Toon Takeaways from Newcastle’s away loss to Aston Villa

Anwar El Ghazi of Aston Villa. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Anwar El Ghazi of Aston Villa. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

Newcastle United laid an egg on the road today, losing 2-0 to Aston Villa.

Following an international break and a weekend out of action, Newcastle United returned to Premier League play today when they faced Aston Villa. Unfortunately, the Magpies did little to threaten the hosts and lost 2-0 at Villa Park.

Set Piece Struggles

Both Villa goals came from set pieces today in the first half. Conor Hourihane did well to curl the first one around the Newcastle wall. The second goal was also quality from the Villans, but that score should be largely credited to abysmal defending from the Magpies. Multiple Aston Villa players were unmarked in front of goal as Newcastle didn’t seem to know how to mark or keep a hard line to catch them offside. Two goals from outside the run of play in such quick succession really put the visitors behind the eight ball.

In Too Deep

While Villa entered the match with a goalscoring resume better than other teams at the bottom of the table, they certainly weren’t invincible at the back with 20 goals allowed so far. But, rather than play with any urgency and courage against a side you’ve dominated in recent years and has lost three straight, Steve Bruce’s side sat way too deep defensively and did little to threaten Villa going forward. After back-to-back wins with multiple goals in both matches, Newcastle United couldn’t muster much in the attack and didn’t hold much of the ball.

Missing: Joelinton & Miguel Almiron

The impact of the two most expensive signings in Newcastle United history was non-existent today. Joelinton struggled to get involved in the match with the Magpies not carrying much possession. Miguel Almiron’s work rate again wasn’t matched by production in the final third. Newcastle United need both players to step up for the club to succeed consistently. With big price tags, even when the club isn’t playing well, there needs to be a special moment or two each match from those two. But, after yet another match, we’re talking about one goal and one assist between them for NUFC.

Next. Injury woes continue for Lascelles. dark

Quick Kicks

  • Both free kicks that led to goals were results of reckless fouls by DeAndre Yedlin and Federico Fernandez.
  • Andy Carroll was decent in his substitute appearance, arguably doing more in his shift than Joelinton did in his longer shift. Dwight Gayle also brought some energy, but neither could do enough to change the match.
  • I would argue that the central defensive trio of Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, and Fernandez was the poorest combination of the season. Obviously, Jamaal Lascelles is out for a while, but I think Steve Bruce will need to turn to Florian Lejeune or Fabian Schar as soon as possible.
  • As he has been most of the season, Allan Saint-Maximin drove the action for Newcastle. He wasn’t at his best and was careless with the ball at times, but he constantly pressed forward and created some chances that weren’t capitalized.

Next. Should NUFC keep or sell Gayle and/or Manquillo?. dark

Okay, What’s Next?

After this disappointing loss, Newcastle United will return home with the difficult task of shocking Manchester City at St. James’ Park on Saturday. The two-time defending champions defeated Chelsea over the weekend and take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League tomorrow.