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Game #5662

Saturday, 15 April 2023

Attendance: 42,055


Premier League

6th (-)

Newcastle United

Last 5: 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩

Villa Park

Saudi Arabia hammered, humiliated and the country thanks us, they Sob on the Tyne whilst Villa make it five successive wins, unbeaten in eight, and stretch further ahead in sixth place.

Aston Villa


State of Saudi Arabia

Assist(s) | Ollie Watkins | 11’ | Álex Moreno | 64’ | Jacob Ramsey | 83’ |


Ollie Watkins, no stopping the boy as he hits a brace to make it 15 for the season.




💥 | 1’ Hit Woodwork, Ollie Watkins
⚽ | 11’ Goal, 1-0, Jacob Ramsey, Assist by Ollie Watkins
💥 | 16’ Hit Woodwork, Jacob Ramsey
🕒 | HT Aston Villa 1-0 Saudi Arabia
💥 | 61’ Goal disallowed by VAR, Ollie Watkins’ knee offside
⚽ | 64’ Goal, 2-0, Ollie Watkins, Assist by Álex Moreno
⚽ | 83’ Goal, 3-0, Ollie Watkins, Assist by Jacob Ramsey
🔁 | 85’ Sub off, Jacob Ramsey, Sub on, Calum Chambers
🔁 | 90’+1 Sub off, Ollie Watkins, Sub on, Jhon Durán
🟨 | 90’+2 Booking, Jhon Durán
🕒 | FT Aston Villa 3-0 Saudi Arabia


17 year-old under-18s forward Travis Patterson makes his first squad appearance for Villa.

Villa now equalled the club record of five successive Premier League wins, set twice before in 1995-96 under Brian Little and 1997-98 under John Gregory. However this is the first time that Villa have won five successive Premier League wins in consecutive games having taken 10 League and Cup games to do so in 1995-96 and 6 League and Cup games in 1997-98.

Aston Villa

European Cup / Champions League: 🏆
League Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 1995-96

Newcastle United

European Cup / Champions League: ❌
League Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆
League Cup Winners: ❌
Last Trophy: 1954-55


Newcastle United

Previous 5 vs. Saudi Arabia: 🟩 🟨 🟩 🟥 🟥


Season | 2022-23 |
Matchday | #34 |
League Game | #31 |
Manager Game | #20 |
Saturday, 15 April 2023
Attendance | 42,055 |


Manager: Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 | Hondarribia, 2022-
Referee: John Brooks | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Leicestershire, 2016-
Kick off: 12.30pm
Half Time Score: 🟩 1-0
Full Time Result: 🟩 Won
Full Time Score: 🟩 3-0
Last 5: 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩


Referee: John Brooks | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Leicestershire, 2016-
Previous 5: 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩
Last Match: 🟩 1 Jan 23, Villa 2-0 Spurs (a)
Cards: 🟨
Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Mark Scholes.
Fourth official: Graham Scott.
VAR: Simon Hooper.
Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes.

Villa have won every match in which John Brooks has officiated (7).
John Brooks is a self confessed Newcastle United fan.




Newcastle United


John Brooks


Leander Dendoncker makes his first Premier League start since December 2022 as he replaces Leon Bailey in the line up. Meanwhile under-18s forward Travis Patterson makes his first squad appearance to join Seb Bevan as representatives of the Villa Youth.


Starting XI Average Age: | 28.28 |
Bench Average Age: | 25.18 |
Squad Average Age: | 26.73 |
Subs Average Age: | 23.80 |
Oldest Starter: RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 37.79 |
Youngest Starter: M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 21.90 |
Oldest Squad Player: RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 37.79 |
Youngest Squad Player: F Travis Patterson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 17.53 |
Oldest Substitute: CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 28.25 |
Youngest Substitute: CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | 19.35 |



Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

Eddie Howe | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |

Aston Villa

GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | 🔥 |
CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CB Tyrone Mings | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 |
M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | ⚽ | 🔥 | 🔁 |
M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 |
W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 |
CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔥 | ⚽ | ⚽ | 🔁 |

Newcastle United

GK Nick Pope | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
RB Kieran Trippier | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CB Fabian Schär |🇨🇭| 🟨 |
CB Sven Botman | 🇳🇱 |
CB Dan Burn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
M Joe Willock | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
M Bruno Guimarães 🇧🇷 |
M Joelinton | 🇧🇷 | 🔁 |
W Jacob Murphy | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
W Anthony Gordon | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
CF Alexander Isak | 🇸🇪 |


