- Sandro Tonali (6')
- Alexander Isak (16', 58')
- Callum Wilson (77')
- Harvey Barnes (90'+1')
- Moussa Diaby (11')
Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali netted on his league debut and striker Alexander Isak added two more goals as the Magpies beat Aston Villa 5-1 in their first game of the new Premier League season at St. James' Park on Saturday.
Tonali, who signed for Newcastle from AC Milan in July, needed only six minutes to get on the scoresheet as he slid in to volley home Anthony Gordon's cross, and the 23-year-old almost added a second two minutes later.
Moussa Diaby's sizzling half-volley put Villa level in the 11th minute but Newcastle soon took the lead again with a brilliantly-worked free kick routine that ended with Sven Botman teeing up Isak for a simple finish.
Villa suffered a serious blow when defender Tyrone Mings went down after a tussle with Isak and had to be replaced by Pau Torres, with British broadcaster Sky Sports later reporting that Mings had been taken to a local hospital for further treatment.
After the break, Sweden international Isak effectively ended the game as a contest when he exploited a dreadful error by defender Ezri Konsa to add Newcastle's third in the 58th minute with a sublime chip.
With the three points seemingly in the bag, Isak made way for Callum Wilson, and he made it four in the 77th minute with a calm finish after good work down the left by fellow substitute Harvey Barnes on his first league appearance since joining from Leicester City.
Wilson should have had a second when Barnes set him up again, but Emiliano Martínez managed to keep his close-range effort out. But with Newcastle slicing through the Villa defence with ease, it was only a matter of time before Newcastle scored again.
The fifth goal finally arrived in stoppage time as Barnes was played in and this time he chose to go himself, slotting past Martinez before receiving the acclaim of the Gallowgate end for a goal that sent his side to the top of the table on goal difference.
"It's the first game of the season, they can be a bit tight, but we wanted to give a good first impressions. Obviously, we win the game but very, very positive that we managed to score so many goals," Isak told Sky Sports.
The 23-year-old striker said he was fully fit after some injury issues last season, and he expressed delight at new signings Tonali and Barnes getting on the scoresheet.
"We all know the quality we have in this squad and I think, for the confidence of the players, you always went to play good and the sooner the better, so I'm just happy for the team and those players," he said.
- Andy Madley
|Brighton & Hove Albion||14||6||4||4||+4||22|
|West Ham United||14||6||3||5||0||21|