Trippier's free kick helps Newcastle to 3rd straight Premier League win

AP , Sunday 13 Feb 2022

Kieran Trippier scored from a free kick for the second time in six days to fire Newcastle to a 1-0 win over Aston Villa and a third straight Premier League victory on Sunday.

Kieran Trippier
Newcastle United s English defender Kieran Trippier celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa (AFP)

The England full back's 35th-minute goal helped Newcastle move four points clear of the relegation zone on an afternoon when VAR played a key role.

Trippier's decisive effort came after referee Craig Pawson had been advised to change his decision to award a penalty. The official also had to rule out Ollie Watkins' equalizer for offside on the advice of VAR.

Midtable Villa mounted a concerted second-half fightback, but ultimately was unable to trouble goalkeeper Martin Dubravka enough to prevent his team winning three in a row for the first time since November 2018.

Joe Willock sent a 20th-minute shot wide of Emiliano Martinez's left post after Chris Wood had made a nuisance of himself on the edge of the Villa penalty area and, with Ryan Fraser repeatedly finding space down the left, Newcastle looked marginally the more threatening.

The hosts were awarded a 31st-minute penalty by Pawson after Willock had been tripped by Calum Chambers, but a VAR check revealed contact had taken place inches outside the area.

However Trippier, who scored his first goal for the club from a free kick against Everton on Tuesday, repeated the feat with the help of a slight deflection off Emi Buendia's thigh.

Wood sent a 43rd-minute shot well wide after Willock robbed Douglas Luiz and the Newcastle striker deflected John McGinn's shot just past his own post in stoppage time.

Newcastle was dealt a blow, however, within three minutes of the restart when Trippier, who had shaken off a calf problem to start, went down and was unable to continue.

Villa had resumed in determined mood, with Buendia in particular looking keen to make amends, and Watkins fired over from distance and Matty Cash across the face of goal in quick succession.

Dubravka made his first save of note to claim Luiz's 56th-minute free kick, although was far from extended in doing so, while Martinez was relieved to see Allan Saint-Maximin's goal-bound effort deflected wide by Cash's lunge at the other end.

The visitors thought they had leveled when Watkins headed home at the far post after Philippe Coutinho's shot had looped up off Fabian Schar with 61 minutes gone, but after a lengthy VAR check his effort was ruled out for offside.

Steven Gerrard's men piled on the pressure to leave Newcastle defending stoutly as time ran down, with Danny Ings and Leon Bailey having replaced Watkins and Buendia, but the hosts held firm.

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