THE NOTEBOOK: Newcastle FINALLY end their Villa Park hoodoo, Alexander Isak’s injury could force Eddie Howe back into the market… and my losing wager with a fan on the train to Birmingham

  • Newcastle enjoyed their first win at Villa Park in 10 years with a 3-1 win  
  • Villa’s top four hopes were dashed as the Magpies ended their losing streak 
  • Richest club in the world, but can’t spend any money… what on earth is going on at Newcastle? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off Transfer Week podcast

Newcastle enjoyed a memorable win away at Aston Villa on Tuesday night as they ended a run of four straight defeats with a 3-1 victory. 

Fabian Schar was the unlikely scorer of a brace in the first half as the Magpies went into the break 2-0 up – before nabbing a third shortly after the interval after Alex Moreno put the ball into his own net.

Villa threatened to mount an unthinkable comeback in the second period when Ollie Watkins pulled one back – but the home side did not have enough in the tank.

The result eases the pressure on Eddie Howe and deals a huge blow to Unai Emery and his bid for an incredible top four finish this season.

Mail Sport’s CRAIG HOPE was present at Villa Park on Tuesday and on hard to point out some things you may not have noticed from the game. 

Newcastle enjoyed a superb win away at Aston Villa – their first at Villa Park for 10 years

MAGPIES END VILLA PARK HOODOO 

The last time a Newcastle player had scored a Premier League goal here was 10 years ago. Villa Park has not been the happiest of hunting grounds. The Magpies were relegated here in 2009 under Alan Shearer and all but relegated following a goalless draw with Rafa Benitez as manager seven years later. 

This, then, was something of a surprise. Even more of a surprise was the sight of Fabian Schar scoring twice. They were his first Premier League goals since the opening day of last season.

Newcastle have bad memories of playing at Villa Park of late - including being all but relegated in the Midlands in 2016

Newcastle have bad memories of playing at Villa Park of late – including being all but relegated in the Midlands in 2016

But they finally ended their woeful run at the ground - including a dismal record that had seen them fail to score across the decade

But they finally ended their woeful run at the ground – including a dismal record that had seen them fail to score across the decade

HOWE COULD BE FORCED BACK INTO THE MARKET  

It was all going so well for Newcastle until Alexander Isak pulled up injured towards the end of the first half and was replaced by Miguel Almiron (who will be staying at the club amid Saudi interest).

But Isak’s loss means Eddie Howe now has no fit strikers available to him, with Callum Wilson still sidelined with a calf problem. 

The Magpies, we were told, are closed for business this window. That may have to change now.

Newcastle thought their business was done this season - that might change after Alexander Isak's injury

Newcastle thought their business was done this season – that might change after Alexander Isak’s injury

EMERY’S SLIDING DOORS MOMENT 

Unai Emery might have been in the Newcastle dugout instead of Howe if not for a late change of heart after accepting the job in 2021.

Then at Villarreal, he was due to fly in and meet the players after taking charge of his final game with the Spanish club. 

However, Emery got spooked when news of his impending arrival spread through the British press and reneged on his verbal agreement. Still, Howe hasn’t been a bad second choice…

It could have been Unai Emery in the opposite dugout - not Eddie Howe - after he rejected a chance to manage Newcastle at the last minute in 2021

It could have been Unai Emery in the opposite dugout – not Eddie Howe – after he rejected a chance to manage Newcastle at the last minute in 2021

MY LOSING WAGER WITH A FAN 

Newcastle winning away and Villa losing at home, who would have thought that? Coming into the game, Villa had the best home record in the Premier League and Newcastle the second worst on the road. 

On the train to the game, a Newcastle supporter was so bullish about his team’s chances of winning (I disagreed) that we had a small wager on the outcome. 

First port of call for me post match was a cash point.

I had no choice but to head straight to the cash machine after full time having lost a bet with a Newcastle fan I met on the train, bullishly predicting a shock away win

I had no choice but to head straight to the cash machine after full time having lost a bet with a Newcastle fan I met on the train, bullishly predicting a shock away win 

ZANIOLO’S CASE GOES ON 

While Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali serves a 10-month ban for illegal gambling in Italy, his international team-mate Nicolo Zaniolo continues to turn out for Villa. 

His case is ongoing and, unlike Tonali, Zaniolo denies betting on football, insisting it was only online games such as poker and blackjack.



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