Newcastle United were far from impressive yesterday against Aston Villa, but a few players had a positive impact.
Newcastle United were unable to carry over the momentum from Sunday’s victory against Sheffield United as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. The Magpies were defensive in the first half and invited multiple meaningful attacks from the visitors, but the story changed in the second half.
Newcastle United did not lack energy in this affair, but they struggled with creativity. No players were extremely poor, but most of the squad would fall into the “average” category. That being said, here are three players who were the top performers for Newcastle United.
The dynamic Frenchman picked up right where he left off against Sheffield United. Aston Villa had no answer for Allan Saint-Maximin as he successfully maneuvered his way around multiple defenders on several occasions. The winger did a brilliant job of cutting inside to attract defenders and opened new channels for his teammates down the flank.
Saint-Maximin constantly got in dangerous positions to deliver some sharp crosses, and nearly claimed two assists, but Matt Ritchie and Joelinton failed to get on the end of some stellar passes. In addition to his dribbling and accurate crosses, the winger came close to opening the scoring early in the second half with a powerful effort from distance.
Although he only played 31 minutes against Aston Villa, the veteran striker had an immediate and major impact on the game. Within a few minutes of coming on, Carroll did well to hold up the ball and provided Dwight Gayle with a great pass to give Newcastle United the lead in the 68th minute.
On top of bagging his fourth assist of the season, Carroll was an aerial nuisance for Aston Villa. The big man won every duel in the air, shielded the ball well with his body, and earned multiple free kicks for his side in the final third. It is worth mentioning that Carroll nearly made it 2-0 for the home side when one of his headers went just wide of the mark.
Tottenham loanee Danny Rose performed well for Newcastle United in the clash against Aston Villa after being criticized on Sunday. The England international was quick to intercept key passes, timed his overlapping runs to perfection, and made a brilliant last-second sliding tackle in the box to keep to keep the score level in the first half.
In general, Rose was aware of his surroundings, covered a lot of ground on both ends of the pitch, and displayed some much needed aggression. The loanee almost bagged an assist when he did well to cut back and find an open Miguel Almiron a few feet away from goal in the penalty area, but the Paraguayan failed to score.