Aston Villa player ratings vs Newcastle United: Five 4/10s and four 5s in 'horror show' defeat

Player ratings and match report as Aston Villa are stunned by Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Aston Villa's extraordinary 17-game unbeaten home run came to an abrupt end on Tuesday evening as Newcastle United ran out deserved 3-1 victors in the Premier League. The first Villa Park fixture in 2024 was one all associated with the team in claret and blue will want to forget as Fabian Schar's brace and an Alex Moreno own goal set the visitors on their way – before Ollie Watkins scored to offer little consolation later in the second half.

Eddie Howe's side came out the blocks the better of the two teams in the opening quarter of an hour; the quickest to react to nearly every second ball and the more efficient in possession. The Magpies were the first to have a big chance, too, as Anthony Gordon sprinted onto a superb through ball from Jacob Murphy. Ezri Konsa did well to slow the winger down, though, before Emiliano Martinez made himself big to save the eventual shot.

Newcastle took a deserved lead in the 32nd minute as Schar was given far too much space in the area to tap home from an outswinging Gordon corner. Villa didn't get anywhere near close enough to the Toon central defender, allowing him an easy finish beyond Martinez for 0-1.

Just minutes later, the Magpies and Schar had a quickfire second as Villa came a cropper from another corner. It was initially cleared away but only as far as Gordon, who struck on the volley. The winger's effort took a wicked deflection off Lenglet, onto the crossbar, into Martinez's back and into the path of Schar for a rapid double, making it 0-2.

Things didn't get any better at the start of the second period as Newcastle scored a third, albeit with some luck. Matty Cash was dispossessed near the halfway line, sending Gordon away to feed Miguel Almiron, who drilled one across the face of goal. Murphy was then fortunate as his failed tap-in attempt ricocheted off Moreno and into the Villa net. It looked a painful one for the Villans' left-back as he clattered the post on the way in.

Just as most inside Villa Park thought it was all over, Unai Emery made a triple substitution to change the momentum of the game. Leon Bailey, who most couldn't quite believe was on the bench to start with, was by far the most impactful as he showed an instant desire to run at defenders – something Moussa Diaby failed to do in the opening hour.

Bailey was very quickly involved in a goal to breathe belief back into the ground as he sprinted down the right and put in a delightful low cross on his weak foot. Ollie Watkins made a good run across the near post and finished cooly beyond Martin Dubravka for 1-3. Watkins and Bailey nearly made Newcastle pay again just a phase or two of play later as the striker was found in the channel and dinked Dubravka, but the linesman's flag was rightfully raised.

The hosts dominated possession in the closing stages but Newcastle dug deep to deny any more clear-cut opportunities. Here are our player ratings as Villa are dealt a hammer blow to their Premier League top-four hopes.

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