Aston Villa 1-3 Newcastle: Toon back with a bang in biggest win of the season so far

Before we start can I just say: Wow, Fabian Schar. What a player.

Any concerns of lack of energy coming from the far-from-convincing cup win at Fulham were put to bed as Newcastle’s intensity was once again on display, with a fluid and dominant victory against European rivals Aston Villa.

A sensational brace from centre half Schar had Newcastle 2-0 up before half-time. An own goal from Moreno provided a third for Eddie’s Mags, sending the away end into dreamland.

Watkins’ goal 20 minutes from time gave Villa hope of a comeback, but nothing came of it amid a sturdy defensive performance from the Toon.

14 points separated the two teams before kick-off with Eddie Howe defiant in his claims that the Mags were still in a fight for a place in the top four despite the difference.

The opening period of the game felt almost like a throwback to the style of football that came to symbolise Howe’s side last season. High intensity. Searching balls from flank to flank. Willing runners from midfield. It was energetic, a characteristic which has been lacking in recent performances.

But it was a set piece that broke the deadlock after a wicked delivery from an outswinging Trippier corner was met by Schar who volleyed neatly into the net to put Newcastle 1-0 up after half an hour.

Three minutes later and Schar had a brace after Gordon’s low driven shot from outside the box was deflected onto the crossbar and the follow-up fell to Schar who bounced the ball underneath Martinez.

With the performance back to levels Howe will recognise from last season, surely nothing could go wrong?

But bad luck has been our shadow this season and Isak came off injured before the break. This means we are left without a fit senior striker and 48 hours to bring in reinforcements through the transfer window. Even then, FFP and PSR rules mean that we have to sell before we can buy.

Isak had looked bright as usual, but a newfound dynamic of rotation with Gordon on the left looked to be causing a few issues. Fingers crossed it won’t keep him out for long.

With Almiron back from illness, a swap to play Gordon through the middle in Isak’s absence was made. Almiron was playing in an unfamiliar role on the left when he was perfectly slipped through beyond Cash. A brilliantly weighted ball across left Murphy to tap in, but his shot was turned in by Moreno for an own goal.

Villa remained a threat when they could get the ball down and moving in the final third. Watkins was sent through a couple of times but was more often met by the palms of Dubravka who had another brilliant game, especially after taking a hefty knock midway through the second-half.

One ball beyond Burn found its way to Watkins after 70 mins and he smashed it past Dubravka to put Villa back on the hunt for a result.

A few moments later and he was in again, but his run was just a bit too quick off the mark and VAR crosshairs denied the England international a second – and made a sigh of relief from the heel of Dan Burn.

Two wins in four days gives a dash of optimism to a month which saw little to enjoy in the league. An injection of hope that, even without a January signing, the season is not a write off.

The victory sees Newcastle jump to seventh in the Premier League and eight points off the top five, with our big win coming as Brighton were battered 4-0 at Luton. Two wins from Wembley in the FA Cup and European hopes rekindled after a staggered start to the year.

This team do have a habit of proving doubters wrong!

NUFC XI: Dubravka – Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn – Longstaff, Bruno, Miley – J Murphy, Isak, Gordon.

SUBS: Karius, Dummett, Ritchie, Krafth, Hall, Livramento, Almiron, White, Hernes. 

Team photo after win over Aston Villa

About Joshua Nichol

Joshua is a freelance journalist currently training at Sunderland Uni, but is a lifelong Newcastle fan and enjoyer of retro football kits.

13 thoughts on “Aston Villa 1-3 Newcastle: Toon back with a bang in biggest win of the season so far

  1. Top result.
    I appreciate the report as that was tough to listen to online .. it’s difficult to get a sense of how close it was. It certainly felt tense.

    Saying that, the commentators implied they managed out the game without too much drama which is a nice mentality to develop.

    I think I counted three villa yellows for fouls on guimaraes. Were they targeting him and if so kudos to him for maintaining his composure.

    Anyone know what happened to isak


  2. Great result. I think we absolutely have to try for some loans in. Maybe a punt on Ekitike as Sharpy suggested before? It’s clear we need another striker as Wilson and Isak just cannot stay fit. Also a midfielder as we are light there too. We will probably slip back down the table again after tonight’s matches but great to start winning again.


  3. Gilly, West Ham already above the toon and should win tonight. Brighton humped last night. I can’t see Chelsea getting owt from Liverpool and it’d be good if wolves turn up against manutd. All that said, I’m a little more interested in where the toon are come end of the month after three games they should win if they are serious about putting a run together to get to euro places
    Then it’s arsenal .. hmmm.. and the 5th round. Feels like feb is an opportunity to go for


  4. Ok two things that jumped out at me from players last night;
    Guimaraes of whom I’ve been critical maintained his composure very well with some obvious attempts to provoke him ( three yellow cards for villa players for for spiteful challenges on him alone). Kudos to the lad.
    I Thought the rating on longstaff was harsh. He pressed very well and in doing so offered some space for guimaraes and miley to push on. Look, I know his time here is limited and he’ll be ( maybe already is ) in line for an upgrade but his contribution now is important if he clicks. He should’ve scored at the death tho ( he wasn’t alone in being wasteful).

    In respect of the team overall, the structure was good and the team were smart and aggressive. Howe, now he has realistic options to adjust, showed he knows how to set up a team and problem solve mid game
    Good start to the last half of the season; now they need to build on it


  5. What’s happened to the format of the site? It’s different. Someone pis..sing about again? 😡


  6. Gilly Toon:
    What’s happened to the format of the site? It’s different. Someone pis..sing about again? 😡

    In what respect mate? Could you email me screenshots of what you’re seeing to [email protected]? Much easier if possible, as I can then see what you are referring to and pass it on.


  7. Olly Hawkins: In what respect mate? Could you email me screenshots of what you’re seeing to [email protected]? Much easier if possible, as I can then see what you are referring to and pass it on.

    Each comment now has a number, and the boxes the comments appeared in are gone … it’s ok, it’s just different.


  8. Olly, it’s just the format really. I guess I’m sort of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” It’s not a return of any issues we had.


  9. The benefit / risk of having access to non-toon think pieces is insights to the situations which are only superficially covered in the mainstream. For example rashford

    Just listened to sensible manutd professional journalists in this.

    What a messy situation and the common theme is hes disenchanted with football

    So why am I paying attention.

    If nufc think they can manage the circus that comes with him, I can think of no-one better than Howe to put an arm around rashford and give him some love ( gordon for example)

    Id especially do it if eth stays there. Problem is the manutd fans are supportive of him and the club seem to have managed this one ok. What a shame they’ve got some professionalism in Ratcliffe there now.

    Oh and I’d absolutely be considering guimaraes as part of that conversation. Isak, botman and Gordon no chance and preferably not even joelinton

    Pie in the sky?? Yeah I guess so and he’ll be part of the haaland/mbappe /?? merry go round in summer if he goes anywhere 😉


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