Following another pointless lull in the fixture list for the November international break, Aston Villa had a bit more time off over the weekend as the Premier League fixture list booted us to Monday evening for the broadcasters – but it was always going to be a tasty clash with Newcastle United given the return of Steve Bruce to Villa Park.
We were certainly boosted ahead of kick off as we welcomed back both Tom Heaton and Jack Grealish for the game, so optimism was high.
It was a slow but steady start, and we finally made our dominance count as a clever set piece saw Conor Hourihane profit as he put the ball in the back of the net in the 32nd minute. Four minutes later Anwar El Ghazi had doubled our lead and we were looking very good for all three points. It could’ve been three and a brace for El Ghazi just ahead of the half time break, but he saw his effort ruled out for offside.
It was a sloppy start to the second 45 minutes, and Newcastle found a few chances fall their way but even their better efforts couldn’t best Heaton between the sticks. Having got ourselves back on track, we should’ve extended our lead and Wesley’s miss probably stands out for many – but he wasn’t the only one.
A reasonable welcome back for our former gaffer I think given what I saw, but the three points went in the right direction and there can be few complaints after that one.
Now for the tricky fixtures.
25/11/2019 8:00 pm
|Aston Villa||Newcastle United|
|Hourihane (32), El Ghazi (36)|