In what was arguably Aston Villa's worst performance under Steven Gerrard, other than potentially Brentford away, Villa lost 1-0 thanks to a Kieran Trippier free kick on the edge of the box following a clumsy Calum Chambers tackle on Joe Willock. Going 1-0 down to Newcastle was the least Gerrard's men deserved after what was a disjointed and lackluster performance with not one single player in claret and blue putting in a performance to be proud of.
Despite VAR disallowing an Ollie Watkins goal due to a very tight offside, the second half really didn't get any better for Villa. The opening minutes of the second half felt a little more positive with an injury to Kieran Trippier and an assumed half-time telling off from the gaffer. After the disallowed goal and a few Newcastle counter attacks though, it appeared as if the Villa player's heads dropped once again and fell straight back into the poor form shown in the first half.
Newcastle showed great heart and every player gave it their all so there's no doubt the toon army deserved their three points this afternoon. Villa on the other hand never looked up for the fight and trying to find one single positive from today feels like an impossible task with only Philippe Coutinho getting a full ninety minutes and the return of Leon Bailey being something to take away from this dreadful game.
With all that being said, player ratings probably won't make for the most positive read as we jump into each individual players performance.
Emi Martinez - 6/10
On first glance it appeared Martinez was at fault for Trippier's game winning free kick after the keeper was sent the complete wrong way as the ball hit the centre of the net. One replay however showed it took a bit of a cruel deflection which Martinez really couldn't do much about. Outside of the goal he had one near disastrous moment where he and Mings didn't appear to communicate and nearly clattered into each other coming for the same ball. For the rest of the game he was his usual confident self coming out to collect everything.
Lucas Digne - 5/10
We've already seen how Digne can get caught out high up the pitch in this system, but it's often forgiven if he puts in a decent attacking display which today he did not. He collided with Ramsey early in the first half and the two never seemed to be on the same wavelength today. Newcastle's forward players also had a great time down that side of the pitch, especially during the first half. Not a great display.
Tyrone Mings - 6/10
Although nowhere near his best, the Villa captain put in a much more improved performance from midweek and made a couple of really impressive last ditch tackles to help his team. He looked a little nervous under pressure but was far from Villa's worst player at St James Park.
Calum Chambers - 6/10
A bit like Mings, Chambers actually put in a solid display but was needlessly put under a lot of pressure with Cash being caught out so far up the pitch time after time which eventually lead to Chambers giving away the free kick which led to the goal. It's difficult to point the blame at the under pressure centre back pairing given the attacking nature of both full backs and the midfield's lack of desire to defend in this game.
Matty Cash - 4/10
As just mentioned, Cash is probably more at fault for the free kick Chambers gave away than Chambers was himself. Not unlike his full back partner on the other side, Cash was constantly leaving space for Newcastle to play into and it caused problems all afternoon. Cash's attacking output was dreadful with crosses going nowhere and shots trailing wide, bad day out for the polish international.
Douglas Luiz - 3/10
Luiz looked like a dear caught in the headlights throughout most the ninety minutes, often not having a clue where to go with the ball and struggling to get back and defend. Every set piece he took led fans to question why he's on them in the first place and today's performance only draws attention even more to why Villa are desperate for a proper defensive midfielder. Dreadful display from the Brazilian who should probably be playing further up the pitch.
John McGinn - 4/10
McGinn looked like a walking red card today and cut a frustrated figure in the middle of the park. He seemed rightfully frustrated at his teammates throughout the game but his own performance left a lot to be desired as he hardly led by example. McGinn worked hard but nothing came off and it was maybe his worst display in a Villa shirt to date, not his usual self at all.
Jacob Ramsey - 4/10
Ramsey looked a shadow of the player we saw at Villa Park on Wednesday night and capped off what was a diabolical display from Villa's midfield three. Today wasn't the youngsters day and looking at all three midfielders, Sanson must have been scratching his head as to how he never got on the pitch today.
Philippe Coutinho - 6/10
This was a tough one to judge for the little Brazilian today as he struggled to get into the game with a complete lack of service in the first half especially. A wonderful flick that led to Watkins disallowed goal was his high point today as he went on to unfortunately run out of steam. Ninety minutes on the board is one positive to take away from the game but that's about it.
Emi Buendia - 5/10
Buendia felt like a ghost on the pitch, he chased everything but most people would be forgiven for forgetting he was playing before being the first player hooked for a returning Leon Bailey.
Ollie Watkins - 4/10
Watkins probably felt hard done by with his goal being chalked off for a very tight offside but he wasn't up to much before or after that moment. Even the goal itself wasn't overly convincing as Watkins' horrid run of form seemed to continue. There seems to be something a bit off with Watkins this season and today was another example of that as the striker continues to chase his form from last season.
Leon Bailey - 4/10
Bailey looked bright for a few seconds but quickly seemed to disappear from the game after being taken out early by Joelinton. After that he might as well not have been on the pitch. It's difficult to give the Jamaican international too much stick after returning from a long injury but this was a game Villa needed some of that spark seen against Everton earlier in the season and it never looked like happening at all.
Danny Ings - 4/10
A lot of Villa fans have been crying out for Danny Ings to get more minutes amongst Watkins' poor run of form and the player himself must have been chomping at the bit to get on but unfortunately showed no reason why he should be starting anytime soon. He never once looked a proper threat and wasn't an improvement on Watkins at all. Maybe Ings would do better with a proper run in the side but judging on today's performance alone, Ings may not be the answer.
Carney Chukwuemeka - 5/10
Not a lot to say here, Carney only got around ten minutes to show what he is capable of and failed to impress. Hopefully the youngster gets more minutes soon to show his worth.
Not a great away trip for Villa at all today, easily one to forget. This Aston Villa team seems to struggle to perform consistently over a full game and today was a continuation of that worrying trend. Actually today might have been the first time Villa actually performed consistently over the entire game, unfortunately it was constantly awful.
All of a sudden the next game at home to Watford feels like a must win otherwise questions may need to be asked. Today was an embarrassing display but let's all get behind the team at Villa Park this Saturday and hope Gerrard can start to put the pieces together and get a decent result from a dominating display.
Up The Villa!