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Aston Villa produce impressive 2-0 win against Newcastle

Aston Villa moved above Chelsea and Southampton into eighth in the Premier League with a win over Newcastle which increased the pressure on manager Steve Bruce.

Despite playing a more positive 5-3-2 formation, the visitors were undone by a Villa team whose manager Dean Smith watched from the stands following his touchline ban.

His impressive outfit still showed the quick attacking interplay which has been a feature of their season as Ollie Watkins ended a run of nine league games without a goal when he headed in the opener following Fabian Schar's mistake.

Newcastle, who have scored only once in their past eight games, lacked the sort of confidence in front of goal that Villa showed in doubling their lead.

Bertrand Traore played a one-two with Jack Grealish before cannoning a shot in off the crossbar.

There were opportunities for Bruce's side, who introduced Allan Saint-Maximin - after a long coronavirus absence - and Ryan Fraser for the final 19 minutes.

But they did not trouble a Villa team who are now five points off fourth-placed Liverpool with two games in hand.

Defeat for Newcastle meant they are winless in 10 games and slip to 16th, seven points above the relegation zone.

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Paul Vegas

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