Newcastle United moved four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with a third straight win as Kieran Trippier’s free-kick sank Aston Villa at St James’ Park.
Trippier found a gap through the wall – his attempt hit Emiliano Buendia on its way into the net – after Joe Willock had been fouled by Calum Chambers.
Referee Craig Pawson pointed to the penalty spot but it was downgraded to a free-kick after a video assistant referee (VAR) review.
However, Newcastle were soon celebrating after Trippier – captaining the side in the absence of unwell Jamaal Lascelles – scored from a set-piece for the second time in as many games.
Villa thought they had equalised in the second half through Ollie Watkins’ header, but the goal was ruled out after a long VAR check which deemed the striker’s foot to be offside.
Newcastle’s win came at a cost as Trippier, who arrived from Atletico Madrid for £12m in January, and Javi Manquillo were forced off with injuries
Magpies boss Eddie Howe revealed after the game that Trippier had gone to hospital for X-rays on a foot problem.
The game was stopped briefly in the second half because of a medical emergency in the crowd.
“Trippier got stamped on and he couldn’t continue, with a problem on the top of his foot, so he’s gone for an X-ray at the hospital,” said Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.
Trippier got stamped on and he couldn’t continue, with a problem on the top of his foot, so he’s gone for an X-ray at the hospital,” said Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.We’re keeping everything crossed hoping that there’s no broken bone
Newcastle were three points from safety after a 4-0 home defeat by Manchester City on 19 December.
Two months on and the mood at St James’ Park has been transformed by wins over Leeds United, Everton and now Villa – as well as some good business in the January transfer window.
Dan Burn marked his debut for his boyhood heroes after joining from Brighton by helping them to only a third clean sheet in the league this season.
But it was England defender Tripper who produced the game’s outstanding moment as he repeated his feat against Everton in midweek.
Such has been Trippier’s influence since becoming Newcastle’s first signing since October’s Saudi Arabian-backed takeover that manager Eddie Howe will hope the injury is not serious.Such has been Trippier’s influence since becoming Newcastle’s first signing since October’s Saudi Arabian-backed takeover that manager Eddie Howe will hope the injury is not serious.
Trippier was a doubt before the game but, by the time he left the pitch in the 48th minute, Newcastle were on their way to another three points.don’t think they’ve been fluent footballing performances where we’ve played from back to front and all the things that we potentially want to do in the future but it’s been very disciplined, hard-working, a lot of energy, a lot of team-work, team spirit, togetherness that have made the difference for us.
“So big compliments for everyone for that because that’s sometimes the hardest thing to deliver consistently.”While the feel-good factor continues at Newcastle, Villa will be disappointed by the circumstances which brought an end to their three-match unbeaten run in the league.
They never really tested Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka and, while there was more purpose about Steven Gerrard’s side after half-time, Watkins’ disallowed goal added to their frustration.
John McGinn went close to equalising with a deflected shot, but not even Philippe Coutinho, who has been in sparkling form since joining on loan from Barcelona, could inspire Villa.
I’ve got no complaints with the outcome. It might have been different if that [Watkins’ disallowed goal] would have gone in our favour, but we’d be clutching at straws if we were pointing fingers towards VAR.
“I don’t think Newcastle have had to play ever so well to beat us – that’s a big frustration as well.”