🔁 CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 85’ |
🔁 CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | 🟨 | for CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 90’+1 |


🔁 | CF Callum Wilson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🤡 | for W Anthony Gordon | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 56’ |
🔁 | M Miguel Almirón | 🇵🇾 | for W Jacob Murphy | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 56’ |
🔁 | LB Matt Targett | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for M Joe Willock | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 68’ |
🔁 | M Sean Longstaff | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for CB Dan Burn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 68’ |
🔁 | M Elliott Anderson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | for M Joelinton | 🇧🇷 | 80’ |


GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 |
GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 |
LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 |
CB Diego Carlos | 🇧🇷 |
CB Seb Revan | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
W Bertrand Traoré | 🇧🇫 |
F Travis Patterson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |


GK Martin Dúbravka | 🇸🇰 |
RB Javier Manquillo | 🇪🇸 |
CB Jamaal Lascelles | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M Matt Ritchie | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 |


1st XI Cost: £156.27m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 6/11
Homegrown: 1/11
Subs Cost: £14.65m
Team Cost: £170.92m
Squad Cost: £245.53
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 9/20
Homegrown: 4/20


GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 | £19.58m |
GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 | £3.15m |
GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 | Free |

LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | £27.00m |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | £12.00m |
RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

CB Diego Carlos | 🇧🇷 | £27.90m |
CB Tyrone Mings | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £20.60m |
CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £11.97m |
CB Seb Revan | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | £13.50m |
M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 | £15.12m |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £2.79m |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |

W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | £34.56m |
W Bertrand Traoré | 🇧🇫 | £16.56m |

CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £27.72m |
CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | £14.65m |
F Travis Patterson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |


1st XI Cost: £291.52m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 6/11
Homegrown: 0/11
Subs Cost: £57.38m
Team Cost: £348.90m
Squad Cost: £372.21m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 12/20
Homegrown: 2/20


GK Nick Pope | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £10.35m |
GK Martin Dúbravka | 🇸🇰 | £3.58m |

LB Matt Targett | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £15.75m |
RB Kieran Trippier | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £13.50m |
RB Javier Manquillo | 🇪🇸 | £4.50m |

CB Sven Botman | 🇳🇱 | £33.30m |
CB Dan Burn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £13.50m |
CB Jamaal Lascelles | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £4.50m |
CB Fabian Schär |🇨🇭| £3.60m |

M Joelinton | 🇧🇷 | £39.60m |
M Bruno Guimarães 🇧🇷 | £37.78m |
M Joe Willock | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £26.46m |
M Miguel Almirón | 🇵🇾 | £21.60m |
M Matt Ritchie | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £10.73m |
M Sean Longstaff | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
M Elliott Anderson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | Youth |

W Anthony Gordon | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £40.76m |
W Jacob Murphy | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £10.17m |

CF Alexander Isak | 🇸🇪 | £62.50m |
CF Callum Wilson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £20.03m |


Injury | 5 |
GK Jed Steer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Achilles
M Philippe Coutinho | 🇧🇷 | Muscle
RB Matty Cash | 🇵🇱 | Calf
M Boubacar Kamara | 🇫🇷 | Ankle
W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | Hamstring

Unregistered | 1 |
CB Kortney Hause | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |

Out On Loan | 12 |
M Finn Azaz | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Plymouth
CF Wesley | 🇧🇷 | Levante
W Jaden Philogene-Bidace | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Cardiff
CF Keinan Davis | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Watford
FB Ben Chrisene | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Kilmarnock
M Tim Iroegbunam | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | QPR
CF Cameron Archer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Middlesbrough
M Morgan Sanson | 🇫🇷 | Strasbourg
CF Louie Barry | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Salford City
M Aaron Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Middlesbrough
M Marvelous Nakamba | 🇿🇼 | Luton Town
CB Lamare Bogarde | 🇳🇱 | Bristol Rovers


Not Recorded

Player Abbreviations:

