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Opinion

Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players

2 weeks ago
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We asked Jack Watt to give us his match ratings after Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0.

United falling behind to two well worked free-kick goals in the first-half.

Never really looking like they were going to get back into it – had a few chances after the break but Villa had a lot more and they were clearer chances.

Jack Watt gives us his NUFC player ratings and comments.

Dubravka – 7

A few cracking saves but got nowhere near dealing with either goal.

You could argue he had little chance but maybe could look at his positioning on first and the second was a free-kick touched in from only four yards out. However, he definitely kept the score down otherwise.

DeAndre Yedlin – 3

A day when his defensive weaknesses were fully exposed.

Caught out of position a few times and that helped lead to the opening goal, running back and giving away an unnecessary foul from which the free-kick was scored.

Ciaran Clark – 5

Struggled throughout to impose himself and not really suited to playing the central role in the back three/five.

The defence not helped by the midfield though as Villa cut through with ease to get at the backline.

Federico Fernandez – 5

Gave the foul away for the second goal but overall Newcastle’s best of a bad bunch in defence.

Saw a good header well saved by Heaton but at the other end, would have been better served playing in the middle of the three/five and more of a leader than Clark

Paul Dummett – 5

Like Clark, never really got to grips with the opposition.

Not really sure what Steve Bruce was doing when reverting to a back four and putting Willems there instead of Dummett.

Jetro Willems – 4

Very anonymous and did nothing going forward.

Not a great defender and like Yedlin was exposed at times with his shortcomings there to be seen when asked to play mostly in defence.

Isaac Hayden – 4

The central midfield were totally shown up by their opposite numbers.

A couple of decent challenges in the first half but completely unable/unwilling to run with the ball, means no connection between midfield and the forwards.

Jonjo Shelvey – 4

Bewildering why anybody would think Shelvey is captain material, has enough of a problem getting himself going, never mind other players.

Played a few decent balls but like Hayden, a complete lack of movement and willingness to carry the ball. Always looking to play long distance killer balls rather than running up the pitch and getting involved where it matters.

Allan Saint-Maximin – 7

Newcastle’s one tactic is to give ASM the ball and for him to run with it.

No surprise that other teams are getting wise to this and Villa dealt relatively well with him, although Saint-Maximin still posed more threat than all of his teammates combined.

Some decent runs but he has to start so deep it is all but impossible to really get into the danger zone, compare that to Grealish who was often fed the ball midway in the Newcastle half.

A few worrying signs in his body language later on that he is getting a little bit disillusioned with the lack of an attacking plan and support for him when trying to get forward.

Miguel Almiron – 4

Has never looked happy on the right wing since ASM gets the left side and more freedom to roam.

Yet again gets the ball far too deep just like Saint-Maximin, we really need more attacking tactics to at least give them a chance.

Almiron has to accept a share of the blame but it does look as though Steve Bruce hasn’t got a clue where to play him.

Joelinton – 4

Will we ever find out if the Brazilian is any good?

Every match the negative tactics leave him so isolated.

Seems daft to spend £80m on a front three and ask them to defend most of the match. There has to be some kind of a balance and more of a plan from the head coach on how to get the team further up the pitch and in positions to create chances.

Subs

Andy Carroll – 5

Won a few headers and took one down on his chest and a decent volley but straight at the keeper.

However, simply booting  the ball in his general direction is not a great change of tactics.

Dwight Gayle – 5

Looked quite lively but had little service or support.

Christian Atsu – N/A

Not on long enough.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0  – Monday 25 November 8pm

Goals:
Aston Villa:

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)

Unused Subs

Darlow, Krafth, Matty Longstaff, Schar

(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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