later, and Jamal Lascelles received a yellow card for a lunging tackle on Jack Grealish.
Around the hour mark and the period before it, Aston Villa were in complete control, and enjoyed a prolonged period of possession.
Ross Barkley tried to improvise a backheeled volley in the 67th minute as Ollie Watkins headed the ball across goal as he met Traore’s cross, but Barkley’s effort flicked over the bar.
In the 70th minute, Javi Maquillo and Andy Caroll were replaced by Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser.
Ten minutes later, and Aston Villa made a double change, with Anwar El Ghazi arriving onto the pitch for Ross Barkley, whilst Bertrand Traore was replaced by Trézéguet – who returned after two months out.
With just a few minutes remaining, captain Jack Grealish was given a light reprieve ahead of the next game and was replaced by Jacob Ramsey.
Trezeguet was denied from close range in the last kick of the game, with Darlow saving his trickling shot well.