GK : Goalkeeper

LB, RB, FB : Left Back, Right Back, Full Back

CB, D : Centre Back, Defender

M, W : Midfielder. Winger

F, CF : Forward, Centre Forward

🟢 : Debut 🔴 : Final Game


⚽ | Goal
🔥 | Assist
🔁 | Substitution

🟨 | Booking

🟥 | Sending off

🆘 | Poor refereeing performance


F Travis Patterson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | First Squad Appearance



Possession F | 52%
Possession A | 48%
Shots F | 15
Shots A | 8
Shots on Target F | 6
Shots on Target A | 2
Corners F | 7
Corners A | 2
Fouls F | 13
Fouls A | 15


2021-22 Matchweek 38.jpg


Quotation Marks.png


“He is just on fire at this moment in time. He had done a lot of unselfish running in the past. Now he’s being more economical. He’s done less running, got into more goalscoring opportunities and positions and he’s scoring a lot more goals.

“As far as Ollie is concerned, the manager has been a godsend to him.”

Former Villa midfielder, Ian Taylor

“Team news comes when you don’t want it to. You have to be ready to replace [the players] and we have to exploit our squad. We’re trying to work with them and for them to be ready. Now is the moment. We have some players injured. We have to carry on - and not use excuses and to try to be the same with one player or another. The same players are going to be out tomorrow. I think it won’t be a long time but tomorrow they’re not available.

“We have to be happy but thinking we can’t stop now and are deserving to get in the top 10. We have now added a new realistic objective [Europe] and we have to be very, very focused about this possibility. We were speaking this morning and now the teams are playing in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League. The teams are now in key moments. We have the same way here - we are in the key moment. In our process, we have to think about what we can do in the next matches and think only about tomorrow - facing the match, focusing on the preparation and the idea that we can [achieve Europe].

“We are very positive about the Villa family. We are proud of the women’s team. We have to be very demanding with our objectives and consistent. We are trying to create an atmosphere between our supporters and to get good feelings with them and to be great in our moment here.

“Newcastle is a team with a development that has been very strong. They are building a very serious and organised team. Now they are one of the best teams in the Premier League. The coach is playing with his identity, playing aggressively, high pressing and having aggressive individuals. They are feeling strong with their mentality as well. We are facing a lot of big challenges. We have been successful but tomorrow is the most difficult challenge we’ll face in the last few matches.

“This new Newcastle are adding players and paying money for them. Their idea is to improve and to get in the top six and now they’re in the top four. They are signing players, very good players, young, experienced, mixed and they are keeping the squad with players they had before. Progressively, they are growing up. Historically they’re a big team. Last year they weren’t in the same way but now it’s a different Newcastle. We will face them being in the top four. The coach is doing very good work. I knew [Eddie Howe] before he was working at Bournemouth. He has done very good work. His team has an identity. They are strong in their mentality. He works tactically as well being difficult as well for the opponent. They’re doing one stop ahead with the players. They’re a good, big club, going for top four, good coach.

Now, when I analyse Newcastle, I changed my idea of them. When I was here four years ago with Arsenal, their development was really great. It’s because the Premier League is improving as well. We want to as well. We want to get a European position. Now we will face difficult matches with different demands. We have to impose our ideas and our capacity. Tomorrow, they are going to press us more than usual. We have to be winners and face the duels. That is the work we will face tomorrow.

“We are speaking about Ollie a lot because he’s playing well. He’s scoring and being the protagonist in each match. He’ll face another challenge. He will play against Schar, Botman and Pope. His challenge tomorrow is to be competitive. Hopefully he’ll score. If he doesn’t, he will assist and help us win the match.

“First was to be aware of our mistakes - about something we weren’t doing very well. Through our analysis, we wanted to be consistent with our work and the games. We were upset and we decided to change something; trying to be competitive and get our game plan of being more consistent as a team in our organisation and being clinical. We then practice. With practice you can improve. When we were talking about 11 goals in three matches, we were very angry about it. Our reaction was fantastic - first being humble to work harder analysing the matches individually ourselves and change it completely. Tomorrow again we have to be consistent.

“We want to improve and add a new target in our way. We are now candidates to play for European positions next year. It will be difficult. We are facing teams like Liverpool, Brentford, Brighton and Chelsea. Progressively we want to be candidates to stay there. Tomorrow is a new three points and a key moment to be there or not. The objective for the club is to be quick doing it - of course it’s better. But I want to create or build a strong way and that’s at the end of what we’re doing. We have to improve and add ideas to be stronger as a team and a club. If we add in Europe this year would be fantastic. But it wasn’t the first target this year.

