3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0
Monday night finished Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0.
United never really looking like they were going to get anything and two goals in four first-half minutes quickly ensured that.
A little bit of spirit shown at the start of the second period but Newcastle lucky not to lose by more.
Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.
This time it is Sam Hepworth:
Kept the score down
Whilst Newcastle had a few shots when Steve Bruce finally allowed some focus on attack when two down, Villa continued to create far more chances and missed some right sitters, two right in front of the goal.
Martin Dubravka may have let in two but without him it could have been four or five.
Not many positives about this game and one of the few I can think of is that despite losing, Newcastle still have a five point cushion to the bottom three.
I expect us to lose against both Man City and Sheff Utd but at least we shouldn’t be bottom three before we play Southampton on Sunday 8 December. That is looking a massive game as I have a feeling Newcastle might need to finish above the Saints if they are to stay up.
Another Monday night, another away game. Great away following.
Quite disgraceful how the TV companies cynically choose Newcastle away games for this dreaded slot.
They know Newcastle fans will still travel regardless and help supply an atmosphere and spectacle, rather than empty seats.
Even more disgraceful that Mike Ashley and his minions have zero interest in making an issue of this on behalf of the supporters.
Yet again it was a case of laying the team out to defend very deep and rely/hope on maybe sneaking a goal from the odd set-piece.
Up against a Villa team that had lost their last three matches, not sure how it makes any sense to sit back and let them dictate play from kick-off, allowing them to build confidence and momentum.
Once Villa predictably scored, I doubt a single one of us in the away end thought that Newcastle would get back into the game and get a point or better.
Not quite sure what the answer is, or indeed if there is one.
However, whatever happens, we can’t continue as we are.
Last season Miguel Almiron really boosted the attack and made Newcastle a better team going forward, Steve Bruce clearly isn’t getting the best out of him.
If Newcastle had no other options then fair enough but Carroll and Gayle are sitting there waiting for a chance to impress.
I’m not convinced that Newcastle have great options in the middle of the pitch.
We don’t have a single one who can carry the ball as pretty much everybody on the Villa side was capable of doing. Very rarely do the central midfielders play key roles in passing movements that lead to goals.
Jonjo Shelvey isn’t up to the job (as for being captain…) and I think Hayden is far too anonymous when Newcastle have possession.
Mikel Merino is a big loss, a class above any options we have in this squad.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Monday 25 November 8pm
Hourihane 32, El Ghazi 36
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was Villa 62% (68%), Newcastle 38% (32%)
Total shots were Villa 17 (5), Newcastle 11 (5)
Shots on target were Villa 8 (3), Newcastle 5 (2)
Corners were Villa 11 (4), Newcastle 6 (5)
Crowd: 41,821 (3,000 Newcastle)
Referee: Lee Mason
Newcastle team v Aston Villa:
Dubravka, Yedlin, Fernandez, Dummett (Carroll 63), Clark, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin, Almiron (Atsu 79), Joelinton (Gayle 72)
Darlow, Krafth, Matty Longstaff, Schar
(Steve Bruce verdict on Villa, his front three and says “You are always going to miss your best players” – Read HERE)
(Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Dean Smith spells it out to Steve Bruce “We controlled the ball really well and dominated possession” – Read HERE)
(Chris Sutton on Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – ‘Steve Bruce could have thrown cabbages at his own players’ – Read HERE)
(Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Monday’s defeat – Read HERE)
(Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Watch official match highlights and goals HERE)
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