Newcastle United moved four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with a third straight win as Kieran Trippier’s free-kick sank Aston Villa at St James’ Park.
Trippier found a gap through the wall – his attempt hit Emiliano Buendia on its way into the net – after Joe Willock had been fouled by Calum Chambers.
Referee Craig Pawson pointed to the penalty spot but it was downgraded to a free-kick after a video assistant referee (VAR) review.
However, Newcastle were soon celebrating after Trippier – captaining the side in the absence of unwell Jamaal Lascelles – scored from a set-piece for the second time in as many games.
Villa thought they had equalised in the second half through Ollie Watkins’ header, but the goal was ruled out after a long VAR check which deemed the striker’s foot to be offside.
Newcastle’s win came at a cost as Trippier, who arrived from Atletico Madrid for £12m in January, and Javi Manquillo were forced off with injuries.
The game was stopped briefly in the second half because of a medical emergency in the crowd.
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