Another brilliant result for the Magpies. That’s now three wins in a row for Eddie Howe’s men! Could a manager of the month award be on the horizon?
After more magic from Trippier, a resolute showing in the second half helped us to all three points, with every player putting in a shift to see out the victory.
There’s nothing better than seeing a St James Park absolutely rocking once again! Here come the ratings on another fantastic afternoon for the black and white men:
Martin Dubravka – 7 – Another solid showing from the man between the sticks. Displayed some clever gamesmanship in the second half to slow the game down and was quick off his line to head one long ball away from Leon Bailey. Has turned a corner since a poor showing against Cambridge. Will be interesting to see if the 33 year old will be in Eddie’s plans moving forward next season, as he does look a little uncomfortable when asked to play out from the back. No saves of note today, but he is a calming presence.
Kieran Trippier – 8 – January signing of the season, undoubtedly. Given the armband today due to Lascelles illness. Two free kick goals in a row for the England man and another solid display today, keeping Digne and Coutinho quiet while he was on the pitch. Forced off with an injury early second half, so let’s hope he is fit for West Ham game, as his presence at both ends of the pitch has been a huge part of our success in recent weeks.
Fabian Schar – 7.5 – Took a whack from Trippier first half which gave him a nasty cut across the eye. Didn’t seem to phase him however, putting in another solid performance. Kept Watkins then Ings pretty quiet all afternoon and seems to be finally adding consistency after building on that MOTM display at Leeds.
Dan Burn – 9* – Man of the match. Outstanding debut from the man from Blyth. Won absolutely everything in the air, commanded the back line well, read the game superbly and played the ball into midfield with confidence. Will be a fantastic addition to our defence and Lascelles may be struggling to get his place back in the side.
Javier Manquillo – 7 – Forced off with an injury late first half. Didn’t show too much from an offensive perspective but kept Villa’s right hand side pretty quiet whilst he was on the pitch. Hopefully nothing serious.
Jonjo Shelvey – 7 – Solid performance from Shelvey today, with him (like Schar) adding grit and consistency to his game. Battled well against a high energy and usually creative Villa midfield. Coutinho was anonymous today for Villa and Shelvey was a large contributing factor towards this, with him tracking back brilliantly at times. Showed composure at points to bring the ball into attack. Booked in the second half for a bad lunge on Ramsey.
Joe Willock – 8 – Starting to look like the man who we paid £25m for at the end of last season. Expressing himself more going forward – winning the free kick for Trippier’s goal – and fantastic at nicking the ball in midfield and starting counter attacks. Impossibly to drop at present and great to see him confident again.
Joelinton – 7 – A few quieter games from the Brazilian tank in the last few weeks but still a huge figure in the Magpies midfield. Fantastic in the tackle and a physical monster, but needs to add a bit of quality going forward to add goals and assists to his game. Booked in the first half for a cynical foul on Buendia so was dicing with danger for the rest of the game.
Ryan Fraser – 7.5 – Definitely getting back to his best since Howe’s arrival. Ran himself into the ground again, doing a superb job to help out Krafth after Trippier was forced off. Showing considerable growth in his fitness levels and now starting to add some quality to his game, delivering a few great crosses into the box. Has nailed down a starting position in Howe’s side.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 7 – always a threat going forward but could’ve helped Dummett a bit more second half causing Villa to create a few overloads on various occasions which could’ve been costly. Unlucky not to score second half. Seems to be really enjoying his football.
Chris Wood – 6.5 – A very astute target man, winning everything in the air once again – we must need ASM and Fraser to read his flick-ons a little better. Made the wrong decision first half to shoot from outside the box, instead of slipping Fraser in for a huge chance. Lacking confidence and just needs a scrappy goal to get him up and running for the Magpies.
Emil Krafth – 7 – Solid coming on for the magnificent Trippier which could’ve been a worry for the home fans. Filled in well and could well play the next game considering Trippier and Manquillo’s injuries.
Paul Dummett – 6 – held his position well coming back from injury. Not the best going forward and isolated slightly due to Saint-Maximin’s refusal to defend. Exposed a few times for lack of pace.
Bruno Guimaraes- N/A – A brief cameo for 10 minutes. Won a really important foul in the dying embers to see us home and got a huge ovation from fans inside SJP.