Newcastle 2-0 Aston Villa Player Ratings: Lascelles dominates

gouffran

Gouffran celebrates the opener – mirror.co.uk

A strong second half saw Newcastle take another step to promotion with a 2-0 win over out-of-form Villa – but how did players on both teams rate?

Newcastle United

Karl Darlow – not constantly called upon but saved Newcastle at key moments. Stopped Kodjia’s tight-angled shot in the first half and Bjarnason’s close-range drive in the second. 7

DeAndre Yedlin – at times he threatened to start an attack, only to be let down by a heavy touch. Beaten by Kodjia at times and his pace masks poor positional sense. 5
Jamaal Lascelles – physically dominated Hogan, even if his firm challenge on the striker brought a yellow card in the first half. His headers played a part in both goals. 9
Ciaran Clark – improved after an indecisive first 10 minutes and looked composed. Performance vindicates previous Villa theories that he needed a fresh start. 8
Paul Dummett – a very Dummett performance: plenty of heart with limited quality. Wasn’t stretched defensively until Adomah came on. 5

Matt Ritchie – in the first 40 minutes he gave the ball away too easily and once it led to a Villa opening. After crossing for the first goal, he became the best player on the pitch. 7
Jonjo Shelvey – some good passes into wide areas throughout. In the first half, they weren’t always done justice by his teammates but in the second, his value became clear. 9
Jack Colback – more simplistic in possession than Shelvey. Pushed back early on but was braver out of possession in the second half, sweeping up the lose balls to give Toon control. 7
Yoann Gouffran – failed to run onto one or two first half balls. Scored the opener but could have offered more for his side. 5
Mohamed Diamé – Villa’s tight midfield made it hard for him to find space for his powerful runs in the first half. Improved in the second with one or two clever flicks. 6
Dwight Gayle – with fitness and personal issues potentially affecting Gayle’s performance, Benitez took him off in the first half. It proved the right thing to do. 4

Aleksandr Mitrovic (on 33) – won a crucial header which lead to the first goal. Forced Villa’s defence back, creating space for midfielders to take control. 8
Christian Atsu (on 89)

Aston Villa

Sam Johnstone – one or two comfortable catches in the first half and made a string of saves in the second to keep the score respectable. Much-criticized in the past but this one is not on him. 7

Alan Hutton – showed some much-needed battling spirit with committed forward runs, even if his passing in the opposing half left a little to be desired. Caught out of position on occasion late on. 5
Tommy Elphick – did little to vindicate Bruce’s decision to start him ahead of Nathan Baker. 3
James Chester – dominated Gayle in the first half hour, but had more difficulties containing Mitrovic. 4
Neil Taylor – negated the threat of Yedlin and Ritchie for much of the first half and made some good overlapping runs. 6

Mile Jedinak – battled well early on but was often dragged deep after the first half hour and looked tired by the time he was withdrawn in the second half. 4
Birkir Bjarnason – covered ground well in the first half when Lansbury pressed ahead of him. Had a large proportion of Villa’s shots, including their only second half test of Darlow, but lacked the pace to be a classic winger. 4
Conor Hourihane – a few decent balls into the box early on but waned in influence as Newcastle’s midfielders took control. 4
Henri Lansbury – worked hard and pressed effectively in the first half. His less impressive second will be most remembered for THAT own goal. 3
Jonathan Kodjia – covered space in behind him and arguably posed Villa’s biggest attacking threat in the first half, his tight angled effort forcing a save from Darlow. 6
Scott Hogan – not suited to scrappy games. Did not have the physical presence required to compete with Lascelles, before his unfortunate late injury. 2

Albert Adomah (on 71) – his arrival coincided with a modest improvement in the closing stages, if not enough to begin a comeback. Attacked the flank more than Bjarnason. 7
Gary Gardner (on 82)
Leandro Bacuna (on 86)