Newcastle United stole all three points from their clash with Aston Villa this afternoon in an outstanding four-goal victory for the Magpies which has helped them to retain their top-four spot in the Premier League.
Eddie Howe will be delighted with the unbelievable form his side are showing as they are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run in the league, and proved yet again today they are not displaying signs of slowing down any time soon.
The Magpies dominated the game at St James’ Park with more possession (60%), more shots on target (7 v 0) and more big chances created (6 v 0) in an attacking masterclass that the Villains were simply incapable of fending off.
Callum Wilson was in fine form, scoring the opening goal of the game from a penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage time in an otherwise uneventful first half.
Newcastle came out for the second half with the usual suspects finding the net. Wilson secured his brace with a 56th-minute strike, followed up just three minutes later by Joelinton’s goal to make it 3-0, and Miguel Almiron slotted in the fourth to finish off the demolition of Villa.
One player who proved his worth to his manager this afternoon was Sean Longstaff, who has transformed his game since the arrival of Howe, delivering a midfield performance alongside Bruno Guimaraes to provide the forwards with the freedom to attack.
The Newcastle-born star, who was dubbed “superb” by journalist Ross Gregory, completed 39 passes, took 65 touches and won four duels, along with making one key pass, three tackles and two clearances over his comprehensive 90-minute performance.
Longstaff signed a new three-year deal this summer to continue his long-term stint with his boyhood club, and his inclusion in the squad following Jonjo Shelvey’s absence through a severe hamstring injury has been worth its weight in gold, truly paying off for both the player and his manager.
It will be interesting to see if Howe continues to keep faith with Longstaff or opts to ease Shelvey back into the team now that the latter is in a position to return after his recovery, but right now the 24-year-old will be thrilled to just be playing regularly and contributing to Newcastle’s dominance.