Aston Villa player ratings v Newcastle: Jordan Ayew and Jores Okore earn high marks

Ayew's second-half strike earned Remi Garde's men a 1-1 draw from Saturday's clash at St James' Park.

Brad Guzan 6/10 – Looked very nervy at times but couldn’t do anything about the goal and produced a terrific first-half save to keep out an Aleksandar Mitrovic header.

Alan Hutton 6.5/10 – Guilty of some defensive lapses but was arguably Villa’s best attacking outlet during the first half, although his crossing once again left a lot to be desired.

Jores Okore 7.5/10 – Did a fantastic job of stifling Newcastle’s attack for much of the match, while recording four clearances, three interceptions and one tackle. After a six-month absence from the first-team following summer knee surgery, he now looks to have played his way into Garde’s first-choice XI.

Joleon Lescott 6.5/10 – One of his better performances in a claret and blue shirt but will take much of the blame for Farbicio Coloccini’s first-half opener after losing his man in the build-up.

Leandro Bacuna 6/10 – Was given a very tough time by both Daryl Janmaat and Moussa Sissoko but just about managed to hold his own. Villa are still in desperate need of a new Jordan Amavi replacement, though.

Carlos Sanchez 6/10 – Still giving the ball away far too easily but did at least do a fairly good job of shielding the back four from the holding role on this occasion.

Ashley Westwood 6/10 – Very tidy in possession but doesn't offer nearly enough going forward to help a team in Villa’s predicament.

Idrissa Gana 6/10 – Had a few bright moments in the final third but still looks nothing like the industrious midfielder who made such a bright start to his Premier League career.

Jordan Veretout 7/10 – Impressed with his set-piece deliveries and forced a good save out of Rob Elliot just after the break with a powerful left-footed strike. A nice cross later led to the equaliser.

Scott Sinclair 5/10 – Largely anonymous before being replaced by Gestede just before the hour.

Jordan Ayew 8/10 – Lack of service contributed to a quiet first half but burst into life after the interval, proving a constant menace to the Newcastle defence with his pace and work rate. The 62nd-minute strike following some well-worked moves was a just reward for his efforts.


Rudy Gestede (Sinclair 59) 7/10 – Caused some serious problems for the hosts with his imposing height and physicality, while showing the kind of drive and determination that we simply haven’t seen enough of in recent weeks.

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