Aston Villa 3-0 Newcastle: Player ratings as in-form Villans dent Magpies' Champions League bid

Villa were dominant in their win over Newcastle
Villa were dominant in their win over Newcastle / GEOFF CADDICK/GettyImages

Ollie Watkins' brace and another strike from Jacob Ramsey helped Aston Villa bully Newcastle in a 3-0 win that moved them within three points of fifth place and dented the visitors' Champions League push.

Watkins set up Ramsey with a cushioned header to open the scoring and had a fine effort disallowed for offside before getting on the scoresheet with a well controlled finish in the box.

England international Watkins rattled in his 14th Premier League goal of the season late on to compound Newcastle's misery.

Villa were the dominant side throughout the first half and came within a whisker of taking the lead in the first minute. Watkins latched onto Ramsey's threaded pass but his low shot came back off the far post.

Newcastle tested Emiliano Martinez with Alexander Isak's snapshot but minutes later Villa were ahead. John McGinn's searching cross found Watkins, whose cushioned header fell perfectly for Ramsey to smash in.

It should have been 2-0 with a quarter of an hour played. Watkins' shot was booted away by Nick Pope but Alex Moreno retrieved possession, got to the byline and found Ramsey. The 21-year-old's effort cracked off the crossbar and flew to safety.

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Eddie Howe's visitors struggled to figure out Villa's defensive puzzle, lacking the recent attacking threat that saw them score five at West Ham and another two at Brentford. Neither Anthony Gordon nor Jacob Murphy could support Isak well enough up front, resulting in Howe sending on Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron with just under an hour played.

However, it was Villa who continued to look the more adventurous in attack and only a tight VAR call for offside kept Watkins' run and finish from adding to the home side's lead.

The Magpies didn't heed the persistent warnings and poor defending again allowed Villa to finally go 2-0 up. Moreno's low cross found Watkins, who shrugged off the loose attention of Dan Burn with his back to goal and finished into the corner.

Newcastle made changes in an attempt to find some sort of response. Almiron had a shot blocked by Tyrone Mings but their set pieces failed to make dents before Watkins grabbed his second of the day, his effort trickling past Pope.

Villa remain sixth and are three points behind Tottenham, while Newcastle remain third with Manchester United and Spurs still to play.

Aston Villa player ratings (4-2-3-1)

GK: Emiliano Martinez - 7/10 - Made some sharp stops when called into action. Now has four clean sheets in five games.

RB: Ashley Young - 7/10 - Was the wiley old pro in defence as Villa swarmed high up the pitch.

CB: Ezri Konsa - 8/10 - Cool in possession and managed to keep the recently impressive Isak quiet.

CB: Tyrone Mings - 7/10 - Frequently on hand to clear away crosses.

LB: Alex Moreno - 8/10 - Got an assist for one of Watkins' goals and showed quick feet out wide, always providing an outlet.

CM: Leander Dendoncker - 7/10 - Made things stodgy when Newcastle tried to play through the middle.

CM: Douglas Luiz - 7/10 - Helped Villa make a fast start to quieten Newcastle's midfield. Didn't let off as Villa galloped to the win.

RW: John McGinn - 7/10 - Helped Villa pick Newcastle's gaping midfield apart with some smart running.

AM: Emiliano Buendia - 8/10 - Picked up some dangerous positions and was always available for the likes of McGinn and Dendoncker.

LW: Jacob Ramsey - 9/10 - Arrived on the scene to power in the opener. Wonderfully bright on the ball and heavily involved in Villa's more exciting moments in attack.

ST: Ollie Watkins - 10/10 - Bright and bullish, not giving Schar and Botman a moment's rest. Brilliant weight on his header to set up Ramsey and picked up two more goals in the second half. Oustanding.


Calum Chambers (85' for Ramsey) - N/A

Jhon Duran (91' for Watkins) - N/A


Unai Emery - 9/10 - Villa exposed Newcastle throughout the game. He has Watkins flying and Villa dreaming of Europe.

Newcastle player ratings (4-3-3)

GK: Nick Pope - 5/10 - Made himself big on a few occasions to keep to scoreline down. Bit of a meek attempt at Villa's third goal.

RB: Kieran Trippier - 4/10 - Wasn't able to muster up his usual creative threat and struggled with Moreno charging down his flank.

CB: Fabian Schar - 3/10 - Booked in the first half and never got to grips with Villa's exchanging forwards.

CB: Sven Botman - 3/10 - Constantly under the cosh and looked fatigued when Villa powered in two more goals in the second half.

LB: Dan Burn - 3/10 - Dragged all over the place.

CM: Joe Willock - 4/10 - Newcastle were penned in so Willock couldn't display his box-to-box talents.

CM: Bruno Guimaraes - 5/10 - Couldn't establish himself in the midfield battle as Dendoncker and Luiz dominated.

CM: Joelinton - 4/10 - Similarly outthought by his Villa opposition.

RW: Jacob Murphy - 3/10 - Was running back to help out in defence but added little to no creativity or threat in attack.

ST: Alexander Isak - 4/10 - Had one shot beaten over by Martinez but couldn't continue his recent good form.

LW: Anthony Gordon - 3/10 - Got the ball a few times and was largely wasteful.


Miguel Almiron (56' for Gordon) - 6/10

Callum Wilson (56' for Murphy) - 5/10

Matt Targett (68' for Burn) - 5/10

Sean Longstaff (68' for Willock) - 5/10

Elliot Anderson (80' for Joelinton) - N/A


Eddie Howe - 3/10 - Tried to make changes but couldn't figure out Villa's shape. Has to find a win against Spurs next week.

Player of the match - Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)