Aston Villa secured a 2-0 win over Newcastle Utd on Saturday as Dean Smith’s side put their first points of the Premier League season on the board.
Villa were given an early scare as Callum Wilson put a great chance wide, while Matty Cash made a key intervention at the back post just minutes later as the visitors threatened in the opening stages.
It was tough going for Villa through the first half as there was a lack of fluidity and quality to our play, but Danny Ings broke the deadlock just before half-time with a stunning overhead kick.
That was a pivotal moment in the game going into the break, with Anwar El Ghazi adding a second from the penalty spot to give us some breathing room.
A close VAR call saw Wilson judged to be offside after a penalty had initially been awarded by the referee, as Villa ultimately held out and kept a clean sheet to pick up all three points and seal what is a massive win and a great response after defeat at Watford last time out.
Villa player ratings vs Newcastle Utd:
Emi Martinez, 6.5 – Made himself big to force Wilson to send his effort wide early on in what was a big moment in the game. Slightly clumsy in giving away the penalty, but rescued by VAR. Not really tested other than that, alert when called upon.
Matty Cash, 8 – Excellent display as he showed great energy getting up and down the right flank, defending resolutely and looking better in possession while getting forward whenever possible. His long throw-in led to our first goal.
Ezri Konsa, 7 – Pretty solid for the most part, got caught out on occasion but played a key role in Villa ultimately keeping a clean sheet.
Tyrone Mings, 8 – Leader’s performance as although he looked a bit shaky early on, he responded well and made countless interventions on Newcastle’s efforts to get the ball into the box. Key flick-on header to assist for Ings goal and won the penalty for our second.
Ashley Young, 7 – Stalwart put in an experienced display as he came in for Matt Targett. Got help from his teammates, but kept Allan Saint-Maximin relatively at bay, offering a reliable presence on the left side.
Douglas Luiz, 7.5 – Credit to the Brazilian international after coming straight into the team despite having had only a handful of training sessions this week. Took a bit of time to get into the game, but he started to play a vital role in midfield as we managed to get a foothold.
John McGinn, 8.5 – McGinn was absolutely everywhere at Villa Park on Saturday, in what was a fully-committed and gritty performance where he never shied away from a tackle and drove us forward whenever possible. Tried his luck from distance a few times too.
Jacob Ramsey, 8.5 – A Man of the Match performance from the 20-year-old, as that is the level of influence Villa and Smith are looking for so he must now build on this and find consistency. Made a positive impact off the bench at Watford last week, and picked up from where he left off. Added a key option in midfield, good in possession and linked play well between the lines.
Emi Buendia, 7 – Given he doesn’t look fully fit just yet, it was a positive effort from Buendia as he got around the pitch to apply pressure off the ball while he clearly also wanted the ball at every opportunity when we pushed forward. Will only get better, and this was an improvement in itself on the Watford game.
Anwar El Ghazi, 7 – Still struggling to offer quality and consistency in the final third as a lot broke down the left side when he got on the ball. He’ll have to improve to keep his place in the starting XI moving forward, but was perfect from the penalty spot once again to bag a crucial goal.
Danny Ings, 8 – Superb goal that changed the game. A delightful overhead kick to make it two in two for Ings in a Villa shirt, and he did really well leading the line with a lack of service for the most part. His ability to produce moments of class though will make him a vital figure in the side.
Jaden Philogene-Bidace, N/A
Axel Tuanzebe, N/A