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An Ings and VAR masterclass give Villa all three points against Newcastle United

Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United

An overhead stunner from Ings and a soft penalty converted by El Ghazi punish a Callum Wilson first half miss as Villa deal back to back losses to Steve Bruce and his men at the start of the 2021/22 season.

The sucker punch that was a Danny Ings goal in first half injury time made all the worse having seen Callum Wilson blaze wide when clean through inside the first 10 minutes, a glorious chance he would bury 9 times out of 10.

And when David Coote was asked by VAR to go to the pitch side monitor to look at a ball to arm incident, the referee would inexplicably give the home side a spot kick what El Ghazi would convert with ease.

As if those in black and white weren't already fuming with VAR another incident midway through the second half would have them seething. Newcastle first given a penalty when Wilson was smashed to the floor by Martinez, only for VAR to give an offside with with Wilson being adjudged to be offside by a toenail.

Game over.

2 losses in 2 games. All far too familiar!


Steve Bruce picked what most would agree is Newcastle United's strongest starting XI, baring between the sticks with Woodman continuing to deputise for both Dubravka and Darlow. See foot of page for Starting XI and in game stats.

Whilst Villa would start brightly, the first big chance of the game would go Newcastle with Wilson racing clear but with only Martinez to beat his shot form the edge of the box would go narrowly wide. What a chance for Wilson and one you'd normally expect him to easily tuck home. Huge chance.

Aston Villa were enjoying plenty of the ball but United were looking for every chance to break on their hosts. Schar in particular looking composed at the back in the early exchanges in keeping the home side at bay.

And on the break the Magpies certainly looked dangerous. Good work from Wilson, ASM and Willock earning Newcastle corner on 15 but Lascelles couldn't get any purchase on the header.

At the other end McGinn would try his luck from distance but his effort would be high, wide and not very handsome as United continued to frustrate the claret and blues.

More good pressure on the ball in the last third would see a flurry of attacking throw ins for United but the play was all a bit messy as the game moved through the first quarter.

The game was crying out for a little bit of real quality with Newcastle certainly looking the most likely to provide something special. And on 25 minutes there were handbags from both sides as Murphy went down in the area, with replays showing the Newcastle wing back had clearly dived. Villa looking nervy.

It certainly was feeling like Newcastle needed to make the most of their good early work.

But it was Aston Villa who would finish the first half the stronger, a corner hoofed away by Willock would be followed by a succession of set pieces in Newcastle's defensive third.

But just when Newcastle looked to have seen out the first half, and deep into storage time, Danny Ings would stun the Magpies with a stunner of an overhead kick following a simple throw in flicked on by Mings and one that give Woodman no chance.

1-0 down at half time. A decent first half thrown away from the men in black and white.

Into the second half and early chances for both Ritchie and Murphy to get quality crosses into the Villa box were both wasted as frustration started to be palpable on the away terraces.

Villa now had their tails up. And when a VAR check gave the referee the option of going to the pitch side monitor to look at a 'handball' by Lascelles, David Coote decided the ball hitting Lascelles bicep from almost point blank range was indeed a spot kick.

El Ghazi, cool as you like, would double the home sides advantage.

The Newcastle lads would at least try and push to get back in the game. A succession of corners midway through the second period all that they would have to show for some good pressing and approach play.

On 76 minutes Newcastle thought they had their lifeline. Wilson running clean through and being brought down by Martinez. But yet again, VAR would intervene and call Wilson offside by the width of a boot after 2 minutes of review. Clear and obvious? What can you do!

Villa now slowing the game down and Newcastle getting more and more frustrated did revert to a 4 at the back with Joelinton on for Fernandez for the last 15 minutes.

But there would be no way back for United and no 8th goal in 8 consecutive games for Willock.

United then, two losses in two games and in all kinds of trouble at the start of this season already.





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