Was left helpless by his defence for Clark's goal but made comfortable saves with everything else that Villa threw at him.
Imperious performance from the Toon skipper, reads the game superbly well and barely gave any Villa player a sniff if they entered his zone. Has largely cut out his tendency to dawdle on the ball but showcased his impressive technique with a couple of charges forward.
Defended strongly against Bent and Weimann and always looks better for having Coloccini alongside him to direct traffic.
Pushed on constantly, and looks more adept in attack than in defence. Holman gave him little to think about down his flank, although N'Zogbia found joy upon his introduction.
Began solidly at right-back, keeping Bannan fairly quiet and pushing on confidently, but was forced off with a hamstring injury in the 37th minute.
A very quiet afternoon for the playmaker but he showed his class throughout when on the ball, linking play well and always finding the right team-mate with his passes.
Started the game well in midfield before switching to full-back once Simpson went off injured, Villa looked to target his side of the pitch but he coped fairly well, having played in a similar role previously at Ajax.
Can dazzle and frustrate in equal measure and did much more of the latter here. Failed to spark anything in attack and was the man closest to Clark as the defender headed home, unmarked. Booked late on for blatantly hauling N'Zogbia down and was immediately substituted.
H. Ben Arfa
Constantly looked to make things happen for the home side and single-handedly hauled them back into the game, jinking past Holman before launching a right-footed effort into the top corner that gave Guzan ho hope.
Has struggled so far this season and had another frustrating afternoon. Should have scored late in the first-half but hit straight at Guzan from six yards. Has still failed to score since his stunning second at Stamford Bridge last term.
Looked to make things happen with his pace and power but his work-rate often dragged him into non-threatening positions. His contribution to the side will be commended, however.
Has very little Premier League experience but you would not have thought it on this performance. Commanded his box brilliantly and was unlucky to have been beaten by such a stunning strike from Ben Arfa. Kept Cabaye's free kick out magnificently late on to keep the scores level.
Looks to have adapted to the Premier League well after spending last season in League One with Sheffield United, had the pace and nous to deal with Gutierrez well when the Argentine attacked his flank.
Several players drifted out to his flank throughout the afternoon, each with even more pace than the last, but the young American coped fairly well. The ability of his opponents kept him pegged back in his own half for much of the game, however.
Went toe-to-toe in a physical battle with Ba and mostly got the better of the Senegalese forward, forcing the Newcastle striker to seek success elsewhere on the pitch.
Had enough pace and strength to match Cisse throughout and showed good awareness to stay forward from a corner, as Villa kept the ball in a good position and he opened the scoring with a firm header.
Played on the left, but often drifted infield, limiting the Villans width on that flank, when he did get space out wide, he delivered a fine cross right onto Clark's head for the opening goal.
Mostly played as the attacking point in Villa's diamond-shaped midfield and linked up with Bent and Weimann nicely, providing both strikers with decent opportunities. Had a decent chance with just 10 minutes remaining but could only volley over from the edge of the box.
K. El Ahmadi
Acted as the midfield's shield in front of the defence and shut down Cabaye and Ben Arfa as they took turns in attempting to get the better of him. Largely kept things simple on the ball but showed good technique on the few times he did foray forward. Forced off with injury after 70 minutes.
Uncharacteristically got involved in Villa's build-up play more than usual with Weimann spearheading the attack, looks to have taken on the extra responsibility with the captain's armband and worked hard while testing Krul with the few openings he did have to himself.
Was Villa's most advanced player, saw a couple of well-hit efforts saved by Krul before being replaced by the returning Gabriel Agbonlahor mid-way through the second-half.
Worked hard on the right all afternoon but contributed little in terms of attacking threat. Could have closed Ben Arfa down quicker as the Frenchman leveled things with his fantastic effort.
Came on in place of the injured El Ahmadi, giving Villa a much more attacking look and his pace and trickery threatened on a few occasions, but he couldn't find the key to unlock his former club.
Second-half replacement for Weimann as he makes his comeback from injury, and his lack of sharpness was evident as he struggled to get into the game.