Newcastle United defeated Aston Villa thanks to Alexander Isak’s excellent finishing.
Newcastle dominated the visitors from the start at St James’ Park, and new signing Sandro Tonali capitalized on Anthony Gordon’s enticing sixth-minute cross.
Within five minutes, Moussa Diaby had cancelled out his fellow debutant’s goal, wonderfully handling a half-volley with his weaker foot after Ollie Watkins’ flick on.
But, towards the end of a hectic first half, Isak restored the Magpies’ advantage by sliding in Sven Botman’s cut-back across the box.
After Ezri Konsa strangely abandoned the ball in his own penalty box, Isak gently chipped Emiliano Martinez for his second to give the home side a two-goal lead.
Callum Wilson scored a fourth after a clever passing play, and Harvey Barnes sprinted through to score on his competitive debut, ensuring the Magpies continued their outstanding 2022-23 season with a strong start.
Gordon shines as Newcastle destroys Villa.
When Newcastle qualified for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years last season, manager Eddie Howe thought his team was ahead of schedule.
The task for the Magpies now is to remain in the top four of what is expected to be a fiercely competitive Premier League this season while still competing in Europe’s best tournament.
In contrast to the previous season, when they were knocked out of the domestic cups early and had no European obligations, Newcastle will play six midweek Champions League games between the middle of September and the end of December.
Howe’s club will be drawn in either pot three or pot four of the Champions League, which means they will face some of the greatest teams on the continent in demanding albeit glamorous matches.
Howe has made three summer additions to aid with the increased frequency and quality of matches, with Italy midfielder Tonali standing out.
The former AC Milan star made his Premier League debut right away, combining slickly with Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton in a promising midfield with of agility and technique.
Gordon, who joined Newcastle from Everton in January but had a rocky start, looked like a new acquisition as he carried his strong form for England Under-21s into this Premier League opening.
He was chosen ahead of summer signing Barnes and justified Howe’s trust in him, with the tough physical treatment he endured from the Villa defense demonstrating his danger.
Gordon’s general enthusiasm was most obviously apparent when he ran back to pressurize Diaby with the Villa winger threatening to sprint free after being voted player of the tournament in the European Under-21 Championship.
Gordon’s efficiency, along with the new additions, provided an early indication that Newcastle have a squad capable of competing both at home and abroad.