“Being in the top six is our first motivation, but it’s very difficult. Everybody here is trying to keep consistent, this is the idea.

“It’s a process…. We have a chance of the top six, of Europe, of course. It’s amazing.

“I want to make us progressively stronger and stronger. We are always focusing on adding something to improve us, with adding players, or a new mentality.

“I can’t stop - I don’t want players relaxing, if I see it, I will change it. I have experiences and I’m so happy.

“But I don’t want to waste time here - I enjoy working and I want everyone else to make the same move. I want everyone to be united in our commitment to get better.

“The opportunities are coming because we achieved the objectives we had before. When we were speaking each match before we were thinking if we can win we added a new objective. We were concerned and demanding to try and do it.

“Now we are in the top six. Liverpool have played one match less and Brighton two. But we are a candidate now and really, we deserve it. We have to be very focused and in our mentality very strong to keep this possibility.

“In football everything happens so quickly and you have to be ready when you have the opportunity in front. We have that now.

“Against Newcastle, for me, is the best possibility to have. Two months ago we were talking about escaping from the bottom. Doing it and having the motivation to add more is amazing. We have to be excited and focused. Our motivation is a good energy to get this opportunity and keep it as long as possible and at the end, to get it.

“As a coach I have different circumstances and different moments. Sometimes I do a lot of changes and sometimes less. I am very focused, always trying to be fair with the team and players, trying to be as well competitive. Now we are keeping the starting XI because they are doing well but of course, for me, I want to try to keep every player in the same work every day, respecting each other and if they are playing well, of course to keep them. But the players on the bench need to be focused and responsible when we have to add one player who is injured or we have to change when we have three matches. The message is to be ready to play. Now the response from the players has been amazing. They are being very focused and disciplined. I am very demanding with the players on the bench. I only speak about 22 players and not the starting XI. I try to be fair.

“The first characteristic I want to see with the players that we have to add and sign is to be hungry to adapt. To be hungry to make decisions and to be really focused on only football.

“[Alex Moreno] did it. He is doing it. He started the first match with Leeds struggling. The rhythm was wow! The first impact was that it wasn’t easy.

“I spoke with him because I know him of course and the adaptation needs time. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

“His adaptation is progressively going very well. His commitment in the dressing room with the teammates and his relationships is very good.

“That is the first step. Then you have to try to improve the idea that we’re working. We work with him individually as well defensively and offensively.

“Really… I am very happy with everybody but with him especially because it’s not easy, the adaptation. Also for example with Jhon Duran, he’s been the same but he’s younger! He needs maybe more time but my project with the players when they come here is, ‘Eh, football! You have to think only about football.’

“Of course, your family [is important] and enjoying your moment around here but you have to use your moment here to try to do first in your commitment and then on the pitch. All of the rest will come.

“That is with Alex Moreno, other players, Jhon Duran and the same with the players that are here. I want the players to be really focused on football, football, football.

“If you want to create a family you need good players, good persons with only behaviour and commitment to be focused on football.”

Unai Emery pre-match.

“After five months of hard work and your unbelievable support, we face the final push of the season with a big challenge in front of us.

“This challenge for the team is not to finish in a specific position or qualify for Europe.

“Our big challenge is to show that we are hungry and focused to finish the campaign with no limits and never be satisfied with what we have done, only looking ahead for new goals. We want to make you feel proud until the last minute. If it happens, we will get what we all want.

“Our players deserve this credit. We get, through effort, the possibility to fight for something beautiful. In an extremely difficult season with many good teams involved in the relegation escape, we raised ourselves to fight today with the best teams of the best league in the world. That’s the point. To get the results is nice. To enjoy the journey is better. And we are not going to stop now.

“I am very demanding with our idea, our style, and how we can improve each match getting better. Against Nottingham Forest I was very, very happy with the result, but I think we can do better and improve. We can be demanding of ourselves to continue in our way.

“Our match against Chelsea was very different; it was very different against Leicester and against Forest it was the same. We have to adapt and we have to improve starting today against Newcastle, an impressive team that fully deserve their current position in the table.

“I am very happy for our fans - we are fighting together to achieve our dreams but all together we must stay hungry. We want them to dream even more.”

Unai Emery pre-match.

