Aston Villa were back in action earlier this evening as we welcomed Newcastle United, and former manager Steve Bruce, back to Villa Park for our next Premier League clash.
With three straight losses ahead of the November international break, head coach Dean Smith would’ve been determined to get back to winning ways, but Newcastle have put together back to back victories themselves, so it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but we were boosted by the expected return of Jack Grealish and the rather surprising return of Tom Heaton.
Although we didn’t have much end product for a bit, we were more quickly out of the blocks and just after the half hour mark we got our just reward. A great free kick from Conor Hourihane set us on our way, and four minutes later Anwar El Ghazi made it two and although we should’ve increased the scoreline with some big chances going begging, Newcastle offered little in way of a threat and on the odd occasions they did, Heaton was more than up to task.
Three points, a potential banana skin against our former gaffer avoided and a nice confidence shot.
Far from the finished product, but we should be happy with that in the main.
Speaking to the BBC following the game a delighted head coach, Dean Smith, beamed.
“This is a really tough league and we have just gone through a period of playing Manchester City and Liverpool, which were games I thought we actually played well in. The table is so tight but you need to put a run together, be tough to beat and keep a clean sheet. I’m really pleased with the clean sheet as we haven’t had too many of those this season. Our form has been good; we knew it would be hard, but I think we’ve been competitive. It takes time to gel defensively but we achieved that against Newcastle.”
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