Aston Villa’s pursuit of European football remains on track after a dominant 3-0 victory over Newcastle United at Villa Park, with Ollie Watkins playing a pivotal role. The win extends Villa’s unbeaten run in the league to eight matches, while it snaps Newcastle’s five-match winning streak and their hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification.
Newcastle entered the match full of confidence, but they faced a formidable opponent in Aston Villa, who were themselves on a four-match winning streak. Villa started strong, with Watkins nearly scoring within the first minute. The hosts continued to pressure Newcastle and were rewarded in the 11th minute when Jacob Ramsey fired home after a cushioned header from Watkins.
Newcastle struggled to contain Villa’s attacking prowess, with goalkeeper Nick Pope pulling off several crucial saves to keep the scoreline at 1-0 going into halftime. Hoping to turn the tide, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe brought on Callum Wilson and Miguel Almirón, who both nearly found the equalizer in the second half.
However, Watkins proved too much for Newcastle, as he doubled Villa’s lead in the 64th minute, turning Dan Burn inside the six-yard box and slotting the ball into the bottom corner. Watkins sealed the victory late in the game, scoring his second goal with a low shot past Pope.
With this result, Aston Villa close the gap to just six points from the top-four and continue their push for European qualification for the first time since 2011. Despite their first league defeat in six matches, Newcastle remain in third place, still firmly in contention for a Champions League spot.
Man of the Match: Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
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