Newcastle United 1-0 Aston Villa: Player ratings, heroes and villains as Magpies take Premier League survival step

Newcastle United provided a huge boost to their Premier League survival hopes with a 1-0 victory against Aston Villa - their fourth win in a row.

Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier scored the winner again.
Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier scored the winner again.
Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier scored the winner again.

Newcastle United opened up a four-point advantage over the Premier League relegation places with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa.

And with that, Eddie Howe’s men recorded their third straight win following previous successes against Leeds United and Everton.

Kieran Trippier was the match-winner with another free-kick goal but his withdrawal in the 48th minute raises further fears of a spell on the sidelines.

But impressively, United found a way to hold on without him.

Howe made two enforced changes from the win on Tuesday. Matt Targett, ineligible to face his parent club, and Jamaal Lascelles dropped out through illness.

Dan Burn, who proved to be a rock at the back, came in for debut, while Javier Manquillo started at left-back.

In the 33rd minute, referee Craig Pawson awarded a penalty to United when Joe Willock was hacked down by Callum Chambers - in for the suspended Ezri Konsa.

However, after a VAR check, the foul was adjudged to have taken place outside the box. That, of course, didn’t matter.

That man again Trippier stepped up to bury the free-kick - the second time he has done so in as many games - for 1-0.

Momentum was lost when injuries played havoc for Howe’s side at the end of the first and start of the second.

Manquillo limped off before Trippier, who passed a late fitness test to play, couldn’t continue by the 48th minute.

With both full-backs lost, it was backs against the walls for Newcastle as Paul Dummett and Emil Krafth entered the fray.

There was a let-off for United on 61 minutes when VAR came to their rescue, disallowing Ollie Watkins’ equaliser.

But the Newcastle players - without two leaders in Lascelles and Trippier - were resolute to see out a massive three points in front of jubilant 52,000-plus St James’ Park.


- Kieran Trippier: Questions will immediately turn to when Trippier will be back in action after being forced off early in the second-half. But for 45 minutes, Magpies fans witnessed another influential performance from an elite player and leader. Another a free-kick converted - his second in five days - that proved to be enough for a precious three points.

- Dan Burn: An outstanding debut from the Blyth-born defender. Burn, a £13million January signing from Brighton and Hove Albion, won all his battles and won every header. He showed the fight and determination needed in this relegation battle for his boyhood club, exampled when he took a chunk of Tyrone Mings' shirt during a tussle and threw it into the Leazes End.

- Fabian Schar: There’s a reason why Schar has missed just one game under Eddie Howe as the Switerzland ended a batted and bruised affair on top. Schar took an early blow to the head after an accidental whack from Trippier and it didn’t look good after some lengthy treatment. Then, the Terry Butcher headband came out before removing it in a true Warrior-like style to grind out a clean sheet.


- Emi Buendia: As well worked as Trippier’s free-kick opener was, Buendia played a questionable part in allowing United’s right-back to fire his attempt through the wall past Emiliano Martinez.

Player ratings

Newcastle United: Dubravka 7, Trippier 9 (Krafth 48, 7), Schar 9, Burn 9, Manquillo 8 (Dummett 35, 7), Shelvey 7, Willock 8 (Guimaraes,90 N/A), Joelinton 8, Fraser 8, Saint-Maximin 7, Wood 8. Subs not used: Darlow, Murphy, Almiron, Gayle, Longstaff, de Bolle.

Aston Villa: Martinez 6, Cash 7, Chambers 5, Mings 7, Digne 7, McGinn 7 (Chukwuemeka 85, N/A) Douglas Luiz 6, Ramsey 6, Buendia 6 (Bailey 72, 5), Watkins 5 (Ings 72, 5), Coutinho 7. Subs not used: Olsen, Sanson, Young, Hause, Chrisene, Iroegbunam.

Who do Newcastle play next?

Newcastle travel to West Ham United on Saturday, February 19th (12:30pm), with the chance to make it four consecutive wins.