Danny Ings scored a stunning acrobatic goal as Aston Villa defeated Newcastle United 2-0 on Saturday.
The striker's brilliant bicycle kick that gave goalkeeper Freddie Woodman no chance was the only moment of quality at the end of a scrappy first half.
Villa doubled their lead when Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles's handball was spotted by VAR and referee David Coote was instructed to check out the incident on the pitchside monitor. Anwar El Ghazi then sent Woodman the wrong way from the spot to make it two after 62 minutes.
Newcastle thought they had earned a penalty when Emiliano Martinez took down Callum Wilson in the box but VAR ruled the Newcastle striker was marginally offside in the build-up and the decision was overturned.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith said: “Certainly am [happy] in front of our own fans who have waited a long time to get back. An OK performance but a result is what we needed.
“We had to deal with balls in behind with their pace but a great finish from Danny Ings and a set-piece routine we worked on in pre-season. That is what we brought Ings in for. Anwar El Ghazi is a very good penalty taker.
“You just have to manage the times, we have got used to enough stoppages with short pre-seasons but we have to get on with it and manager it the best we can. Hopefully the better performances will come but it was important to get off the mark today.”
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said: “Not going for us is it? We lost a game last week with a big talking point and today we feel aggrieved too. The same official is involved, last week we were crying out for the referee to have a look at the monitor, he didn't and today he did.
“I thought VAR was for clean and obvious. The penalty for us, there were no lines drawn last week but there were this week, why? We are still talking about VAR.”
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