Nakamba’s Aston Villa lives it late against Newcastle. The Egyptian stooped low to divert his effort into the net from a corner just six minutes after coming on as a substitute, shortly after Dwight Gayle‘s goal for Newcastle had looked like giving United the points. Ahmed Elmohamady’s late header rescued a point for Aston Villa at Newcastle, but it was not enough to lift Dean Smith’s relegation-threatened side out of the Premier League’s bottom three.
Gayle’s impact was even more immediate than that of El Mohamady, with his neatly-taken finish coming just a minute after he was introduced for the injured Matt Ritchie.
Villa’s point is reward for a first half in which they were the more positive of the two sides, and also their determination not to allow themselves to sink to another damaging defeat. It may not take them out of the relegation zone but it will be a boost after they were denied by Sheffield United in their first game after the restart and allowed Chelsea to come back to beat them on Sunday.
Newcastle are now just a point shy of the 40-point mark – often cited as the tally required to ward off the threat of relegation. Villa refuse to give up
It has been a frustrating return for Villa. The repeated failure of their relegation rivals to pick up points has presented the opportunity for them to claw their way out of the bottom three, but although they have come close, they have not been able to find that elusive win.
Granted, they benefited from a failure of technology in their home draw against Sheffield United but having done so could easily have taken three points as opposed to one. They then almost burgled a win against Chelsea on Sunday, taking the lead despite having precious little of the ball, before the Blues rallied to turn the game their way.
This, though, is a timely boost, reminding them that they can mix it with some of the top-flight’s most stubborn sides and may yet well edge themselves ahead of a faltering pack of sides above them. They should have led in the first half, but Trezeguet and Mbwana Samatta both spurned chances on their return to the side.
The best fell to the former, who hit his back-post effort into the ground and over after being found by a superb cross from Ezri Konsa. Newcastle’s goal could have been a hammer blow, but in the end it was the home side hanging on. Newcastle take the positives. Newcastle produced arguably one the finest displays of the first initial round of games back, winning 3-0 at home against an admittedly under-par Sheffield United, who played for 40 minutes with 10 men.
Everything that could have gone right for the Magpies did in that game and it looked like that form was going to continue on Wednesday, as misfortune in the shape of Ritchie’s injury immediately turned into a positive courtesy of Gayle’s tidy finish. Before then, the home side had battled hard but were too reliant on the creative pair of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, who threatened in flashes but failed to produce anything decisive.
After breaking his 27 games and 10-month drought on Sunday, Joelinton could have added another league strike to his meagre tally of two, but Tyrone Mings denied him with a superb challenge in the box. Elmohamady’s goal is a setback, ending a run of three successive clean sheets, but only a minor one for a side that have already exceeded many critics’ expectations this season. Bruce was asked after the game if would have taken 39 points at this stage of the campaign if offered it at the beginning. His positive answer will be a surprise to nobody.
Source – BBC News
In other news Boost for Musona as AS Eupen is keen for his services for the next season
Boost for Musona as AS Eupen is keen for his services for the next season. Prevljak, who had been playing with Musona at AS Eupen before the lockdown, is also on loan from Austria Bundesliga giants — Red Bull Salzburg. While AS Eupen would have wanted to have both attackers in the forthcoming season, financial considerations appear to be weighing heavily against the Bosnia-Herzegovina international who is reported to be an expensive option for the club with a current market value of €2m, while Musona is valued at €800 000.
Zimbabwe international soccer icon Knowledge Musona’s hopes to stay in Europe have been boosted further with reports suggesting AS Eupen prefer him over Bosnia-Herzegovina forward Smail Prevljak who had emerged as his main competition for a place in the Pro League side’s squad…continue reading.