Aston Villa defeated Newcastle United 2-0 in Monday night action in the Premier League. The hosts won courtesy two first-half goals by Conor Hourihane and Anwar El Ghazi.
Both goals came via set pieces with Hourihane scoring a freekick after Jack Grealish was fouled just outside the box. Hourihane stepped up and scored it beyond the wall and in the bottom left corner. Later, Villa won another freekick on the left side and Hourihane delivered another freekick and this time it was met by El Ghazi, who tapped in the ball to double the lead.
Newcastle had a few opportunities but were never able to finish and take the chances.
Villa manager Dean Smith spoke about the performance and the result and he said, "It was a good performance, especially in the first half. I thought we controlled the ball really well and dominated possession. We were relentless with the ball, but also patient because we knew we had to be as they banked in and made it difficult." He was also asked about Hourihane's contribution and said, "He wasn’t happy when I left him out of the game against Manchester City away and I understand why, but it’s a squad game and I have decisions to make. I knew we’d spend an awful lot of time defending and today I knew we’d have a lot more of the ball. He has responded to me back in the best way. He scored against Norwich, he scored against Brighton and he’s scored again today, so I’m really pleased for him."
Jack Grealish made a return to the Premier, and Smith said the following, "He’s a constant threat and he moves around the pitch really well into positions where people don’t want to come and tackle him. The opposition gets frustrated and two free-kicks against him end up with two goals for us. Knowing Jack, he’ll be disappointed he hasn’t got on the scoresheet himself."