The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW31): Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa
Newcastle’s win over Sheffield United should boost the Toon’s confidence of a top half finish, whereas Aston Villa were desperate to claw themselves out of the relegation zone. These two clubs have a deep seeded rivalry of dropping each other into the Championship, and this time Newcastle have another chance of avenging that history.
Aston Villa were the team to start the game livelier than the hosts, but as the game was being contested Newcastle were the ones who were dominating possession and pinning Villa into their own half. The first half was exactly as many games have finished at the break, with lots of back and forth play, but ultimately without any real chances forming from the contest.
The most promising chance of the second half was when Rose to Almirón in the 57th minute, was deflected for a corner, and if the Paraguayan had taken a first time shot it should have been 1-0. Saint-Maximin was Newcastle’s most promising player, he was taking on Villa players with ease, and even was able to find space outside the box for a couple of shots but still wasn’t enough for a breakthrough.
Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle were brought off the bench by Steve Bruce, and it was the substitutes that provided the best moment of the game, with Andy Carroll holding the ball up really well and laying it off to Dwight Gayle who slots past Nyland in the Villains goal. Carroll with another assist this season, the forward has used his strengths this year to turn playmaker as a magnet for the ball. Newcastle were deservedly ahead at this point of the game.
In the last ten minutes of the game, Aston Villa once again have a goalkeeping blunder benefit them. Shelvey failed to clear a corner from El Mohamady, another substitute in the game, and Dubravka misreads Shelvey’s action as the ball rolled into the Toon net to level the game. The goal came out of nowhere, and once again a lucky relief for Villa this season. Despite the Villains late rally, the points were shared at St. James Park.
Man of the Match: Danny Rose (NEW)
The two subs that came off the bench for Newcastle were the difference, Carroll and Gayle made the impact for the Toon. The player that deserves a lot of recognition for his performance was Danny Rose. The English full back was full of energy, defended well, didn’t pick up a card like the other defenders, and made the best opportunity of the game before Newcastle’s goal. Rose was never beat on his channel and has improved this Newcastle, and even with Villa’s equaliser was still the best player on the pitch for this occasion.
NEW 1-1 AVL - Insight and Analysis:
I’m getting straight into it; Villa have some sort of deal with the devil this season. The goal was one of the countless bizarre decisions and actions this year that have benefitted them. Someone wants them in the Premier League next season. It keeps happening, and the points won against Sheffield United and Newcastle could be enough to keep them up by the end of the season.
Onto more positive topics, one of the surprising stats you’ll find this year regards the hometown big man that returned last summer. Andy Carroll has four assists this year, three of them at St. James Park. Two of them as a substitute. Despite what neutrals thought, the Englishman has had an impact in this Toon side. Watching him attract the ball is a reminder as to why he was once so highly rated, enough so to get a crazy move to Liverpool.
Venue: St. James' Park
Manager: Steve Bruce
GK: M. Dubravka
DEF: J. Manquillo
DEF: F. Fernandez
DEF: J. Lascelles
DEF: D. Rose
MID: I. Hayden (Bentaleb 86')
MID: J. Shelvey
MID: M. Almiron (Lazaro 86')
MID: A. Saint-Maximin
MID: M. Ritchie (Gayle 67')
FOR: Joelinton (Carroll (64')
Schär, Carroll, Gayle, Muto, Krafth, Yedlin, Lazaro, Darlow, Bentaleb
Manager: Dean Smith
GK: O. Nyland
DEF: E. Konsa (El Mohamady 77')
DEF: K. Hause
DEF: T. Mings
DEF: M. Targett
MID: McGinn (Nakamba 77')
MID: Douglas Luiz
MID: J. Grealish
MID: M. El Ghazi (Hourihane 70')
MID: Trézéguet (Davis 70')
FOR: M. Samatta
Taylor, Nakamba, Hourihane, Bastón, Jota, El Mohamady, Reina, Vassilev, Davis
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