Emi Buendía #10 of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring a goal in the second half during a Premier League Summer Series match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United

Aston Villa played their first pre-season game in the United States, facing Newcastle United in Philadelphia.

Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy


Aston Villa were welcomed to Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field today, facing Premier League compatriots Newcastle United in what was the first game of the ‘Summer Series’ for both sides.

It would be Unai Emery’s side that took the lead early on into the game, as Emiliano Buendia’s mazy run in the Newcastle United half drew much attention from the Magpies defence, leaving Ollie Watkins free inside the box. The diminutive Argentinian would find Watkins with a great pass, before Aston Villa’s forward poked the ball past Dubravka and into the net.

Buendia turned goal scorer just a few minutes later, doubling Aston Villa’s lead in the 11th minute. Douglas Luiz found Buendia in space before the number 10 raced into the box, stepping over the ball and moving it onto his right foot before drilling his shot past a stranded Dubravka.

There was almost a third a few minutes later as Philogene-Bidace raced down the wing and played a sublime ball across goal for Watkins, who couldn’t quite stretch far enough to get a shot on target. The Villa youngster almost carved out a goal for himself following a successful press and a tricky run – but his shot was deflected out for a corner.

Newcastle youngster Elliot Anderson was able to beat Aston Villa’s offside trap just before the half hour mark, allowing him to run into the box with work still to do, and slot a shot past the outstretched, diving glove of Emiliano Martinez.

On the crest of half-time, Newcastle were able to equalise as Boubacar Kamara was dispossessed in his own final third, allowing goal scorer Anderson to race into the box and force Martinez into a save. The ball wasn’t able to be cleared by either Mings or Digne, and fell to Alexander Isak to place in the back of the net.

Ollie Watkins #11 of Aston Villa reacts after scoring a goal in the first half during a Premier League Summer Series match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Lincoln Financial Field.


Aston Villa made four changes at the start of the second half, with Mings and Konsa replaced by Diego Carlos and Pau Torres, while goalkeeper Emi Martinez was replaced by Robin Olsen. Youngster Omari Kellyman also came onto the pitch, replacing John McGinn.

Early into the half Unai Emery’s men took the lead once again. Jaden Philogene-Bidace was able to race into the Newcastle box before cutting the ball back to the edge, where 17-year-old Omari Kellyman was waiting. The youngster’s shot forced was forced onto the post by Dubravka, before Emiliano Buendia was able to notch the rebound into an empty net.

Newcastle brought the game level in the 55th minute as Anthony Gordon was able to latch onto a ball over the top and force Olsen into a save. The Sweden international’s palmed save fell into the path of Callum Wilson, who netted with aplomb.

Kellyman almost had his time in the limelight again at the hour mark, forcing Dubravka into a save before rounding the keeper and firing a weak shot towards goal that was cleared by the Newcastle defence. Following this, Buendia, Watkins, Kamara and Digne all departed the pitch and were replaced by Youri Tielemans, Cameron Archer, Sebastian Revan and Aaron Ramsey.

Ten minutes later, and Calum Chambers and Kadan Young came onto the pitch to replace Douglas Luiz and Jaden Philogene-Bidace.

Robin Olsen was called into a strong save in the 88th minute as Newcastle’s new signing Harvey Barnes came inside onto his right foot and attempted a curled effort, which the Swede held on to.

Overall, a strong pre-season showing in which young players were able to impress and an opportunity for senior players new and old to get some much needed minutes in the tank. Emery would likely have challenged his side to win, but with a side of varying strength playing across the 90 minutes a draw and a good performance will be enough.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.