“We are on a great run at the moment we are playing good football. Newcastle are a great side so it shows the levels we are at. Once we get that first goal, it’s a hard place to come [Villa Park]. We are enjoying it at the moment.

“[We are] trusting team-mates in tight areas and if we make mistakes we go again. Real togetherness in the team and looking forward to games to come.

“We are on a great run at the moment and taking each game as it comes. It’s a hard place to come and we are trying to win every game.”

Ollie Watkins.

”We’ve got to start fast and we did that. We had a couple of chances in the first half. We had to match Newcastle and we did that.

“It’s a good time to be a Villa player, good time to be a Villa fan. We started the game well and ended the game well.

“ think for most of the squad this is the first time Europe has come about, if we do get there. We have to remain humble but why not?”

Jacob Ramsey.

”It was a superb performance. Newcastle are a very, very good team. They remind me of Leeds a couple of years ago; in the build-up to the game, you know you’ve got to run and fight, prepare a bit extra. Even at 1-0, they are bringing on players who can change the game. The third goal was sweet, then we could enjoy it.

“We’ve not had that feeling for some time. I think Newcastle will get Champions League, because they deserve it. They’ve made St James’ Park a real fortress; we saw that earlier on this season. We’ve managed to do the same; we are playing well. Long make that continue.

“We can all dream [about Europe]. There was a spell six weeks ago when it was unrealistic; we deserve credit for this, but why stop now?”

John McGinn.

”I’m very thankful to the supporters because they were amazing today. It was a difficult match and we were focussed for 90 minutes, offensively and defensively.

“We have to be well balanced, not thinking it will be easy because it will be difficult. At half time, when we were speaking about the first half, everyone was sure we were playing well. We were controlling the game, but our challenge was to be consistent. We did it.

“I am very proud of our work of the players, the supporters and it is the last match in a row we kept a clean sheet. The best challenge we have head in our way was today and we did it. We a look u more or not. Our new target was to be top ten, we have to now get the second target to fight to be accounted and fight for a European position.

“The first target was to escape the bottom, we did, the next was to get in the top-half, we are. We are being very demanding to add anew target top be in the top six but of course we are going to face the teams that are now fighting for that. Today we showed and we believe with our supporters we can do that.

“[Ollie Watkins was good in] both boxes. Our box to try and get a clean sheet again and of course in the opponents box to score I think the performance now of Ollie is fantastic He needs his team mates and they are very happy because he is very humble. He is every day trying to improve and learn more and that is the way I want everybody to be. He is a very good example.

“He is adding a lot of things and I think he has always scored but he is now understanding a little bit more to understand how he can attack the spaces, when he has to drop to get the ball and set the ball. He is understanding everything as as striker and he is scoring because he is feeling very [happy].”

Unai Emery.

“Today we were very consistent in 90 minutes trying to control the game. We had good positioning because the team we faced have had very good moments as well. The players were very aware of doing what we needed to do to win; being consistent, being very demanding in the duels and to keep strong with our game plan. The consequence is this result.

“We are speaking about the difficult next target we can have but not now. Not now. We can think to be a candidate for a European position. But the top four is very difficult. If we continue winning maybe we can add in the next few weeks but not now thinking about the top four. We have a lot of teams in front in that position and we are going to face Tottenham, Manchester United and they have enough of an advantage at the moment.

“Our objective was clean sheet and to win through a clean sheet. Of course, winning is to score and we want other players scoring today like Jacob Ramsey. We are happy for Ollie Watkins as well because his best performances are about how he works defensively to assist the players. We are very happy because both boxes are important. Today was the perfect day. Ollie was fantastic.

“He has suffered for two days and missed a session this week but in the end he was good. We have to be careful with some players like Jacob Ramsey for example. He was tired and he worked a lot in this match. He’s important as well and we need to be careful.

“Football is passion and we’re trying to transmit our energy with our good skills, qualities as a team and to create and build an idea and style. Then we need the supporters and create a big atmosphere to keep a positive energy. It’s a very good share we did today; energy with them and us. That’s my idea as well.

“Sometimes we want to attack very directly and sometimes you have to take time and keep possession. It’s about being aggressive and having a good impact.

“We are trying to create a combination with our striker and midfielders and centre-backs. When we are connecting with the spaces… we have players with good skills. We have to be smart because each match is different. We are trying to play and gain an understanding in how we want to play.

