In a season with so many recognisable patterns, slowly there are certain things starting to change at Aston Villa.

For so long, Villa knew that if they scored first, typically they would go on to win the game. Well, for only the second time in this campaign, that didn’t happen at Newcastle.

Ollie Watkins, so unlucky on so many occasions in the past, also got a rare stroke of good fortune in the 1-1 draw. There was no controversial VAR decision or the woodwork to deny him this time. In turn, the assistance of a Ciaran Clark deflection gave Villa a goal they didn’t really deserve.

One trend that remains a constant, however, is Villa’s inability to turn up and show just how good of a team they can be without key man Jack Grealish. Five games have now passed since his shin injury was first detected and Villa have yet to get out of first gear in any of those outings.

Five points from as many games is not a disastrous return.





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