Newcastle’s Premier League survival hopes gained momentum as a superb Kieran Trippier free-kick earned them a 1-0 win over Aston Villa.
For the third game in a row, the Magpies scored from a direct free-kick, when the right-back tucked home moments after VAR ruled a foul on Joe Willock had taken place outside penalty area (35).
The visitors thought they had equalized after an hour but Ollie Waktins’ leveler was ruled out after being ruled slightly offside following another VAR review, leaving Newcastle four points above the area relegation from the Premier League.
Much of the first half hour was promising but lacked edge on both sides, who struggled to get their forwards to play. On the contrary, Newcastle looked the most threatening, however, with runs and crosses from Ryan Fraser from the right flank proving a nuisance for the visitors, who were largely passive.
Just after the half-hour, Newcastle were awarded a penalty when Calum Chambers clumsily tripped Joe Willock as he roared towards goal. After a moment’s hesitation, referee Craig Pawson pointed the spot, although the decision was later downgraded to a free-kick from the edge of the box after consultation with VAR Paul Tierney.
A long delay followed as the teams organised, before Trippier curled a fine effort around the Villa wall and past goalkeeper Emi Martinez, via the slightest deflection of Emi Buendia’s knee – his second goal in as many matches.
Newcastle: Dubravka (6), Trippier (7), Burn (8), Schar (7), Manquillo (6), Willock (6), Shelvey (6), Joelinton (6), Fraser (6), Wood (5), Saint-Maximin (5)
Subtitles: Dummett (6), Krafth (6), Guimaraes (N/A)
AstonVilla: Martinez (6), Cash (6), Chambers (5), Mings (6), Worthy (5), McGinn (5), Luiz (5), Ramsey (4), Buendia (4), Watkins (5), Coutinho (4)
Subtitles: Ings (5), Bailey (4), Chukwuemeka (N/A)
Man of the match: Dan Burn
The Magpies looked to start the second half with flying colors to build on their slim lead, but Villa grew and took advantage of a loose defence, with Watkins heading a yard or two after a cross was kicked in on his way. He had moved a few millimeters away from Emil Krafth, however, and that was eventually ruled out, much to the delight of local audiences.
- Despite Newcastle boss Eddie Howe’s claims that Bruno Guimaraes was fit enough to start, the Brazilian was once again benched. Kieran Trippier started, while Dan Burn – who made his debut for the Magpies – and Javier Manquillo replaced Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Targett – the latter ineligible to face his parent club.
- Following the 3-3 draw with Leeds, Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard was forced into a change, with Calum Chambers replacing the suspended Ezri Konsa.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard introduced Leon Bailey and Danny Ings in a bid to freshen up his side’s attack and force an equaliser, but the chances multiplied afterwards and Newcastle took the points.
Man of the Match – Dan Burn
Gary Neville on Sky Sports Premier League:
“Without a shadow of a doubt he’s my man of the match. He was composed at the back and all his work was really good, especially his header clearances. I didn’t see the defense of Newcastle as organized as this for some time.”
Newcastle visit West Ham next Saturday in the Premier League at 12.30pm while Aston Villa host Watford on the same day at 3pm.