Aston Villa have registered their first 2021/22 Premier League win after defeating Newcastle United 2-0.
Villa were a tad underwhelming to begin with but it was Danny Ings who got the party well and truly started when he leaped into the air to send a stupendous bicycle kick beyond Freddie Woodman after Tyrone Mings’ flick on.
Villa, though, had their hearts in their mouths just moments in as Mings gifted Callum Wilson a free run on goal – only for the Newcastle No.9 to send his effort wide when one-on-one with Emi Martinez.
Up stepped Anwar El Ghazi from the penalty spot with the Dutchman making no mistake to score his sixth penalty from as many efforts in a Villa shirt.
What Smith said:
“I thought it was an OK performance but a better result. It was much better to last week where we lacked intensity.
“Fans were never going to allow us to lack intensity today and it’s nice to get a win in front of our fans.
“It was a hardworking performance. We had to battle. We had to scrap at times and we’ve had some decisions go our way as well.”
“It’s going to take time for a lot of teams to find their feet. We had a rush last year with the Euros, Copa America, Olympics so it’s been a staggered pre-season through the pandemic for a lot of clubs.
“Unfortunately, players are at different levels in terms of their fitness. Today was a building block to where we need them to be. But it’s a building block in the right direction because it was better than last week – although it didn’t take much to be better than the first half last week.”
How the fans reacted:
@HassanElKhanFagi: “What a win, well done lads.”
@AV_Reece: “Build Jacob Ramsey a statue, the beautiful boy.”
@JordAVFCx: “Much better boys, UTV.”
@RzSunday: “Better than last week, but we need to be so much better going forward.”
@AvfcK1eran: “Love it boys.”
@Jannetts_: “Probably flew under the radar but McGinn played superbly today. Bossed that midfield, Ramsey too. Luiz gave them the freedom. Good middle three there.”
@Tebroc1991: “Jacob Ramsey has been superb this afternoon.”
@CallMeStubz: “Good win lads.”
Villa will host Brentford at 3pm next Saturday in what they hope will be in front of a full house.