Aston Villa had to come from behind to secure a point at St James’ Park this evening against Newcastle United.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa travelled to St. James’ Park this evening, in humid weather, to face former manager Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United after their strong win against Sheffield United on the weekend.
It was Dean Smith’s men who started the game with more attacking intent, and they were gifted with the first chance of the game in the 6th minute as Ezri Konsa curled a cross to the back post where Trezeguet met it – poking the ball over the bar.
There was not much to talk about for the first 25 minutes, but the game was all Aston Villa’s.
Joelinton found his way into the Aston Villa box in the 38th minute and could have forced Nyland into a save, but Tyrone Mings was on hand to block the ball away.
The tides turned towards the end of the first half as Newcastle grabbed their hold in their game, but Aston Villa’s defence stood resolute and the two sides went in even at the break – as Douglas Luiz picked up a yellow card.
The first opportunity of the second half came from Trezeguet again, as he found himself at the end of a dinked ball from El Ghazi, but the Egyptian couldn’t get enough force on his header to direct the ball towards goal.
The game fell to somewhat of a lull for a while, with Almiron having the best opportunity in the 58th minute from a few yards out – but the forward couldn’t find the net.
Jamal Lascelles was booked for dragging back Jack Grealish as he looked to break forward in the 60th minute.
Three minutes later, and Joelinton – who had been stopped from opening the scoring earlier by a superb Mings challenge – was replaced by Andy Carroll. A few minutes later, and Dwight Gayle replaced Matt Ritchie.
And it was Dwight Gayle’s first touch that struck a blog for Aston Villa, with the forward in acres of space with Aston Villa’s defenders looking lost from a Javi Manquillo throw-in. The forward capitalised on the naivety of the Villa defence and buried the ball in the 68th.
The 70th minute saw Dean Smith make his first changes of the game, bringing on Conor Hourihane and Keinan Davis for both wingers, El Ghazi and Trezeguet.
Six minutes later, and Ahmed Elmohamady and Marvelous Nakamba replaced Ezri Konsa and John McGinn respectively.
With eight minutes of normal time to go, Ahmed Elmohamady equalised for Aston Villa with a header at the near post from a corner – with poor goalkeeping from Dubravka and poor defending from Shelvey letting the ball seep into the net.
Newcastle made two changes following the goal, with Hayden replaced by Bentaleb after taking a knock, and Almiron replaced by Lazaro.
In five minutes of added time, Villa tried to muster another goal but it wouldn’t come.