In the end, Aston Villa could have no real complaints about being held to a draw against Newcastle on Friday night, but it could have been so much better for them.
Dean Smith’s side just didn’t look at the races at all in the Premier League clash, and but for some wayward finishing and last-ditch defending, the Magpies could – and really should – have been out of sight.
Villa thought they had nicked all three points when Ollie Watkins’ stooping header was deflected in off Ciaran Clark, but Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles stepped up with a thumping header in the final few moments.
One man who really let his manager down with a woeful display at St James’ Park was Tyrone Mings.
Coming up against Joelinton – a striker who has managed just one goal in 22 Premier League games this season – should have been a piece of cake for the England international, but he was run ragged by the Magpies forward, particularly in the first half.
The Brazilian’s physicality proved to be a real thorn for Mings, who struggled to impose himself as he normally does on opposition strikers, and it was no surprise that Joelinton won a match-high 13 duels on the night, with the Villa man losing eight.
On more than one occasion the Villa centre-back was just caught out and was forced to take down his man, ending up with three fouls to his name and being dribbled past three times in total – both were the most of any Villa player.
Whether it was because he had his feathers ruffled or he was simply having an off-day, Mings’ passing also went haywire, with his 65% pass accuracy by far the lowest of any outfield player for the visitors.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for the Birmingham Mail, Ashley Preece said: “Had a torrid first half, it’s got to be said. Joelinton had the beating of Mings, with Villa’s captain more than meeting his match as the Brazilian continually out-muscled the England man. Mings tried to be too macho at times and looked to wipe Joelinton out – but the opposite happened with Mings mistiming his challenges as Joelinton broke free.
“Thankfully, the £40m striker lacks quality. Overall, it just wasn’t good enough from Mings this evening who slipped below his usual standards. Wasn’t at the races for some reason. He’s been incredible of late but this one was one to forget.”
As Preece says, had Joelinton been a bit more composed in front of goal, he could really have punished Mings and Villa.
While the Brazilian failed to capitalise, that doesn’t take away from the fact the Villa centre-back endured a nightmare display and really let his manager down by allowing the Magpies centre-forward to dominate proceedings.
The £26m-rated man had a real shocker.