Aston Villa 1-3 Newcastle United: Villa stay fourth after missing opportunity to close gap

With a win at home against Newcastle United on Tuesday enough to move Aston Villa level on points with Arsenal, Unai Emery’s men would be hoping to defeat an out-of-form Magpies side to further bolster their chances of UEFA Champions League participation.

AVL: Martínez; Moreno, Lenglet, Konsa, Cash; Tielemans, Luiz, Kamara, McGinn; Watkins, Diaby

NEW: Dubravka; Burn, Botman, Schär, Trippier; Miley, Guimarães, Longstaff; Gordon, Isak, Murphy

Two quick-fire goals from Newcastle United’s Fabian Schär put the Magpies into a comfortable lead before the break, latching onto a Kieran Tripper corner in the 32nd minute before slamming home a rebounded effort four minutes later.

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Villa’s fate was further sealed just minutes into the second half, as Alex Moreno’s desperate clearance found the back of his own net to put Newcastle United three goals up.

Ollie Watkins was able to find a consolatory goal with twenty minutes of play remaining, after neat buildup play saw John McGinn pick out Leon Bailey – allowing the England international to smash home from the Jamaican’s cross.

Watkins thought he’d found his second of the match and ignited a comeback soon after, only for the linesman’s flag to be promptly raised and a VAR check to confirm that he had strayed into an offside position.

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Three points at home would have seen Aston Villa move to within just two points of Liverpool, but Tuesday’s defeat sees them remain in fourth place. Newcastle United move to 7th in the table, albeit 11 points behind Villa.

Aston Villa travel to Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane on Saturday, while Newcastle United prepare to host Luton Town.