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Aston Villa hosted Newcastle who has been without a win in 9 games and Aston Villa made sure it extended to 10 games.
Saint Maxima is back into Newcastle side albeit starting on the bench. He just recovered from Covid and hasn't trained for 2 weeks. Aston Villa also missed one of their players too, McGinn who is serving his one-match ban. He is indeed a massive loss to Villa.
Newcastle started brightly and did everything just to get ahead before Aston Villa would ease into the game but they couldn't get anything from their efforts.
Targett had a shot straight at the keeper in the 5th minute which the goalkeeper comfortably saved, as Villa started getting into the game. Watkins also had another chance in the 10th minute but he couldn't get good contact with the ball that came in brilliantly into the box and it could have easily been 1-0.
Aston Villa wasn't denied for too long when Newcastle gave away a sloppy goal in the 13th minute. It was a sloppy goal for Newcastle to concede. Watkins pounced when the defended tried to have a clean sweep of the ball into the box only for the ball to bounce and all Watkins had to do is put his head to it and head it right home. It was a timely goal for Watkins who has now ended his goal drought. Watkins scored easily and you don't give such a chance to him without him putting it in.
This deflated Newcastle even more and renewed the energy of Aston Villa. They started playing as though they were down by 1 goal. The needed this game and win so they can climb above Chelsea into 8th place.
Watkins drew a foul in the 17th minute and Traore took the resulting freekick. It was a great ball in but Ross Barkley headed wide when he should have scored.
Andy Carrol almost scored for Newcastle United with a defence error. He did everything right but the contact was not enough. There wasn't much contact on the ball from him.
In the 42nd minute, Traore scored his first goal of the season with a brilliant effort that even rattled the underside of the crossbar as it went in to make it 2-0 of the night. It has now become a mountain for Newcastle to climb as they were not playing as though they were a goal down. Aston Villa showed more character and effort.
In the 47th minute, Douglas Luiz almost made it 3-0 when the ball fell to him in the box after initial attempt from Villa but his effort trickles narrowly out for a goal kick.
There is no doubt, Traore, Cash and Watkins were phenomenal on the night. It would take something special to stop these trios.
Barkley had a cheeky back-heel effort went wide and above after a block in the 67th minute. Newcastle also had their moments while they keep pressing and doing all they could to unlock the Villa defence but it was a brick wall they met every time.
Barkley was taken off in the 79th minute much to his disappointment as he must have felt he would get on the scoreline after being heavily involved in driving the attacks. El Ghazi came in for him while Traore; the goalscorer also came off for Trezeguet. Newcastle also had a substitution of their own when Gayle came in for his 100th Premier League appearances and Almiron made a way for him.
In the 85th minute, Watkins tried to win a penalty but it wasn't given because he went down far too easily. It would be painful for the referee to pick that for a penalty.
In the 94th minute, right at the death, El Ghazi attempted a brilliant ball in, that fell to Trezeguet and he almost scored.
The game ended 2-0 in favour of Villa who actually wanted it more. Newcastle United didn't do well enough to make them get anything out of the game. Chelsea has slipped to 9th position with Villa's win here tonight.
It's a long road for Newcastle and I believe they need to start getting the points to arrest the tide. It was a deserved victory for Villa. On to the next...
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