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Dean Smith spells it out to Steve Bruce “We controlled the ball really well and dominated possession”

11 months ago

Dean Smith would have arguably been the more disappointed of the two managers (head coaches) on Monday night.

His team worth a lot more than the winning two goal margin.

Without Martin Dubravka and some average finishing, Villa could and should have won by four or five.

Steve Bruce yet again set his team up so negatively, defending so deep and Joelinton completely isolated.

As Dean Smith says: ‘I thought we controlled the ball really well and dominated possession.’

However, when the opposition gift you the vast majority of possession by being so negative, you are always at risk of the other team taking advantage.

In many previous matches Newcastle have rode their luck but Villa punished them with two very well taken goals in a four minute first half spell – Game over.

The Villa boss added: ‘Newcastle came and pressed us a bit higher in the second half and we were a bit loose with the ball, but I thought we saw it out really well after that.’

The start of the second-half did see Newcastle show a bit more adventure in the first five/ten minutes but that was fleeting, Saint-Maximin had one good effort on target but too little too late with the match already lost.

Dean Smith talking after Aston Villa beat Newcastle 2-0 on Monday night:

“It was a good performance, especially in the first half.

“I thought we controlled the ball really well and dominated possession.

“We were relentless with the ball, but also patient because we knew we had to be as Newcastle banked in and made it difficult.

“Newcastle came and pressed us a bit higher in the second half and we were a bit loose with the ball, but I thought we saw it out really well after that.

“I said at the start of the season that Villa Park is going to be big for us in terms of how we do.

“I was only looking at the table yesterday and everyone outside of the top four and Burnley has won four games maximum.

“That shows how competitive this league is.

“If you win three games, you’ll be in the top ten and if you lose three, you’ll be in the bottom five. That’s just how the league seems to be this season.

“He (Jack Grealish) is a constant threat and he moves around the pitch really well into positions where people don’t want to come and tackle him.

“The opposition get frustrated and two free-kicks against him end up with two goals for us.

“Knowing Jack, he’ll be disappointed he hasn’t got on the scoresheet himself.

“He (Hourihane) wasn’t happy when I left him out of the game against Manchester City away and I understand why, but it’s a squad game and I have decisions to make.

“I knew we’d spend an awful lot of time defending and today I knew we’d have a lot more of the ball.

“He’s answered me back in the best way. He scored against Norwich, he scored against Brighton and he’s scored again today, so I’m really pleased for him.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0  – Monday 25 November 8pm

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

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