Aston Villa grabbed what could prove to be a crucial point in their battle to stay in the Premier League thanks to a 1-1 draw at Newcastle.
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Newcastle thought they were on course for a second straight home victory, following their 3-0 win against Sheffield United on Saturday, when substitute Dwight Gayle broke the deadlock in the 68th minute.
However, Villa were back on level terms four minutes from time when substitute Ahmed Elmohamady squeezed in Conor Hourihane's corner at the near post to rescue a draw.
The draw sees Newcastle stay 13th on 39 points, while Villa move level on points with West Ham and Bournemouth, but Dean Smith's side stay in the relegation places on goal difference.
How Villa rescued a point at St James' Park
Aston Villa started brightly, and they could have been two goals to the good inside the first 20 minutes but for wasteful finishing.
First, Trezeguet could not convert Ezri Konsa's inviting cross at the far post before Mbwana Samatta's glancing header drifted wide of Martin Dubravka's far post.
Newcastle: Dubravka (5), Manquillo (7), Fernandez (6), Lascelles (6), Rose (6), Shelvey (6), Hayden (7), Ritchie (6), Almiron (5), Saint-Maximin (8), Joelinton (6).
Subs: Carroll (7), Gayle (7), Lazaro (n/a), Bentaleb (n/a).
Aston Villa: Nyland (6), Konsa (6), Hause (6), Mings (6), Targett (6), Luiz (7), McGinn (6), Grealish (8), Trezeguet (6), Samatta (6), El Ghazi (6).
Subs: Hourihane (7), Davis (6), Nakamba (6), Elmohamady (7).
Man of the match: Allan Saint-Maximin
The visitors continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock and they went close through John McGinn, but the midfielder could not direct his glancing header, from Jack Grealish's cross, on target.
Newcastle eventually started to get a foothold in game as the first half drew to a close and Villa needed crucial blocks from Douglas Luiz and Tyrone Mings to deny Matt Ritchie and Joelinton.
Orjan Nyland was called into the action a minute after the break, gathering Ritchie's powerfully struck attempt at the second time of asking.
Trezeguet then headed across goal from Anwar El Ghazi's 49th-minute cross as Villa responded, but Newcastle were starting to dominate proceedings, and Miguel Almiron saw his 57th-minute shot deflected wide by Mings after Danny Rose's cut back.
Allan Saint-Maximin blasted high and wide as the hosts searched for a breakthrough but, with the game entering its final quarter, Steve Bruce sent on Andy Carroll and Gayle for Joelinton and Ritchie in the search for a winner and the move paid off almost immediately.
Carroll was allowed to control a long throw-in and thread a cross into the box, where Gayle got the better of Konsa before firing past Nyland.
- Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce fielded an unchanged team for their clash with Aston Villa. Bruce handed the same 11 men, including £40m striker Joelinton, who scored just his second league goal of the season in Sunday's 3-0 win over Sheffield United, another chance to impress as his side attempted to break through the 40-point barrier.
- Aston Villa boss Dean Smith made two changes from the side which lost at home to Chelsea at the weekend with midfielder Mahmoud Trezeguet and striker Mbwana Samatta replacing Conor Hourihane and Keinan Davis.
However, Smith's men refused give in and Elmohamady equalised, glancing Hourihane's near post corner past Jonjo Shelvey and under Dubravka.
The goal sparked some late pressure from the visitors which left the home side hanging on for a point.
What the managers said…
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce: "It's the first goal we have conceded at home in five games. If somebody had said we'd get four points from the first two games in these awful times I'd have accepted it. But we are disappointed.
"We would have all accepted [the points total] but we can't forget that we have a great opportunity to push on a bit now. Can we push on and catch the teams above us and finish the season looking upwards, rather than just looking over our shoulders?"
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "It feels like two points dropped. I thought we were the much better team in the first half and if we score one of them chances we have, I think it's very difficult for Newcastle to come back.
"But when you go a goal down and you have to chase it. We get a goal back and we threw the kitchen sink at them in the end as we tried to get the winner. We showed great character and a great spirit and fight by the players to come back into it. The two combining for the goal was pleasing."
Man of the Match - Allan Saint-Maximin
Another excellent performance from Newcastle's livewire.
There may have been no fans at St James' Park but the Newcastle supporters at home were sure to be getting off their armchairs at home every time Saint-Maximin got on the ball.
He was a threat to Villa with his pace and trickery all evening and one sublime piece of skill in the second half stood out in what was another excellent evening's work for the Frenchman.
Opta stats - Newcastle's unbeaten home run continues
- Newcastle are now unbeaten in five Premier League games at St James' Park (W2 D3), with Aston Villa's goal the first they have conceded on home soil since New Years' Day against Leicester (0-3).
- Aston Villa have picked up just two points from the last 21 available in the Premier League (P7 W0 D2 L5), though they have avoided defeat on the road for the first time in four games.
- Gayle's goal came just 94 seconds after he entered the pitch as a substitute, with the assist from Andy Carroll, who himself had come on four minutes and 51 seconds prior. Gayle's opener for Newcastle was his first Premier League goal in 773 days since bagging against Chelsea in May 2018.
Newcastle have an FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City at St James' Park to look forward to on Sunday; Kick-off 6.30pm. Their next Premier League fixture is against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday July 1, live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Action from 5.30pm; Kick-off 6pm.
Live Premier League
Liverpool have to wait eight days until their next game, away at Manchester City on Thursday July 2 at 8.15pm, live on Sky Sports, while Aston Villa host Wolves at Villa Park on Saturday at 12.30pm.