It was a very poor display from Newcastle in the first half tonight as they started the game very poorly and misplaced pass after pass and it looks like Dwight Gayle may have come back too early from his hamstring problem.
He had to go off after only 33 minutes in the first half and it looks like it’s his hamstring that’s gone again and that’s the very last thing we wanted to have happen.
Now we will be without Gayle for those consecutive away games at Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading starting next Tuesday night at Brighton.
Mitrovic celebrates after Yoan Gouffran scores first goal
It was a goal from Gouffran after 42 minutes, his 7th of the season and an improved performance from the home side in the second half when we went 2-0 up on 59 minutes after an own goal from Henri Lansbury.
But this win will pale if we are without Dwight Gayle for any length of time, after he was handed his first start since picking up the hamstring injury at Brentford.
Aleksandar Mitrovic came on in his place, but it was Villa who settled into the game a lot more quickly than Newcastle, who were struggling to get to grips early on.
As luck would have it we went ahead against the run of play just before half time when Gouffran scored from a corner after a scramble in the goalmouth.
After 58 minutes Henri Lansbury made up for his disgraceful acting performance for Nottingham Forest last year when he scored an own goal for us following a corner and Newcastle then had control of the game.
But it was a dodgy performance from Newcastle in that first half and Dwight has injured his hamstring and that’s got to be exactly what we didn’t want to happen.
The positive way to look at is that we didn’t play well but we found a way to win even after losing Gayle in the first half.
The results are more important than the performances these days and it’s another win – our 22nd in 32 games – and another clean sheet – that will give the lads confidence.
Oh – and we are top of the league again.
Newcastle: Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Colback, Shelvey; Ritchie, Diame, Gouffran (Atsu, 88); Gayle (Mitrovic, 33).
Subs not used: Elliot, Hanley, Lazaar, Perez, Gamez.
Aston Villa: Johnstone, Hutton, Elphick, Chester, Taylor, Jedinak (Adomah, 71), Hourihane, Lansbury, Bjarnason (Gardner, 82), Kodjia (Bacuna, 82), Hogan.
Subs not used: Bunn, Baker, Amavi, Grealish. Goals: Gouffran 42, Lansbury 59 (og)