Well, doing a match report normally includes me boring you with a bit about my day, then wittering on about a game that most of you will have seen anyway.
Due to the current Covid situation there is no pre or post match banter to talk about, which makes this hard to do, but here goes anyway!
After the good win over a lacklustre Sheffield United there was an unchanged Newcastle team, given the previous result this was to be expected.
The game kicked off and…well, nothing happened, at least from my point of view, nothing to get me out my armchair.
Villa, who are in a dire situation, pushed forward and probed without creating anything of note, except for one glorious chance that they managed to scoop over the bar (might have been Grealish, such was my interest), but for all their huffing and puffing, they looked as inept and disinterested as we did.
Step forward ASM and Matt Richie who at least provided a couple of moments where we could have possibly given their very shaky keeper something to worry about. Obviously this was the keeper who carried the ball into his own net the other day and got away with it…to me he just looked nervous throughout.
I had hoped that the goal from Joelinton against Sheffield Utd might have lifted his confidence but when he did get into good positions he seemed more akin to Bambi on ice (not my words but my Missus). I am desperate for him to succeed but I just don’t see it happening anytime soon.
Almiron buzzed about as he always does but there was little to his end product also, I think this enforced break came at the wrong time for him. Shelvey probed and did produce some good cross field passes but ultimately we did not look like scoring despite getting stronger as the half went on.
Half time came and I dashed to the fridge for more Sol and JD, although not in the same glass, hoping that it would improve things in the second half – I suppose it did slightly.
Kicked off toward the favoured Gallowgate End where the crowd noise increased, fake crowd noise does not work for me nor does watching on TV, but here was an improvement, and ASM who popped up more and more on the right wing, was having an impact and several dangerous balls into the area should have seen at least one goal.
Villa in my eyes were there for the taking as they showed little fight or urgency despite their lowly league position, I would shed no tears if they went down.
A double change by Steve Bruce saw the introduction of Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle and there was an instant improvement, a new creative looking Andy Carroll played a useful ball across the box and expert and miserable looking goal poacher Dwight Gayle converted, it looked a nailed on three points at the time.
Villa then suddenly realised their urgency and pushed forward leaving gaps that we should have exploited, and initially a second goal looked likely, but then for some reason we went back into a shell and tried to keep what we had.
Villa had a succession of corners and free kicks and with a few minutes to go they duly equalised with a scrappy goal from an ex mackem and Bruce signing with the unpronounceable name (El Mohamady).
To be honest, Villa could well have gone on and won the game but a draw was a fair result and a point was far more useful to us than them, as their forthcoming fixtures will testify.
So about the game, what did we learn?
Well armchair football is no good for me, I barely flickered when we scored and did not blink when they scored, I just want this season done and dusted and a fresh start next season with people allowed in.
There was another good performance from ASM and we looked fairly solid most of the game until toward the end, but nothing spectacular. Obviously Martin Dubravka will be disappointed to concede a soft goal but he owes us nowt.
A word about Villa and their main man Jack Grealish, I have read comments that he is not a patch on ASM and if he worth £80 million then ASM is worth £140 million, to me however you can’t compare them and I actually thought Grealish was disappointing, he runs with the ball and is always looking for that one pass but on this occasion I thought he squandered possession quite a few times. That said I would have him in a flash if it was possible, I like the cut of his jib and he seems to have a good attitude and a lot of skill. If Villa go down and it is very likely they will, then he will be on the move, if we have new owners I would say to them “go get him”.
So for us another point toward safety, a 12 point cushion is surely enough, and another day toward the end of Ashley hopefully, we just need the EPL to do their job in a more timely manner and let NUFC move forward.
In this modern day of digital communication I don’t buy the idea that the delay is caused by Covid, I simply think someone inside the EPL does not want a successful NUFC, as it interferes with the regular top clubs’ dominance, let us hope sense prevails.
Bring on Man City and another boring armchair offering.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 – Wednesday 24 June 6pm
El Mohamady 83
Possession was Villa 48% Newcastle 52%
Total shots were Villa 14 Newcastle 13
Shots on target were Villa 2 Newcastle 3
Corners were Villa 9 Newcastle 6
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Rose, Hayden (Benetaleb 86), Shelvey, Ritchie (Gayle 67), Almiron (Lazaro 86), Joelinton (Carroll 64), Saint-Maximin
Darlow, Muto, Krafth, Yedlin, Schar
(Aston Villa fans comments before AND after drawing 1-1 with Newcastle United – Interesting – Read HERE)
(Steve Bruce has confirmed two Newcastle United players now injured after 1-1 draw with Aston Villa – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s draw – Read HERE)
(Steve Bruce reflects on Aston Villa draw and the positives and negatives “It’s better than nothing” – Read HERE)
(Dean Smith finds Newcastle United match annoying as ‘better team’ Aston Villa deserved the win – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 – Watch official match highlights HERE including both goals)