Aston Villa welcomed back their fans to Villa Park with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United. Following an opening day defeat to Watford, Dean Smith would have been happy to see his side pick up their first points of the Premier League campaign.
It could have been so different if Callum Wilson took his chance when he broke free for a one on one with Emi Martinez but he failed to get his effort on target.
Villa recently appointed a new set piece coach as based on this performance, we are adding a new element to our play. Matty Cash sent in a long throw where Tyrone Mings was first to the ball and able to knock on the ball with his head and Danny Ings fantastic acrobateic bicycle kick put Villa in the lead. It was Ings second goal in two games since his move from Southampton.
Villa then doubled their lead just after the hour mark from the penalty spot. VAR ruled Jamaal Lascelles handballed a Mings header and Anwar El Ghazi stepped up to covert.
VAR was once again on Villa’s side when Martinez looked to have brought down Wilson in the penalty area. It looked a stone wall penalty from my seat in the Holte End but VAR judged that Wilson was in fact offside in the build up to the foul.
- Villa were slow out the blocks once again as Newcastle looked the better side for the majority of the first half. Smith has touched upon this a few times during his time at Villa and its something that must be addressed because on another day, we could have found ourself a goal or two behind.
- Emi Buendia seems to be really struggling at the moment. I am unsure if this is down to a poor pre-season or if he is struggling to fit in with the way Villa play. Smith will stick with the Argentinian in the hope he finds the form that earned him a move to Villa in the first place.
- The Referee David Coote was all over the place for both sides giving some crazy decisions. I am unsure if they are told to let more go this season but some of the decisions seem absolutely barmy.
- The use of VAR is improving but its still too slow. For both the big decisions yesterday, due to the lack of information on the screens within the stadium, fans don’t know whats going on.
- Clean sheet – Following last weeks defensive horrorshow, Villa looked back to their solid selves at the back.
- Douglas Luiz returned and it showed. Some may question his ability in some games but I am a huge fan. I believe he is technically our best midfielder and the whole team looks more comfortable when he is in the side.
- John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey both impressed. McGinn looks fitter than he did at times last season and back to his very best while Ramsey probably played his best game in a Villa shirt so far.
- Danny Ings now has two goals from two games and is proving to be a very good signing on early evidence.
Tuesday 24th August – 19.45 kick off.
Villa will make the long trip up North to take on League Two side, Barrow in the Carabao Cup. I fully expect whole sale changes with squad players getting some game time.