Aston Villa (a) Championship
28 mins DeAndre Yedlin was sent down the right and his cross looked to have found Dwight Gayle but Tommy Elphick was first to the ball and sliced it past his own 'keeper Pierluigi Gollini for an own goal at the Holte End - an absolute Boon for the Magpies..... 1-0
Half time: Villans 0 Magpies 1
entirely unnecessary and brainless back heel from substitute Aleksandar
Mitrovic gave Villa possession. An unmarked Aaron Tshibola then headed
Jordan Ayew's corner kick in off the post as Matz Sels totally lost his bearings.
"We were so dominant in the first half we could've finished the game
and now we're talking about another thing. That's football, you have
to take your chances and we didn't do it.
"We changed the formation a little bit as well and managed to get more of a hold of the ball and created some real problems for Newcastle. I really thought that towards the end we would have the opportunity to win the game as well.
"We had plenty of chances and we got into very good positions. Just the last pass was missing, but there was somebody at the end of the last cross.
"It's five times that we've hit the
woodwork so sometimes you do think it would be nice if they go in but it
doesn't seem to be at the moment. We just have to keep working and improving
and I'm sure that sooner or later those will go in.
"We've drawn a lot of games and we need to be able to transfer those to wins rather than draws.
"We are unbeaten at home and it was a great comeback from the team as well, a great spirit that we showed. I think at the end if there was one team that was going to win it was us.
"We showed it against Forest as well, just that little bit of link at the end that is missing from us to win, so we keep working hard on it and hopefully that win will come soon."
About ending their habit of conceding late goals:
"I really hope so, against Forest we turned the game around but
unfortunately we conceded an equaliser. Today we got it back and pushed on
to find the second. There's certainly a degree of belief that we're still in
the game and can win.
About the absent Jack Grealish:
"We've fined the boy and he was suspended for today's game. It's not the
first time but he needs to learn from the past and the only one who can do
that is himself. He needs to make the right decisions.
Newcastle somehow managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory having
missed several chances to secure a win but another shaky performance from
goalkeeper Matz Sels transmitted itself to his defence at Villa Park on
That goal came in the 28th minute when the fleet-footed DeAndre Yedlin was sent down the right and his cross looked to have found Gayle but Elphick was first to the ball and sliced it past his own 'keeper for an own goal.
Gayle's golden touch seems to have deserted him and when he pinched the ball off the own goal scorer, Elphick, he should have found the net but hit a low shot that was easily saved.
Diame's second half miss was possibly worse when he sliced a Shelvey cross woefully wide from six yards with the goal gaping. Had either of those gone in then it was difficult to believe that Villa would have had any response, but 1-0 proved to be a dangerous lead for the Magpies.
Reshaping his side after the break and returning to a more orthodox back four than a confusing central defensive trio, Di Matteo watched as his side began to threaten more and bring a moribund Villa Park to life.
Mile Jedinak headed in a free-kick but was flagged offside in the 68th minute and then four minutes later Jordan Ayew curled a shot against the post, as he came close to emulating his effort at St. James' Park last December.
Those warnings weren't heeded though and when the home side forced a couple of late corners, Tshibola headed in off the post for a goal that in truth had been coming for some time.
Both sides still attempted to grab a late winner in the six minutes of added time but Villa looked the more likely to achieve that and more balls into the Newcastle box gave cause for concern.
Full time saw the remaining home fans celebrate as if they had won promotion, not merely salvaged a home point and drawn their sixth game out of nine.
In the grand scheme of things, a point at fellow relegation sufferers wouldn't be a disaster provided that we beat them on Tyneside in February. However, to not leave with all three points was ridiculous given that had Gayle and Diame scored, 3-0 wouldn't have flattered us at that point.
But allowing such a poor team to force us back in the final 25 minutes will have worried Rafa and there are still many aspects of his side that need improving. Our spending has brought in some talent but players like Hayden, Gayle and Ritchie can look ordinary at times and their confidence seems a little fragile.
There shouldn't be enough in this league to stop us finishing in the top two but we remain more than capable of shooting ourselves in the foot. Hopefully today's wastefulness won't ultimately prove costly and our first draw of the season will be viewed as a point gained.