“The concept is about playing well and being organised, controlling the game like you want with ball possession and avoiding mistakes and building attacks. That’s the way you win. I want to win. But I know the way to win is very important. To build in this way is very important. In 90 minutes we were very consistent today. We were strong defensively and offensively.

“Today is {Leander Dendoncker’s] birthday and we were speaking and saying we’ll enjoy your birthday, playing and winning. He’s had a lot of problems before and hasn’t played a lot and today was his opportunity. He is a good example to other players because you have to be ready to play and to add qualities. Dendoncker was really fantastic.

“Alex Moreno is improving and adapting very well. He was struggling to begin with because the adaptation is hard. I remember his first match against Leeds when Digne was injured after 10 minutes. Moreno struggled a little bit but progressively his adaptation has been very quick. His performances are at the same level as Digne’s now.

“His best quality is his speed. In the attacking third, he’s getting there in the box and finding not only crosses but passes as well. It’s very good. I knew his qualities before in Spain. Now with Lucas Digne, both are trying to play with the idea we are creating. I like sometimes that one side we use more, like the left-back, pushing higher more than the right-back.”

Unai Emery.

*BBC Sport*
Saturday, 15 April 2023

**Ollie Watkins continued his prolific form with two goals as Aston Villa boosted their European hopes with an emphatic victory over Newcastle, whose five-match winning run came to a shuddering halt at Villa Park.**

Watkins had already struck the foot of the post, forced two fine saves out of Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope and had an effort ruled out for offside by the time he gave Villa a two-goal cushion midway through the second half.

The former Brentford striker completed a one-sided victory with eight minutes remaining, converting a low shot via a slight deflection off Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier.

Unai Emery’s team dominated the early stages and took a deserved lead when Jacob Ramsey swept Watkins’ cushioned header low into the net.

Watkins had almost scored inside 30 seconds when he rattled the woodwork after shrugging off Sven Botman’s challenge.

Ramsey struck the crossbar in a one-sided opening, before Pope kept out another Watkins effort early in the second half.

Alexander Isak had a shot parried over the bar by Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez as Newcastle improved after the restart, but Watkins gave the home side breathing space with a close-range finish before completing the scoring late on.

Villa, who have won five straight Premier League games for the first time since 1998, are now only six points off third-placed Newcastle.

Villa and Watkins flying high

Emery’s decision to reject Newcastle’s advances following the Saudi-led takeover appears to have benefited all parties, with Villa mounting a late surge for Europe and Eddie Howe’s team still firmly in the top-four mix.

But this was very much Villa’s afternoon as they inflicted a heaviest defeat of the campaign on Newcastle thanks to a masterful display.

Villa have won 12 of their 18 league matches under Emery and only leaders Arsenal and champions Manchester City can match their tally of 38 points during that period.

“The first target was to escape the bottom - we did. The next was to get in the top half - we are,” Emery told BBC Match of the Day.

“We are being very demanding to add a new target to be in the top six, but we are going to face the teams that are now fighting for that.

“We believe, with our supporters, that we can do that.”

Villa could have been 3-0 ahead inside the opening quarter of an hour but were twice denied by the frame of the goal, while Watkins also drew a fine save from Pope not long after Ramsey’s opener.

After being denied by the England keeper yet again three minutes into the second half, Watkins thought he had finally made the scoresheet on the hour-mark when he was ruled narrowly offside by the video assistant referee.

With England manager Gareth Southgate watching on in the stands, 27-year-old Watkins added gloss to a perfect Villa performance with two clinical second-half finishes, lifting his league tally for the season to 14.

Remarkably, 11 of those goals have come in his past 12 top-flight appearances.

Sobering afternoon for Newcastle

Regardless of whether they achieve Champions League qualification, Newcastle have had a magnificent campaign, but they were comfortably second best here.

They recovered from a slow start at Brentford last weekend to claim a fifth league win in succession, but they rarely threatened to get back in the game after Ramsey’s opener and could have lost by a much bigger margin.

They struggled to cope with the pace of the sensational Watkins, who was making darting runs between Trippier and Fabian Schar at every opportunity.

Callum Wilson and the fit-again Miguel Almiron were brought on 11 minutes into the second half, but they had little impact as Villa continued to create the better openings.