Aston Villa claimed a third win of the Premier League campaign as Steve Bruce and his Newcastle United side was beaten 2-0 on his Villa Park return.
Dean Smith welcomed back Jack Grealish into the starting line-up, replacing Egyptian Trezeguet. Tom Heaton and Conor Hourihane also returned as they replaced Jed Steer and Marvelous Nacamba.
A Conor Hourihane free-kick opened Villa’s account before the midfielder assisted Anwar El Ghazi from another dead ball to extend the home advantage.
Same old boring Bruce
Much like his team, Bruce was taunted in the stands as Newcastle were poor on the night. They allowed a Villa side without a win in 4 to stroll to three points.
Grealish’s return to the starting side was timely against a Toon side with a spring in their step having won their last two. Newcastle showed very little in the way of disrupting a Villa backline who earned their third home clean sheet this season.
As Ezri Konsa replaced the everpresent Bjorn Engels, the former Brentford man could’ve capped his full league debut with a goal as Villa went in search of a third.
Hourihane – Man of the match
Man of the Match and difference-maker Hourihane claimed his second Premier League goal as he bent in a free-kick ten minutes before the break. An all too familiar sight for Bruce.
Though only four minutes later Hourihane was the architect once more. Whipping the ball across the Newcastle defensive line, El Ghazi was there to poke the ball past Martin Dubravka to double Villa’s lead.
The win lifts Villa to 15th, ahead of West Ham and Everton before travelling to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.