Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa: Player ratings as Trippier delivers crucial Magpies win

From St James' Park - Newcastle United made it three wins on the bounce with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.

The only goal of the game arrived on the half-hour mark as skipper for the day Kieran Trippier smashed home a free kick from the edge of the box to the delight of the Toon Army.

The win takes Eddie Howe's side four points clear of the drop zone and gives them real belief that they are going to win their fight to stay in the Premier League.

After a forgettable opening half hour which had seen neither side have an attempt on target, the game burst into life.

Joe Willock's bustling run into the box and was brought to a halt by Calum Chambers and Craig Pawson pointed to the spot, but a VAR check ruled it to be outside the box and a free kick was awarded instead.

Not to be denied, captain Trippier - the new darling of the home faithful - stepped up and smashed home his second free-kick goal in consecutive games.

Villa showed little in the game but almost levelled in first-half stoppage time when John McGinn's drive was deflected beyond Martin Dubravka, but fortunately for the keeper it hit the post.

Just after the break Newcastle suffered a huge blow when Trippier was forced off injured, and that swung the momentum in Villa's favour for a brief spell.

The visitors pushed on with Matty Cash and Lucas Digne seeing more of the ball on each flank and on the hour they thought they had levelled through Ollie Watkins, but after a very lengthy VAR check the goal was chalked off for offside.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard threw on Danny Ings and Leon Bailey to try to make an impact, but it was to no avail as Newcastle held on comfortably to record the victory and secure their first run of three successive wins since 2018.

Newcastle United player ratings

1. Goalkeepers & defenders

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Martin Dubravka (GK) - 6/10 - Rarely tested and did what was needed.

Kieran Trippier (RB) - 7/10 -
The stand-in captain led by example. Smashed home a brilliant free-kick. Went off but still one of the standout performers.

Fabian Schar (CB) - 7/10 -
Organised well and formed a good partnership with Burn.

Dan Burn (CB) - 8/10 -
Very solid, excellent home debut for the local lad.

Javier Manquillo - (LB) - 5/10 -
Came off just before half-time but did well to that point.

2. Midfielders

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Joelinton (CM) - 6/10 - Worked hard but didn't see much of the ball.

Jonjo Shelvey (CM) - 7/10 -
Held the midfield together well in the anchorman role.

Joe Willock (CM) - 7/10 -
Brilliant run to win the free-kick for Newcastle's goal.

3. Forwards

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Allan Saint-Maximin (RF) - 6/10 - All too temperamental, some good runs but struggled to make a huge impact.

Chris Wood (CF) - 4/10 -
Little service but didn't show enough when he did have the ball.

Ryan Fraser (LF) - 7/10 -
The pick of the front-three - worked hard and gave Cash a tough game. Constant threat.

4. Substitutes

Paul Dummett (LB) - 5/10 - Did what was needed, OK.

Emi Krafth (RB) - 3/10 -
Struggled against Digne and Coutinho after coming on for Trippier.

Bruno Guimaraes (CM) - N/A

Aston Villa player ratings

5. Goalkeepers and defenders

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Emi Martinez (GK) - 6/10 - Questionable positioning for the winning free kick.

Matty Cash (RB) - 7/10 - Got forward well in the second half and provided some real moments of danger.

Tyrone Mings (CB) - 7/10 -
Marshalled the backline well and there were some crucial blocks from the skipper.

Calum Chambers (CB) - 6/10 -
Solid enough but caught out positionally at times.

Lucas Digne (LB) - 6/10 -
Tried to get forward, but perhaps could have offered more.

6. Midfielders

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Jacob Ramsey (CM) - 6/10 - Some nice runs but didn't contribute as much as he has recently.

Douglas Luiz (CM) - 6/10 -
Solid enough in the holding role.

John McGinn (CM) - 6/10 -
Battled from the off, showed real spirit but never quite got on top of the midfield battle.

7. Forwards

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Emi Buendia (RF) - 6/10 - Not his best day at the office, struggled on the right to get into game.

Ollie Watkins (CF) - 6/10 - Worked hard and perhaps unlucky to see goal disallowed.

Philippe Coutinho (LF) - 7/10 - Some lovely touches in the second half especially but not up to his recent standards.

8. Substitutes

Danny Ings (CF) - N/A

Leon Bailey (RF) - N/A

Carney Chukwuemeka (CM) - N/A

Source : 90min