Aston Villa vs Newcastle live 2024 playing Newcastle United got themselves back to winning ways with a professional and, at times, dominant display at Villa Park.
A match billed to be a close affair was anything but in the first 45 minutes as Newcastle strode forward, slipped into dangerous areas and put the hosts on the back foot.
Despite feeling restricted from open play, Eddie Howe’s men utilised set pieces to great effect with the first two goals coming from corners.
The first found Fabian Schar near the front post and he turned the ball past Emi Martinez to open the scoring. The second was flicked out to Anthony Gordon whose long-ranged effort struck the crossbar and rebounded back to Schar for a tap-in.
From there, Newcastle added a third after the half-time break through a slick counter-attack that saw Alex Moreno’s attempted clearance find the back of the net.
Ollie Watkins pulled a goal back for Aston Villa – his 50th in the Premier League – and ended his goal drought but it wasn’t enough for Unai Emery’s men to mount a comeback.
Newcastle United’s season had been in danger of becoming a repetitive tale of frustration and irritation, but they ripped up the script to deliver a major plot twist with a stunning victory over Aston Villa.
It was Villa’s first defeat at home in the league since they lost to Arsenal in February last year. A team indomitable on home soil for more than 11 months, who have beaten Arsenal and Manchester City, thrashed by a side that had not won away in the league since September.
This has been a remarkable season for Villa. So far, manager Unai Emery has done a fantastic job which will surely make him one of the leading candidates to be named manager of the year in May, but he has been spanked twice by Eddie Howe this season.
Torn apart at St James’ Park 5-1 on the opening weekend and outplayed again by Newcastle’s diagonal balls over the top of their high line defence. Newcastle should have scored more than the three goals they did, two for centre back Fabian Schar and an own goal he could do nothing about from Alex Moreno.
They got in behind Villa’s defence so often, so easily. Newcastle have never had reason to regret the fact Emery turned down the manager’s job at St James’ Park before they offered it to Howe in November 2021. This will merely reinforce their view that, as good as Emery is, they believe Howe is a better fit for them. The aggregate score between the two clubs this season is 8-2.
Fabian Schar scored twice as Newcastle ended a run of four consecutive Premier League defeats with a tenacious victory at Aston Villa.
Switzerland defender Schar finished well from close range for both goals as Villa stuttered to their first home league defeat of the season.
An own goal from Alex Moreno gave Newcastle a three-goal cushion before Ollie Watkins pulled a goal back.
Watkins had the ball in the net for a second time but was flagged offside.
Villa were left to rue the chance to make up ground on Premier League leaders Liverpool and remain in fourth spot – five points behind the Reds having played a game more.
Newcastle climbed up to seventh in the table but are still 11 points adrift of Villa in the battle to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
The Magpies played with the greater panache against a Villa side who had collected 28 points out of a possible 30 on home turf before this encounter, and were deserved victors.
Anthony Gordon, in particular, spearheaded their attacking play with a guile and flair as he frequently outfoxed the Villa defence with his movement and tricky.
Equally, Alexander Isak looked a threat in attack before his premature withdrawal in the first half through injury.
But Eddie Howe will have been especially pleased with the substance to his side, as well as the eye-catching moments of style, en route to only their second away win of the season.
Schar was the embodiment of that: disciplined, gritty and organised in his defensive work, never shirking a block or challenge.
“It was mixed emotions for me because that team is an elite team,” Howe told TNT Sports.
“The mixed part is that we haven’t seen that for a number of weeks. We looked much like ourselves and we have players coming back.”
At the other end of the pitch, Schar was clinical. He gave Ezri Konsa the slip to strike the ball home and open the scoring as Villa’s defending was punished when they allowed Kieran Trippier’s corner to drop into the six-yard box.
Newcastle’s second was pure opportunism from Schar. He stayed in the box following a corner and stabbed the ball home after Gordon saw his deflected effort bounce out off the underside of the crossbar with Emiliano Martinez already committed.
“We know what we are capable of but we haven’t shown it enough,” Schar told BBC Match of the Day.
“Today we know we were going to have to be at our best. This should give us a lot of confidence and hopefully we can build on these last two results.”
The game was effectively over as a contest seven minutes after half-time when Moreno could not prevent himself sliding Jacob Murphy’s low finish into the net.
Newcastle showed renewed energy and intensity after a dip. If the green shoots of recovery came in an FA Cup fourth-round win over Fulham last weekend, now there is further cause for optimism.