Newcastle United took on Aston Villa at home after a well earned victory at St James’ Park on the weekend against Sheffield United. Going into this game Aston Villa find themselves in 19th place and staring down the barrel of relegation having only 26 points. Newcastle, on the other hand are looking to be clear of relegation this season sitting 13th on 38 points.
The first half was a fairly dull affair. Villa looked slightly better, creating a few more chances with 11 goal attempts to Newcastle’s 5. ASM was by far United’s most threatening player, never shy to attack and take on players.
The second half saw Newcastle come out the blocks a bit better as they started to threaten Villa. Carroll and Gayle were brought on for Joelinton and Ritchie respectively and made an immediate impact. One minute after coming on, Gayle gave Newcastle United the lead after a receiving a stunning pass from Carroll who did immensely well to get control of a loose ball.
Unfortunately for United, Villa drew level from an Elmohamady header. One of Newcastle United’s best players, goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, made a hash of this as it was most definitely saveable. This led to a deadlock result at 1-1, leaving Newcastle one point off the much desired 40 point mark and Aston Villa lingering second last on 29 points.
Martin Dubravka: 5.5/10
Quiet afternoon for the lions-share of the game for Dubravka, until the 83rd minute came. A flick-on header from Elmohamady fell low and Dubravka failed to deal with it, essentially forfeiting 2 points for United. A mistake he’ll want to forget, nonetheless, a key player for Newcastle going forward.
Javier Manquillo: 6.5/10
Solid afternoon for Manquillo. Worked the flank well and put in a shift as always. One or two passing errors as Newcastle looked slightly disjointed at times.
Jamaal Lascelles: 7/10
Skipper had a decent game with only one poor clearance coming to mind. Commanding in the air and will be disappointed that Newcastle aren’t walking away with all 3 points. Picked up a yellow in the 59th minute.
Federico Fernandez: 6.5/10
Looking a formidable CB partner with Lascelles. Some great clearing headers and solid tackling from the Argentinian. Picked up a yellow in the 74th minute.
Danny Rose: 6.5/10
Danny Rose had a better afternoon today. Some great link up play with Almiron, one almost leading to a great opportunity had Miggy passed back to Rose. Hopefully, he will find his feet at United and start delivering performances he is capable of.
Isaac Hayden: 7/10
One of Newcastle United’s best players. A real cornerstone for this team. To the passerby, he may seem like he is not doing much – but this lad puts in the hard graft. Made some crunching tackles today and held the ball up nicely. A bit worried to see him limping off in the 86th minute before a massive Cup quarter against Man City on Sunday.
Jonjo Shelvey: 6/10
Villa made a concerted effort to lock up Shelvey this afternoon. He was tightly marked from the get go and had little influence over the game. Still managed to put in one or two decent passes for United, but overall a quiet afternoon for Jonjo.
Matt Ritchie: 6.5/10
Ritchie, along with ASM, were our most exciting players going forward today. He looks like he is enjoying himself in the left of the midfield. As always, puts in a shift and had one or two lovely crosses today. Ritchie was subbed in the 67th for Gayle.
Allan Saint-Maximin: 7.5/10
Newcastle’s most dangerous player by a country mile. ASM continues to wow football fans with his dazzling runs and his ability to glide past opposing players. A bargain he was for £16m – there is A LOT more to come from this very special player. Had another good afternoon, giving the Villa players plenty to worry about. United will need him at his best for Sunday’s Cup game.
Miguel Almiron: 6/10
Not Miggy’s best afternoon. Looked sloppy at times and missed one or two opportunities to play his teammates who were making runs in and behind the defence. Nonetheless, worked hard and will hopefully continue to improve.
Another goalless afternoon for Joelinton. Holds the ball up well and makes some tidy runs into space, just can’t seem to find the back of the net. Had one good opportunity that was blocked by Mings with some excellent defending.
Substitutes (Must play over 15 minutes to receive a rating)
Carroll (64′) : 8/10
Was fantastic from the get go. Held the ball up lovely and was brilliant in assisting Gayle for the goal. Controlled it nicely and then played a lovely pass through to Gayle, who duly finished it. A possible start for the local lad on Sunday in the Cup quarters?
Gayle (67′): 8/10
Was as energetic as always! Made an immediate impact, scoring 90 seconds after coming on. Collected a fantastic passes from Carroll and then seamlessly buried the ball beyond the keeper into the bottom left hand corner. You could see by his celebration how much that goal meant to him. Does he deserve more game time for United?
Bentaleb (86′): N/A
Lazaro (86′): N/A