Football News


Aston Villa 3-0 Newcastle: Player ratings as Unai Emery’s men run riot to keep European dream alive

By Ben Green

Published: 14:46, 15 April 2023 | Updated: 17:27, 13 May 2024

Aston Villa have kept their pursuit of the European places in the Premier League alive after battering Newcastle 3-0 at Villa Park. 

The Villans were completely dominant against Eddie Howe’s fellow European-chasers, with Unai Emery’s men smashing them by three goals to nil, thanks to Jacob Ramsey’s first-half deadlock-breaker and a second-half brace from in-form Ollie Watkins (who has now scored more Premier League goals this year than any other player).

The result, coupled with the performance now means Villa are just six points off fourth in the table. But, perhaps more encouragingly for Villa, though, is the fact that they have kept more clean sheets and won more points in the Premier League than any other team in 2023. Emery is certainly working his magic.

Here is how the players rated at Villa Park:

Aston Villa

Emiliano Martinez – 6.5 – Answered questions when called into action and commanded his line well. Newcastle scarcely threatened, but when they did have opportunities, Martinez held his resolve between the sticks.

Ashley Young – 7 – Assured performance from the Villa skipper. Going forward he offered an outlet, and on retreat he was there to deal with the danger posed by Newcastle’s attack.

Ezri Konsa – 7 – Formed a formidable centre-back partnership with Mings to neutralise the fleeting threats of Howe’s attack. Villa were the dominant side this afternoon, but when the travelling Geordies did have their rare moments in the final third, the Konsa-Mings bulwark was there to thwart their advances.

Tyrone Mings – 7.5 – Put his body on the line and crunched into tackles. He made two potentially match-winning challenges in the second half after he snuffed out danger from Callum Wilson who was running through and then blocked an Almiron shot from close range. Authoritative and commanding.

Alex Moreno – 8 – A buccaneering display from the marauding full-back, who was a constant livewire and nuisance down the flank. When the hosts charged forward, Moreno was consistently there to get involved, ‘skin’ Trippier and deliver wickedly into the box.

Douglas Luiz – 7 – Metronomic and tidy in possession save for one loose pass in the second half. The Brazilian was a bundle of energy and guts in the heart of midfield and manned the engine room with distinction.


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Leander Dendoncker – 7.5 – A tackle monster, the versatile midfielder brought a serenity and composure to the midfield for Villa with his uncomplicated passing style and link-up play. When Newcastle threatened to get a foothold on proceedings, Dendoncker was there to put out the fires.

John McGinn – 8 – Bursted forward as the most advanced central midfielder and duly added an edge to Villa’s attack. He was relentless, tireless and calculating, particularly for the host’s third goal after he bundled through on the flank and set up Buendia.

Jacob Ramsey – 8.5 – Too hot to handle for the visitors, Ramsey was a persistent threat going forward. He broke the deadlock with a thunderous low drive and linked up with Watkins in almost telepathic fashion. In front of England manager Gareth Southgate — who was in attendance in the stands — Ramsey was the second-best player on the pitch behind Watkins.

Emiliano Buendia – 7.5 – Exceptional work rate and creativity, the diminutive Argentine consistently found ample space ‘in the hole’ and the half space. He was Villa’s main link when playing out from the back as he dropped deep to find space and turn. Creatively he was his typically chaotic self, causing problems across the line.

Ollie Watkins – 9 – You’d have to go back to that famous 7-2 win over Liverpool for the last time Watkins both scored and assisted a Premier League goal in a single match at Villa Park, and he was the architect for all three of the host’s finishes today. He headed lay-off to Ramsey was inspired, while his two strike in the second half killed the game off. The England international ran the line with exception and gave the Newcastle centre-backs a torrid afternoon. A complete performance from the centre-forward.

Substitutes:

Calum Chambers (for Ramsey 85′) – N/A – Came on for the final few minutes.

Jhon Duran (for Watkins 90′) – N/A – Came on for the final few minutes.

Newcastle

Nick Pope – 5.5 – A few exceptional saves, but one too many hare-brained moments, including a first-half mix-up which nearly allowed McGinn to bag from range, while he hardly covered himself in glory for Watkins’ second of the game.

Kieran Trippier – 4 – Looked to get forward in his typical fashion, but defensively he was a liability this afternoon as Moreno surged forward with freedom and really exploited the left flank. It was a difficult day for the entire Newcastle backline.

Fabian Schar – 4 – Struggled immensely to deal with Watkins’ persistent movement and rapidity, Schar was caught out early on and clattered into the forward 22 minutes in to receive a booking. It was a harbinger of the afternoon Schar was to endure as the England striker flourished on the day.

Sven Botman – 4 – Similar to Schar, the defensive were absolutely humbled by Watkins this afternoon. They have been nigh-on impenetrable this season, with their partnership being one of the cornerstones of Newcastle’s success, but this afternoon they looked like strangers.

Dan Burn – 4 – It was a torrid day at Villa Park for Howe’s defence and Burn was another who really struggled to assert his authority. Such was his waning influence and anonymity that he was eventually taken off in the 68th minute.

Bruno Guimaraes – 5 – One of his more difficult days of football, the Brazilian is so often the midfield fulcrum, a catalyst for dominance, but he was swamped by a claret and blue bombardment in the centre circle.

Joe Willock – 5 – The attacking midfielder made a few line-busting runs, but like his midfield team-mates, Villa’s constant harrying and press made it nearly impossible for them to assert anything resembling a cohesive link-up.

Joelinton – 5 – Reinvented as a No. 8 this season, the Brazilian really found it tough to push forward and find his attacking team-mates. The Villa midfield was too organised and too energetic for Newcastle to find any rhythm.

Jacob Murphy – 6 – Lively enough on the right hand side, the wily winger was Newcastle’s biggest threat while on the pitch and nearly restored parity shortly after half-time after his glancing effort fizzed past the post.

Anthony Gordon – 4 – Anonymous. The 22-year-old was handed a fantastic chance by his manager today to put last week’s controversy behind him, but he failed to grasp the opportunity, winning just 33% of his attempted dribbles, while also failing to create a single chance or register a shot.

Alexander Isak – 6 – Showed a few flashes of attacking penetration and was denied by Martinez in the second half, but he often cut an isolated figure up front as Newcastle struggled to find him.

Substitutes:

Callum Wilson (for Murphy 56′) – 6 – More threatening upon his introduction, but by that point Villa were firmly in control and assured of themselves.

Miguel Almiron (for Gordon 56′) – 6 – Again, Newcastle looked more threatening from an attacking perspective with Almiron, but it counted for little in the end.

Matt Targett (for Burn 68′) – 5 – More attacking than Burn but defensively as susceptible.

Sean Longstaff (for Willock 68′) – 5 – Struggled like every other Newcastle midfielder today when he came on.

Elliot Anderson (for Joelinton 80′) – N/A – Came on for the final 10 minutes.