NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND (REUTERS) - Aston Villa substitute Ahmed El Mohamady scored with seven minutes remaining to give his beleaguered side a potential lifeline from relegation as they claimed a point in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Newcastle United on Wednesday (June 24).
Villa remained in the bottom two but will be buoyed by their fightback at St James' Park after substitute Dwight Gayle had put the home team in front in the 68th minute.
Newcastle, who beat Sheffield United 3-0 on Sunday in their first game after the Covid-19 lockdown, stayed in 13th place as they advanced to 39 points from 31 games.
Villa are on 27 points, having drawn two of three games played in a seven-day spell after the league's return to action.
Gayle had only been on for a minute when fellow replacement Andy Carroll provided a telling cross to allow him to score but El Mohamady steered home a glancing header from a corner in the 83rd minute to earn Villa a point.
Villa had made a lively start but Mahmoud Trezeguet missed after ghosting in behind the defence and Mbwana Samatta failed to get enough power onto a good headed opportunity.
John McGinn and Matt Targett also failed to convert half-chances to keep up Villa's poor scoring record - they have netted twice in their last five Premier League games.
Newcastle were brought to life by Allan Saint-Maximin in midfield but the quality of his service was not matched by the strikers.
The hosts should have gone ahead in the 57th minute when Miguel Almiron found himself in space in front of goal but he allowed Tyrone Mings time to block the effort.